We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite
August 3, 2021 - August 17, 2021
JazzArts Charlotte presents the regional premiere of “We Insist” during the 60th anniversary of this jazz suite’s groundbreaking artistic statement of civil rights and social justice. “We Insist!,” Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, is a classic jazz album released in 1960 on themes related to the civil rights movement. This tribute performance performed at Charlotte’s Black Lives Matters mural, is a multi-disciplined work including a 12-piece jazz ensemble, dance, spoken word and history, is presented in conjunction with Black History Month.
FREE. Available on demand until August 17 on YouTube.
Composer and drummer Max Roach, born in Newland, North Carolina, is considered one of the most important jazz drummers in history. He is one of the many influential jazz musicians from this region that makes the Carolinas a well of jazz history.
There is a historic link between jazz and civil rights. As the leading genre of music of the 1950s and ’60s, it offered both a common ground between white and black communities and created an artistic outlet for the message of equality.
Musicians include top local and regional artists with special guest, internationally recognized trumpeter Sean Jones. The full line-up of artists include:
Dawn Anthony, vocalist
Rajuma Bey, djembe
Lovell Bradford, piano
Ocie Davis, drums
Elijah Freeman, tenor saxophone
Shannon Hoover, bass
Tyrone Jefferson, trombone
Sean Jones, trumpet
Gary Munford, djembe
Noah Munford, djembe
Johnny Vegara, congas
Dr. Willie Griffin, speaker & historian at the Levine Museum of the New South
Quentin Talley, poet & Program Director at Hayti Heritage Center
Tamara Williams, choreographer
Dinora Ramirez, Lydia Heidt, & Raquelah Conyers, dancers
This program was sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and U.S. Bank.
Program partners are Charlotte Center City Partners and Levine Museum of the New South.
For more details about the music, the making, replay the Feb 9 Conversations with Curtis who spoke to the musicians, historian, and choreographer of the production.
For more details about the event, and the variety of news coverage, head over to our news page.
For a brief but meaty description of each of the five songs in the work, wikipedia is a great source..