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10.13 [TALK] 55 Years of Nurturing Avant-Garde and Outsider Music: ESP-Disk's Perpetual Revolution @ The 8th OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival

The 8th OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival 
2018.10.9 - 2018.10.21

主办方 Organizer 
深圳华侨城创意文化园 OCT-LOFT 

General seating based on first come first served policy. 


55 Years of Nurturing Avant-Garde and Outsider Music: ESP-Disk's Perpetual Revolution

时间 Time 
2018.10.13 14:00 - 16:00 
场地 Venue 
华侨城创意文化园北区A3+ A3+, North District of OCT-LOFT 

主讲人 Speaker
Steve Holtje(美国 U.S.A. )
Manager of ESP-Disk’, composer and improvisor

语言 Language 
英语 English
现场配有翻译 With English-Chinese interpreter


“The artists alone decide what you will hear on their ESP-Disk’.” - A philosophy summed-up the ESP-Disk’ motto, printed on their every release.

From the beginning, ESP-Disk's goal has been to provide its recording artists with complete artistic freedom, unimpeded by any record company interference or commercial expectations. The label's discography is important in the history of jazz, especially free jazz. You will also find the finest recordings of avant-garde, improvised rock, psychedelic folk, proto-punk and other unique sounds.

ESP-DISK’ opened for business in New York City in 1963 on the 12th floor of 156 Fifth Avenue, releasing an Esperanto album (hence the label's name). Near the end of that year, owner Bernard Stollman heard Albert Ayler and made plans to record him. There followed a prolific 18-months in which 45 albums were recorded and released, mostly featuring previously unknown free improvisational artists. The main exceptions were Ornette Coleman and Paul Bley, both of whom had gained global recognition during the 1950's. Artists who made their debuts as leaders on ESP-Disk’included Albert Ayler, Gato Barbieri, Marion Brown, Burton Greene, Patty Waters, Henry Grimes, Charles Tyler, Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, Sonny Simmons, Ronnie Boykins, and Frank Wright. Several of these artists were then quickly sought out and recorded by the Impulse! and Columbia labels.

ESP-Disk's rock groups, The Fugs and Pearls Before Swine, wrote and recorded powerful statements against the war in Viet Nam ("Kill for Peace" by The Fugs and "Uncle John" by Pearls Before Swine) and their records rose quickly towards the top of the pop charts, through word of mouth. Overnight, the record industry began bootlegging their LPs and no further orders reached ESP-Disk’.

The new music that was the major focus of the label was ignored in the U.S., while it was celebrated in Europe and Japan, where licensing agreements were made. Bernard Stollman, who had founded ESP-Disk’, continued to produce records, although his distributors had shifted to purchasing bootlegs of these recordings, and his market had vanished, He treaded water until 1975, when the label ran out of funding. The master tapes were stored in safe deposit boxes, where they remained for 17 years. Stollman, a lawyer, eventually found employment as an Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York, and retired in 1991.

In 2005, ESP-Disk’ resumed manufacturing, and now, many of the titles are available from retailers in many countries or by online order directly from its official website, or by download from iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody(now Napster) and others.


About Steve Holtje

Steve Holtje studied music theory with Peter Schubert, Max Lifchitz and Christopher Hatch at Columbia. In the '90s he worked for noteworthy Italian jazz labels Black Saint and Soul Note, where he helped get Charles Gayle a contract and attended the last recording session of Sun Ra. Switching to music journalism, he wrote for CREEM,The Wire, andJAZZIZ and editedMusicHound Jazz: The Essential AlbumGuide. He moved back to the business side of music and joined ESP-Disk' in 2010, becoming the label's manager in 2012. Since the passing of ESP-Disk’ founder Bernard Stollman in 2015, Mr. Holtje has continued to run the label for the Stollman estate, bringing artists including Matthew Shipp and Fay Victor to the label. Mr. Holtje is also a composer and improvisor who has scored two movie soundtracks.


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Event Details

Event Date: 
Saturday, October 13, 2018 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Pricing Info: 
Free entry
Booking Phone Number: 
0755 86337602 (15:00-18:00, info only)
Place Name (Optional): 
B10 Live
Average: 3.6 (135 votes)


B10 Live is a brand new music & art space in Shenzhen, organized by OCT-LOFT and curated by artist Teng Fei and independent music curator Tu Fei.
B10 Live has presented over a hundred live music performances to the audience since 24 Nov. 2012, as well as 4 years of OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival and the 2 years of Tomorrow Festival. More and more different types of art events will be held here in the near future. Read more »

Address & Contact

Address and contact information:
Place Address (English/Pinyin): 
North Side of Building C2, North District, OCT-LOFT, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Place Phone: 
+86 (755) 86337602
Place Address (English/Chinese): 
A3+, North District of OCT-LOFT
call us: +86-755-3395-5850