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Yoko Ono to appear at music seminar in Cannes

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Grey New York announced on May 21 that its fourth annual Music Seminar with Living Legends will feature Yoko Ono on Friday, June 25, at the Debussy. The 2010 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival event follows three years of high popularity for the Grey music seminar with legends Stevie Van Zandt in 2009, Tony Bennett in 2008, and John Legend and Donavan in 2007.

As stated in a press release, at Grey’s annual seminar on music, Yoko Ono will discuss today’s music scene and the impact on brands and bands, her own adventurous music and performance art created over a high-profile lifetime,  and her extraordinary life with John Lennon and raising her musician son Sean Lennon.

“Her marriage to and influence on John Lennon is legendary. The famous ‘bed in’ in Amsterdam, and the interview from inside a bag were direct extensions of Yoko’s early art happenings in the Fluxus group,” said Tim Mellors, Worldwide Creative Director of Grey Group. “Her deep knowledge of the alternative music scene and people like John Cage, the founder of Fluxus, are seldom given the credit due for their influence on Lennon’s solo career.”

Yoko Ono, who was raised in Tokyo and attended Sarah Lawrence College from 1953-57,  is a multi-media artist who constantly challenges the traditional boundaries of art, known for her groundbreaking conceptual art, instructional arts, performance arts experimental films and music.

From 1960 to 1961, Yoko Ono, now 77 years old, presented avant-garde events and concert series in her loft in Chambers Street in New York City with La Monte Young. In 1961, she met George Maciunas and became a seminal member of Fluxus. In 1962, Yoko returned to Japan to present her one-woman exhibition at the Sogetsu Art Center, in Tokyo. That same year, performed a concert tour with Toshi Ichiyanagi, David Tudor and John Cage.

In 1964 she published her book, “Grapefruit: a Book of Instructions,” in Tokyo. That same year, she presented her now legendary performance art, “Cut Piece,” for the first time in Kyoto and then Tokyo. In 1964 Yoko returned to NYC and in 1965 performed “Cut PIece” at the Carnegie Recital Hall.

1966 was a turning point for Yoko when she moved to London and had a one-woman show in Indica Gallery. 1967 was a full year with a one-woman show at Lisson Gallery, filming the controversial Bottoms Film (Film No. 4) and a performance in Knokke Film Festival in Belgium.

In 1968, Yoko performed her music works in Paris and in Albert Hall in London with Ornette Coleman. In 1969, she married John Lennon and formed The Plastic Ono Band.

Reflecting on her reputation for being outrageous, Yoko responds: “I do have to rely on my own judgment, although to some people my judgment seems a little out of sync. I have my own rhythm and my own timing, and that’s simply how it is.”

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