Virtual audiences are invited to witness the world premiere of music by emerging composers Endea Owens and Josh Evans, as well as thematic music specially curated from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s R. Theodore Ammon Archives and Music Library.
Josh Evans’ work, “Elaine,” commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center, is a piece informed by the 1919 Elaine Massacre in Hoop Spur, Phillips County, Arkansas.
This concert also features the debut of a Jazz at Lincoln Center commission by up-and-coming bassist Endea Owens, who will perform with the orchestra on this evening. The piece, “Ida’s Crusade,” is inspired by the life and work of Ida B. Wells (1862 – 1931) and her crusade against the lynching and wrongful imprisonment of Black Americans.
Music Director Wynton Marsalis and Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Montgomery, Alabama-based human rights organization Equal Justice Initiative, have curated an evening comprising readings and new and familiar jazz works that consider large, international questions of freedom and hope.
Exclusively for this special concert event, Stevenson will appear as a speaker and performer. In addition to speaking on subjects of social justice, incarceration, prison reform, and immigration, Stevenson will also take a seat behind the piano to play two tunes–“Honeysuckle Rose” and “We Shall Overcome.”
Following the premiere on May 21, ticket holders will have access to Freedom, Justice, and Hope with Bryan Stevenson through May 26, 2021. Viewers seeking a memento from the groundbreaking concert will also have the opportunity to purchase an audio recording of the concert for just $5 extra.
Since temporarily closing Jazz at Lincoln Center’s performing arts facility, Frederick P. Rose Hall, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has made available a robust, curated daily program of offerings to reach people all over the world and bring the healing power of jazz music into homes and communities. Jazz at Lincoln Center continues this effort with four unique livestream and pre-recorded concert events from February 20-June 10, 2021. Three of these new virtual concerts will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and a cohort of master singers, and rising stars representing a broad generational timeline of this unique music.