Caravan of Dreams

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Caravan of Dreams
Address312 Houston Street
LocationFort Worth, Texas
Coordinates32°45′18″N 97°19′58″W / 32.754893°N 97.332763°W / 32.754893; -97.332763Coordinates: 32°45′18″N 97°19′58″W / 32.754893°N 97.332763°W / 32.754893; -97.332763
TypePerforming arts center
Genre(s)Jazz, spoken word, theater
Capacity212 (theater)
OpenedSeptember 1983 (1983-09)
ClosedSeptember 29, 2001 (2001-09-29)

Caravan of Dreams was a performing arts center in the central business district of Fort Worth, Texas during the 1980s and 1990s. The venue was best known locally as a live music nightclub, though this was only one part of a larger facility; the center also included a multitrack recording studio, a 212-seat theater, two dance studios, and a rooftop garden.[1] The center was at 312 Houston Street, and prefigured the redevelopment of Sundance Square into a dining and entertainment district. Ed Bass, whose family has participated in much of the redevelopment of downtown Fort Worth, financed the project, and Kathelin Hoffman served as its artistic director;[2]:185[3] the facility consisted of new construction behind two facades from the 1880s.[4]


Caravan of Dreams was self-described as "...a meeting place appealing to audiences who enjoy the creation of new forms of music, theater, dance, poetry and film," designed and managed by and for artists.[1] The name was taken from 1001 Arabian Nights, by way of Brion Gysin, who attended the opening of the venue with William S. Burroughs in 1983.[5] The opening celebration centered around performances by Fort Worth native Ornette Coleman, both with his Prime Time ensemble in the nightclub, and with the Fort Worth Symphony at the nearby Convention Center;[3][6][4] the event coincided with the mayoral proclamation of September 29, 1983 as "Ornette Coleman Day," when Coleman was presented with a key to the city.[2]:186

Caravan of Dreams hosted many musical acts in its time, including David Sanborn and Nancy Wilson, among many others.

Caravan of Dreams Productions
Founded1983 (1983)
FounderKathelin Hoffman
Defunctc. 1990 (1990)
GenreJazz, spoken word, world
Country of originUnited States
LocationFort Worth, Texas

The center operated its own record label, releasing albums by Coleman as well as artists such as Ronald Shannon Jackson, James Blood Ulmer, and Twins Seven Seven.[4][6][7] Caravan of Dreams also released films (including Ornette: Made in America, a feature-length documentary about Coleman) and spoken word recordings by William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, John P. Allen (as Johnny Dolphin), and others. The label was active for about five years.[4]

The rooftop garden featured hundreds of cacti and succulent plants, as well as a glass geodesic dome. Several years later, Biosphere 2 would incorporate geodesic domes in its structure, with the involvement of some of the same individuals behind Caravan of Dreams.[2]:193

Eventually the facility became less geared toward the experimental (though high-profile) musicians, writers, and artists with whom it was associated in its early days.[4] Caravan of Dreams ceased its production of entertainment media, and the nightclub hosted more mainstream performers outside of the jazz genre.[4]

Frequent headliners Acoustic Alchemy named a track on their fourth album, Reference Point, after the venue.

Peter White's 1996 album and title track were named after the venue.

The nightclub closed in 2001 (with Brave Combo as the closing night act),[8] exactly eighteen years after Ornette Coleman Day, and was converted into a restaurant, Reata at Sundance Square.[9] Four Day Weekend, a comedy troupe, began performing in the theater before the nightclub closed, and continued operating the space as Four Day Weekend Theater.[10][11]


Catalog number Artist Title
CDP 85001 Ornette Coleman and Prime Time Opening the Caravan of Dreams
CDP 85002 Ornette Coleman Prime Design/Time Design
CDP 85004 James Blood Ulmer Live at the Caravan of Dreams
CDP 85005 Ronald Shannon Jackson with Twins Seven Seven Live at the Caravan of Dreams
CDP 85007 Twins Seven Seven Slang in Trance
CDP 85008 Ornette Coleman Quartet & Prime Time In All Languages
CDP 85009 (or Dreams 009) Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society When Colors Play
CDP 85010 Eartha Kitt My Way
CDP 85011 William S. Burroughs Uncommon Quotes
CDP 85012 Ronald Shannon Jackson Texas
CDP 85013 Johnny Dolphin Uncommon Quotes: The Dream & Drink of Freedom
CDP 85014 Timothy Leary Uncommon Quotes

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Liner notes. In All Languages by Ornette Coleman. Caravan of Dreams Productions CDP 85008, 1987.
  2. ^ a b c Litweiler, John. Ornette Coleman: A Harmolodic Life. 1992. New York: Da Capo, 1994.ISBN 0-306-80580-4
  3. ^ a b Patoski, Joe Nick; Crawford, Bill (June 1989). "The Long, Strange Trip of Ed Bass". Texas Monthly. 17 (6): 12–104, 123–127. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Gerem, Yves; Gerem, Larisa (2000). A Marmac Guide to Fort Worth and Arlington. Marmac Guides. Pelican. pp. 130–132. ISBN 9781455608485. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  5. ^ Hoffman, Kathelin. Liner notes. Uncommon Quotes by William S. Burroughs. Caravan of Dreams Productions CDPT 85011, 1988.
  6. ^ a b Palmer, Robert (16 July 1986). "The Pop Life; Ornette Coleman's Music Develops in Prime Time". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  7. ^ Caravan of Dreams discography at Discogs
  8. ^ Heinkel-Wolfe, Peggy (December 2001). "The Art Of Being Brave". Denton Scramble. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2011-02-04.
  9. ^ "Dallas/Fort Worth Blues News 2001." Accessed November 1, 2005.
  10. ^ Lin, Kristian (2004-09-22). "Back from the Celluloid Grave". Fort Worth Weekly. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  11. ^ Fowler, Jimmy (2006-07-26). "Texclectic: New DJ Paul Slavens brings a strange mix of sounds to KERA". Fort Worth Weekly. Retrieved 2011-09-15.

External links[edit]