CalArts faculty member Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most boldly original figures in American jazz and creative contemporary music, and one of the great trumpet players of our time.
For a special concert, announcing his retirement from the Performer Composer and Jazz Programs of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, Smith will perform in a preview of his new work That Sunday Morning: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley: We Carry You In Our Hearts. The composition commemorates the victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, in Birmingham, Alabama, fifty years ago. It is the most recent addition to Smith’s widely heralded Ten Freedom Summers Collection.
The music, for the performance at CalArts, will be performed by Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet (Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Brown, John Lindberg, and Anthony Davis) and Pacifica Red Coral.
The performance will be held in the Main Gallery on the CalArts campus in Valencia on Wednesday, October 23, at noon. The concert is open to the public and admission is free. The event at CalArts precedes the world premiere of That Sunday Morning at Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. on October 25 and 26. See calendar listing below.
Ten Freedom Summers is Smith’s soul-searching tribute to the civil rights movement honoring such heroes as Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In Rhapsody magazine’s Jazz Critics Poll, Francis Davis called Ten Freedom Summers “a stunning achievement, with the dramatic sweep of the trumpeter’s writing (for both a chamber orchestra and his own small group)… It merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in sobriety and reach.”
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