The Manship Theater – Baton Rouge, LA
I cannot begin to tell you how I feel, except to say I am on cloud 20! It was an incredible event. The LSU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Brian Shaw, who prepared the band before I arrived, took care of serious business. When I rehearsed the band, all I had to do was put the finite nuances and high sheen on the music. It was so gratifying to have many of the players come up to me to say how much they enjoyed working on and performing my music. It was apparent to the audiences, as well, because we received a standing ovation response for both concerts. The band totally knocked it out of the park! Can you see me smiling as I write this!
Check out the photos from rehearsals and the concert to get an idea of the whole experience. I will soon have some audio, as well as video excerpts of the concert. We were privileged to have Dr. Glory Van Scott in attendance She is the model for Glory, the Catlett’s sculpture that was the inspiration for the second movement of Quiet Pride.
I am hoping more colleges and universities will want to have this project. My idea is to have the Jazz Department, the Art Department/Art Gallery, and the Afro-American Studies/Women’s studies collaborating to bring this multifaceted event to their community. If you know some institutions that might be interested in presenting this project, please let me know.
The Shaw Center for the Arts was the perfect venue for this cultural event. I could not be more pleased to have the performance premiered in this incredible space. The Manship Theater is an intimate theater with wonderful acoustics. The fifth movement we performed was written expressly for this engagement. It was inspired by the beautiful black marble Catlett sculpture, Stargazer.
As you know, this music was inspired by five sculptures by Elizabeth Catlett, our National Treasure. In the Shaw Center there is a world class gallery on the fifth floor that had an exhibit of Catlett’s work, Faces of Pride, to coincide with my concerts. If you missed it now, it will be there through August 26, 2012. If you cannot make it, tell your friends!
The following day we drove to New Orleans, where I had two full days of events sponsored by The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. I played solo bass and lectured about the Baton Rouge events and my career in the Old U.S Mint Jazz Venue. This is a state-of-the-art venue that brings various concerts to the public. There is a museum of notable New Orleans musicians with photos and artifacts. The museum has all of the history of The Preservation Hall Band and even has one of Louis Armstrong’s trumpets on exhibit.
That evening, I was a guest on the television talk show, Future Focus, hosted by Delfeayo Marsalis at the New Orleans Access Television at FOX.
The next day, I visited two high schools, Luster Charter High and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Both schools have very strong music programs and a huge emphasis on jazz. I was very impressed and enjoyed speaking and playing with some of the young, full of fire players. Please note: THe black and white photos below are courtesy of Shelby Lewis.