MAY 26: AJF presents The Apollo Theater's 'The Blues and Its People'
The Atlanta Jazz Festival presents The Apollo Theater’s production of The Blues and Its People celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Blues People: Negro Music in White America by Amiri Baraka. The concert sold out in New York and now it’s coming to Atlanta's Symphony Hall on Friday, May 26 beginning at 8pm.
The Blues and Its People features Blues, Jazz, and Gospel music performed by Russell Gunn and the 24-piece Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. It also features special guests including Weedie Braimah, Miles Griffith, Jazzmeia Horn, jessica Care moore, Leon Timbo, and Warren Wolf. Narrated by Atlanta native and Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Amber Iman.
Commissioned by The Apollo Theater, The Blues and Its People has Music Composed and Music Directed by Russell Gunn, Developed by Leatrice Ellzy, Projection Design by Zavier Taylor, and Lighting Design by CJ Pierce.
“I saw the concert at The Apollo, and it was a profound and uplifting experience,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta - Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “It’s the perfect way to kick off the Atlanta Jazz Festival weekend.
Poet, novelist, teacher, and political activist Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers University and Howard University, spent three years in the U.S. Air Force, and returned to New York City to attend Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. Baraka was well known for social criticism. Throughout much of his career his poetry, drama, fiction, and essays were confrontational, calculated to shock and awaken audiences to the political concerns of Black Americans.
Baraka was also a noted writer of music criticism. His classic history Blues People: Negro Music in White America (1963) traces Black music from slavery to contemporary jazz. “Where the music goes that’s where the people go. The music reflects the people,” Amiri Baraka.
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