Wayne Kramer, Trailblazing Guitarist & Former Inmate, Returns to Hometown Detroit With Jail Guitar Doors

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Together with respected Detroit Filmmaker Tony D’Annunzio, and University of Michigan’s cutting edge Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), Kramer launches long-awaited music rehabilitation program in Michigan prison.

Tuesday, April 7th — 7pm to 8pm
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) event: A one-on-one conversation and acoustic set with Wayne Kramer at Duderstadt Gallery. Audience questions and interaction is encouraged.

Thursday, April 9th — 9pm to 11pm
Art X (Detroit) “Louder Live” performance at Detroit Institute of the Arts: Wayne talks then rocks with Howling Diablos during a special screening of “Louder Than Love” documentary.

Friday, April 10th — 12pm to 2pm
Art X (Detroit) “Rethinking Justice” panel at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Café: Wayne Kramer, formerly incarcerated author Ruben Kenyatta, and Ashley Lucas from PCAP.

Friday, April 10th — 7pm to 9pm
Saginaw Regional Correctional Facility (Saginaw) Prison Action: Wayne Kramer, PCAP, and Tony D’Annunzio launch Jail Guitar Doors programs in Michigan State Prison with a visit from Wayne delivering 10 Fender guitars presented to inmates.

March 28th, 2015 – Nearly 40 years ago, Wayne Kramer was sentenced to a four-year federal prison term. The memory of standing at intake in a Kentucky federal prison for a mug shot that is now an indelible moment in rock and roll history is actually the least of his concerns. Today, the issue at hand is the 2.3 million men and women who are currently incarcerated in the United States, and what can be done about it.

“The United States locks up its own citizens at a rate five times that of any country in the world. We have more people incarcerated for non-violent drug crimes in America than all of Europe does for all crimes. Mass incarceration has created a permanent underclass in this country who are excluded from mainstream life. It’s one of the reasons why our charity Jail Guitar Doors exists,” Kramer expounds.

“Ninety percent of the people incarcerated in the state of Michigan are from the city of Detroit. It’s mind-boggling. These events are your call to action, Detroit! Being able to create something where there was nothing is a great argument against worthlessness. Let’s do it.”

“It is a great honor for me to be working with Wayne Kramer and Jail Guitar Doors to further their mission,” notes Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project. Lucas has witnessed the profound effect arts-in-corrections has on inmates and devotes her career to that very effect. “This collaborative opportunity is not only long overdue, but a great pleasure for me because it allows PCAP to expand our programming to include more music.”

Director Tony D’Annunzio adds, “After meeting Wayne through my film project, I began to get to know more about him and his prison charity work. I heard Wayne speak about what JGD does for the incarcerated. I heard his passion & and commitment to it. As a 2014 Kresge Foundation Film/Theatre honoree, I was asked to produce an event for the 2015 ARTX Detroit Festival. I knew immediately that I needed to introduce JGD to the Detroit community.”

D’Annunzio continues, “With the incredible assistance of Ashley Lucas, we were able to not only have an evening of awareness, but also a call to action to bring JGD instruments into a Michigan prison, where it all began for Brother Wayne. The fact that this all came together in a relatively short time tells me that it was supposed to happen!”

Wayne concludes, “We know that education is important, but education alone is not nearly enough. When we put a guitar or a pen in a prisoner’s hand, they have the opportunity to express themselves in a fundamentally non-confrontational, positive way. A sheriff’s deputy once confided in me: ‘If I educate a criminal, I have an educated criminal. What’s needed is a change of heart. A fundamental change in the way an offender sees himself.’ And to that I respond, ‘Yeah, you right.’”

Please join us for an unprecedented opportunity to meet, hear, and speak with Wayne Kramer in his hometown of Detroit for the Michigan launch of Jail Guitar Doors.

Tony D’Annunzio’s love of film and music got him into the broadcast television & entertainment industry more than 25 years ago. Born and raised in Detroit, D’Annunzio’s work has aired on virtually every network worldwide. His passion for filmmaking, storytelling, music, and Detroit coalesced on screen when he produced and directed his critically acclaimed first documentary, Louder Than Love, chronicling the epic untold story of The Grande Ballroom, the theatre which stood as the epicenter of the Detroit rock music scene in the late ‘60s. A Kresge Artist fellow.

Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience (AXD) is a 10-day festival of dance, literary, musical & theatrical performances, film screenings, visual arts installations, workshops, panel discussions & interactive experiences. AXD presents works created by the 2013–2014 Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows. AXD will be hosted at multiple venues throughout Midtown Detroit and beyond over a three-week period in April & is FREE to the public. AXD is presented by The Kresge Foundation and produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc. AXD partners include: Kresge Arts in Detroit, College for Creative Studies, Creative Many, and MOCAD.

JAIL GUITAR DOORS is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides musical instruments and opportunities to help rehabilitate prisoners. In 1977, punk rock pioneers, The Clash, recorded “Jail Guitar Doors,” a song detailing the imprisonment of their hero and fellow musician, the MC5’s Wayne Kramer. In 2009, musicians/ activists Wayne Kramer and Billy Bragg joined forces to create Jail Guitar Doors USA, which organizes prison outreach programs and advances new solutions to diminish prison violence. JGD-USA works for justice and prison reform in the United States while partnering with social service groups to help people in prison reconnect with the outside world.

Wayne Kramer is a legendary guitarist, an in-demand composer for film and television, and a prison reform activist as the co-founder of Jail Guitar Doors (with Billy Bragg and wife Margaret Saadi Kramer). His composing credits cover a broad spectrum ranging from Talladega Nights (Will Ferrell) to East Bound & Down (HBO) to The Narcotic Farm (PBS). Wayne is currently scoring Bad Judge for NBC Networks starring Kate Walsh.

The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) was founded in 1990 with the mission to collaborate with incarcerated adults, incarcerated youth, urban youth and the formerly incarcerated to strengthen our community through creative expression. Housed in the University of Michigan’s Residential College, faculty and students work with community members both inside and outside prisons to engage in workshops in theatre, dance, visual art, creative writing, slam poetry, and music. Annually, PCAP hosts one of the largest prisoner art exhibitions in the world and publishes a literary journal of writing by incarcerated authors. With arts programming and events year round, the organization serves as a creative hub for those with links to the criminal justice system, community volunteers, faculty, students, and university staff.

For more information contact: Mike Mena at 310-316-0612 or mike@ileanainternational.com.


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