William Hooker: The Great Migration

Thursday, April 5, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

Company:
Ras Moshe – Reeds, Flute
Eriq Robinson – Electronics, Images
Mara Rosenbloom – Piano
Goussy Celestin – Narrator, Dance

Guests:
William Parker – Bass
David Soldier – Violin, Banjo
Ava Mendoza – Guitar
Alton Brooks, Jeremy Grovesnor, and Nannie Lampkin – Primary Narratives

Through music, visuals, dance, and narrative, avant-garde percussionist William Hooker portrays the movement of African–Americans from the American South to points north during the years of 1935–1950. The Great Migration features music accompanied by dance; a classical soloist; video; and narratives from 97-year-old Alton Brooks and Nannie Lampkin, who experienced this historical period firsthand.

William Hooker is an artistic whole, a vast circle of vision and execution. A body of uninterrupted work beginning in the mid-seventies defines him as one of the most important composers and players in jazz. As bandleader, Hooker has fielded ensembles in an incredibly diverse array of configurations. Each collaboration has brought a serious investigation of his compositional agenda and the science of the modern drum kit. As a player, Hooker has long been known for the persuasive power of his relationship with his instrument. His work is frequently grounded in a narrative context. Whether set against a silent film or anchored by a poetic theme, Hooker brings dramatic tension and human warmth to avant-garde jazz. His ability to find fertile ground for moving music in a variety of settings that obliterate genre distinctions offers a much-needed statement of social optimism in the arts.