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Wadada Leo Smith's
Ten Freedom Summers

Defining Moments in the
History of the United States of America


Ten Freedom Summers
is a large work inspired by the activity of the civil rights movement from The Niagara falls congress in 1905 and 1948, when President Harry S. Truman signed the Executive Order 9981 and up to
Dr. Martin Luther King's Memphis speech
in 1968.

  

 
   

Wadada Leo Smith has composed a new work
for the "Ten Freedom Summers" collection!

This new work is entitled "The March on Washington D.C.- August 28, 1963" and will be for quintet (trumpet, piano, bass, 2 drummers), string quartet, and harp. The ensembles performing the work include the Golden Quartet, the Pacific Coral Reef Ensemble, the Flux String Quartet and video artist Jesse Gilbert. This new work will be approximately 15 minutes long. Wadada premiered this new work at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this historic event.



 

 


Videos | Photos

NEW! - videos of Wadada and the Golden Quartet performing
Ten Freedom Summers
live in San Sebastian, Spain, July, 2014

NEW! - video of Wadada and the Golden Quartet performing
"September 11th, 2001: A Memorial
" live at Café OTO, London Nov., 2013

NEW! - Ten Freedom Summers CD Released on Cuneiform Records


Videos of Wadada speaking about Ten Freedom Summers

Interview with Wadada about Ten Freedom Summers by Greg Burk/LA Times

 


Over the years I thought that I would compose a tribute to the civil rights movement, centered in the activities of two decades 1948-1968, much in the same way that August Wilson's plays comment on ten decades of the African-American experience in America, but through musical composition/improvisation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1963_March_on_Washington
 

 

This musical work is the result of my research and reflection concerning the philosophical, social and political history of the United States of America. Ten Freedom Summers is programmed as three evenings of music, and is composed for Golden Quartet and Southwest Chamber Music, an ensemble of nine performers. The world premiere will take place October 28-30, 2011, at REDCAT at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Medgar Evers: A Love Voice of a Thousand Years Journey, Liberty and Justice was completed in 1977, and is the earliest work in the collections.

John F. Kennedy's New Frontier and the Space Age completes Ten Freedom Summers cycle.

Five compositions were composed during my 2009/2010 Fellowship with the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Southwest Chamber Music commissioned four compositions, funded by the James Irvine Foundation and Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation.

Ten Freedom Summers was commissioned by Chamber Music America with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; and Southwest Chamber Music.

The work has three major collections;

  • First Collection: Defining Moments in America
  • Second Collection: What is Democracy ?
  • Third Collection: Ten Freedom Summers


First Collection:
Defining Moments in America

1) America parts 1 and 2
2) Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democracy Party, 1964
(1-2 composed during Djerassi Foundation residency)
3) Emmett Till: Defiant, Fearless
(commissioned by Southwest Chamber Music with support from NEA and MAP Fund)
4) Rosa Parks, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 381 Days
5) The Freedom Riders Ride
6) The Washington D.C. Memorial Wall


Second Collection:
What is Democracy ?

7) Dred Scott: 1857: The Issuers of Immigration, Human Rights and who can be an American
8) Democracy
9) Buzzsaw: The Myth of the Free Press and Corporate Power




10)
Al Hajj Malik Al Shabazz and the People of the Shahadah
11) September Eleventh, 2001: A Memorial
(7-11 composed during John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship)
12) Medgar Evers: A Love-Voice of a Thousand Years
Journey: Liberty and Justice


Third Collection: Ten Freedom Summers

13) Thurgood Marshall and Brown v. Board of Education: A Dream of Equal Education, 1954
14) Little Rock Nine: A Force for Desegregation in Education, 1957
15) Freedom Summer: Voter Registration, an Act of Compassion and Empowerment, 1964
(13-15 commissioned by Chamber Music America with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation)
16) John F Kennedy’s New Frontier and the Space Age, 1960
(commissioned by Southwest Chamber Music with support from NEA and MAP Fund)
17) Lyndon B Johnson's Great Society and The Civil Rights Act of 1964
18) Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.: Memphis, the Prophecy
19) Courage to Dissent, Forces for Change
(17-19 commissioned by Southwest Chamber Music with support from the James Irvine Foundation and Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation)

 
 



Videos


Wadada Leo Smith performing in San Sebastián, Spain
at the Heineken Jazzaldia Festival, July 25th, 2014


watch on vimeo


Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet live at Jazzadlia in San Sebastián, Spain


watch on vimeo


Video of Wadada and the Golden Quartet performing
"September 11th, 2001: A Memorial
" live at Café OTO, London Nov., 2013


watch on youtube


Composer Wadada Leo Smith and conductor Jeff von der Schmidt
discuss the composition and performance of of Ten Freedom Summers


watch on youtube


2011-2012 Ten Freedom Summers: October 28, 29, 30 - Southwest Chamber Music


watch on youtube


2011-2012 Ten Freedom Summers: October 28, 29, 30 - Southwest Chamber Music



watch on youtube

 


© 1997-2014 Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith