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IDENTITY: FREEDOM

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New York-based free jazz organization Arts for Art collaborates with The Kitchen to present free jazz ensembles in a multidisciplinary program of improvisation over the course of three evenings, March 7–9, 2019, at The Kitchen. From jazz, dance, and poetry to political discourse, these concerts consist of musical and discursive interjections among participants, which segue into conversations that are inclusive of audiences. The events aim to foster and celebrate new interrelationships among participants and audiences as they revolve around our conceptions of social justice. Titled IDENTITY: FREEDOM, the project declares liberation in both self-possession and movement. IDENTITY: FREEDOM is presented as part of 'Representation/Occupation' taking place at The Kitchen in 2019.

March 7-9, 8pm. $25 General / $20 Members. 

The lead artists are all New York-based and well-established players in the vanguard of free jazz music: pianist and composer Dave Burrell; drummer, percussionist, and composer Andrew Cyrille; and bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator William Parker. IDENTITY: FREEDOM is organized by Tim Griffin, Todd Nicholson, Patricia Nicholson Parker, and Fred Moten.

Thursday, March 7, 8pm: Bassist and composer William Parker premieres Trail of Tears Continuum (1492-2019), a new multimedia work tracing the de-evolution of humanity in America. The 90-minute suite is broken into four sections—“Plantations,” “Reservations,” “Housing Projects,” and Prisons”—and built around new music, libretto, and narrative composed by Parker. Performers include singers AnnMarie Sandy and Raina Sokolov Gonzalez, musicians Hamid Drake (drums), Cooper-Moore (piano), Rob Brown (alto sax), and Steve Swell (trombone), and features original poetry by Fred Moten and Tracie Morris. The piece is also accompanied by a film by Parker and Michael Lucio-Sternbach.

Friday, March 8, 8pm: Pianist and composer Dave Burrell premieres Harlem Renaissance, the latest iteration of his continuing exploration of the Harlem Renaissance, presented in tribute to the Civil Rights activist and entertainer Josephine Baker. The piece centers on the interaction between piano and dancer Marguerite Hemmings and J'royce Jata, augmented by a brass line featuring Ted Daniel (trumpet), Steve Swell (trombone), and Dick Griffin (trombone), and rhythm section of William Parker (bass) and Hamid Drake (drums). Piano and dance take turns leading and following the ensemble, blurring lines between composition and free improvisation.

Saturday, March 9, 8pm: Drummer and composer Andrew Cyrille presents Haitian Fascination, a new work paying homage to his Haitian ancestry. Joining Cyrille are collaborators old and new, including Angelica Sanchez (piano), Lisle Atkinson (bass), Val Jeanty (percussion, electronics), and Jorge Sylvester (saxophone), and poet Stephanie Jean.

IDENTITY: FREEDOM is made possible with generous support from Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; endowment support from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; annual grants from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image Credits: William Parker & Dave Burrell at the Vision Festival, 2018. Photography by Eva Kapanadze. Andrew Cyrille at the Vision Festival, 2016. Photography by Ken Weiss.

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