Wadada Leo Smith & The Golden Quintet

Performing "America's National Parks"
January 27, 2018 - 8:00pm
Old Cabell Hall
$15 for the general public/ $13 for UVA faculty and staff/ $10 for students and free for UVA students in advance.

WADADA LEO SMITH and THE GOLDEN QUINTET, Saturday January 27, 8PM  

Iconic composer, trumpeter and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Wadada Leo Smith and his Golden Quintet – Smith, pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Pheeroan akLaff, and cellist Ashley Walters along with video artist Jesse Gilbert – will perform music from Smith’s masterwork America’s National Parks on Saturday, January 27 at the University of Virgina’s Old Cabell Hall as part of the school’s Impulse Festival. The performance is part of the group’s residency, which includes a public talk, a gallery exhibition of Smith’s Ankhrasmation scores, workshops by Quintet members and more. The performance takes place at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $13 for UVA faculty and staff, $10 for students and free for UVA students in advance from the UVA Box Office.  For a full schedule and more information, log on to http://music.virginia.edu/impulse-festival.

America’s National Parks is a six-movement suite inspired by the scenic splendor, historic legacy, and political controversies of the country’s public landscapes. Cuneiform’s 2-CD recording of the work was named the Jazz Album of the Year by DownBeat’s 65th International Critics Poll and was at or near the top of most annual lists of best releases. JazzTimes wrote that the album “unites political engagement with a soul-deep connection to nature… rich with ineffable majesty, [the suite] fully engages with tensions at the heart of the American experience.” 

Wadada Leo Smith

Trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most boldly original and influential artists of his time. Transcending the bounds of genre or idiom, he distinctly defines his music, tirelessly inventive in both sound and approach, as "Creative Music."

For the last five decades, Smith has been a member of the legendary AACM collective, pivotal in its wide-open perspectives on music and art in general. He has carried those all-embracing concepts into his own work, expanding upon them in myriad ways.

Throughout his career, Smith has been recognized for his groundbreaking work.  A finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, he received the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and earned an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was also celebrated as Faculty Emeritus. In addition, he received the Hammer Museum's 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement "honoring brilliance and resilience."

In 2017 Smith topped three categories in DownBeat Magazine’s 65th Annual Critics Poll: Best Jazz Artist, Trumpeter of the Year and Jazz Album of the Year, and was featured as the subject of a cover story in August 2017. The Jazz Journalists Association also honored Smith as their 2017 Musician of the Year as well as 2017 Duo of the Year for his work with Vijay Iyer. The JJA named him their 2016 Trumpeter of the Year, 2015 Composer of the Year, and 2013 Musician of the Year, and he earned top billing in two categories in the JazzTimes 2016 Critics Poll: Artist of the Year and Composer of the Year.

In October 2015 The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago presented the first comprehensive exhibition of Smith's Ankhrasmation scores, which use non-standard visual directions, making them works of art in themselves as well as igniting creative sparks in the musicians who perform them. In 2016, these scores were also featured in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Kadist in San Francisco.

Born December 18, 1941 in Leland, Mississippi, Smith's early musical life began at age thirteen when he became involved with the Delta blues and jazz traditions performing with his stepfather, bluesman Alex Wallace. He received his formal musical education from the U.S. Military band program (1963), the Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76).

Smith has released more than 50 albums as a leader on labels including ECM, Moers, Black Saint, Tzadik, Pi Recordings, TUM, Leo and Cuneiform. His diverse discography reveals a recorded history centered around important issues that have impacted his world, exploring the social, natural and political environment of his times with passion and fierce intelligence. His 2016 recording, America’s National Parks earned a place on numerous best of the year lists including the New York Times, NPR Music and many others. Smith’s landmark 2012 civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers was called “A staggering achievement [that] merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in sobriety and reach.”

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda.  (map) Parking is available in the central grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Rd, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner.  Handicap parking is available in the small parking lot adjacent to Bryan Hall.

The Impulse Festival is sponsored by the following UVA entities: Arts Administration program, Arts Council, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ Collective Response: Moving Forward committee, McIntire Department of Art, McIntire Department of Music, Office of the Provost & the Vice Provost for the Arts, Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, University Programs Council, and WTJU Radio.  Generous support was given by The Acquavella Family, Charlottesville Jazz Society, Gassmann Fund for Innovation in Music, Hampton Inn and Suites, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

For a listing of all Impulse Festival events visit http://music.virginia.edu/impulse-festival

All programs are subject to change.

To purchase tickets for the final concert, please call the Arts Box Office at 434.924.3376.  For more information please call the McIntire Department of Music at 434.924.3052

Address

McIntire Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu