New York (NY), USA – Jazz at Lincoln Center announced that the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Odadaa! with Yacub Addy.
Congo Square, written by Marsalis will tour the critically-acclaimed work, and Addy, to 11 U.S. cities in June. The 24 musicians – complete with brass instruments, African percussion, bamboo flutes and balaphones – will perform the celebrated musical experience that had its premiere in New Orleans last spring. A CD release of Congo Square will be available in early June.
The piece was named for the location – Congo Square – the only place in the United States of America where African slaves were allowed to perform their own music and dance in the 1700s-1800s. Their music established the roots of American music today, and Marsalis and Addy wrote Congo Square in testament to this. The composition took on even more significance in the months that followed the tragic destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. For Congo Square, Marsalis and Addy combine traditional African music with jazz and celebrate the historic site that exists today. “Congo Square was the only place in the United States where Africans were allowed to play music with drums and dance.” said Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. “From that tradition sprang many styles of American music – from jazz to country to rock and roll and back to jazz again. After the Louisiana Purchase, officials were determined to stop the gatherings in Congo Square – it took 52 years to achieve this. Perhaps the same spirit and dedication shown by slaves through 52 years of harassment will also be shown by the citizens of New Orleans in the face of the natural ravages of Katrina.”
2007 Congo Square Tour
June 14 Rochester, NY Eastman Theatre
June 15 Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania Mann Center
June 16 Bushkill, PA Mountain Laurel Center
June 17 Columbia, MD Columbia Festival
June 18 Cleveland, OH Allen Theater
June 19 Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Theater
June 21 Grand Rapids, MI Devoss Hall
June 22 Detroit, MI Orchestra Hall
June 23 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival
June 24 Vail, CO Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
June 25 Denver, CO Denver Botanical Gardens
June 26 Aspen, CO Jazz Aspen Festival
June 28 Montreal, Quebec Festival International De Jazz De Montreal
Since the formation of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in 1988, the world-renowned orchestra with Wynton Marsalis has toured over 300 cities in more than 35 countries on 6 continents, performing in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s programming.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra personnel includes: Music Director and Trumpet: WYNTON MARSALIS; Trumpets: RYAN KISOR, SEAN JONES, MARCUS PRINTUP, JAMES ZOLLAR; Trombones: CHRIS CRENSHAW, VINCENT GARDNER, ELLIOT MASON; Reeds: WALTER BLANDING, VICTOR GOINES, SHERMAN IRBY, TED NASH, JOE TEMPERLEY; Piano: DAN NIMMER; Bass: CARLOS HENRIQUEZ; Drums: ALI JACKSON.
Odadaa! Personnel includes: Yacub Addy, Founder & Leader, percussion, vocals; OKOE NUNOO Assistant Leader, percussion, vocals; OBUAMAH LAUD ADDY vocals, percussion; ANI APANG, guitar, percussion, vocals; IMANI GONZALEZ, vocals; ZORKIE NELSON, percussion, bamboo flutes, vocals; TAWIAH NUNOO, percussion, vocals; AYAA TAGOE, flutes, percussion, vocals; OTEY THOMPSON, balaphones, percussion, vocals.
To view a brief video of the Congo Square premiere, go to http://www.jalc.org/jazzcast/j_screening.html.
For a full schedule of Jazz at Lincoln Center tour dates, go to http://www.jalc.org/concerts/jazztour.asp.
Yacub Addy photo by Frank Stewart.