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WADADA LEO SMITH // HARRIET TUBMAN
WADADA LEO SMITH
“Reflections and Meditations on Monk”
Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith is a trumpet-player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser. He has composed music for solo, ensemble, classical and creative orchestra and stage works. His compositions have been performed by his own ensembles as well as other contemporary music ensembles. He has performed with almost every important artist in the creative improvised music scene. Wadada has received numerous awards as a composer and musician. For fifty years, his research and artistic development has been to create a notational language and design compatible systems to illustrate his artistic expression. Considered by many the most important and creative living jazz musician Wadada Leo Smith, boldly original trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and composer has reached a new peak in his career, topping in 2017 three categories in Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll: Jazz Artist, Trumpet and Jazz Album (for “America’s National Parks”). Skopje Jazz Festival has the privilege of being chosen for Europe exclusive live premiere of his work “Reflections and Meditations on Monk”, another masterpiece album from 2017.
Harriet Tubman formed in 1998 when the three musicians came together to start a band with meaning. Named after the heroic African-American slave who risked her life to escape from slavery and help more than 300 others to do the same, Harriet Tubman is deeply inspired by the ideals of freedom. The trio’s music – a fusion of soul, rock, jazz, and blues – examines the depths of these genres for their own unique liberated musical expression. The band counts Jimi Hendrix, Ornette Coleman and Parliament-Funkadelic as contributors to its musical DNA. Guitarist and singer Brandon Ross, bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummer JT Lewis have collaborated with artists as diverse as Cassandra Wilson, Living Colour, Lou Reed, Herbie Hancock, Henry Threadgill, Sting, Arrested Development, The Rollins Band, David Murray, Tony Williams, Don Pullen, Tina Turner, James Blood Ulmer, Oliver Lake, Muhal Richard Abrams, Aretha Franklin, Butch Morris and many others. Their own sound is pure and liberated musical expression – a deep and soulful meditation on the concept of freedom, allowing the audience to experience the music free from distracting labels of style or genre. The band’s fourth album, the outstanding “Araminta”, has become one of the most celebrated releases of 2017.