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HOTHOUSE MEETS HAVANA
AN ONLINE FESTIVAL OF JAZZ PLAZA
CELEBRATING HOTHOUSE’S 34th YEAR
PRODUCED BY MARGUERITE HORBERG AND RAUL CUZA
MONDAY JANUARY 18 at 7pm
SPECIAL MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY PROGRAM
ShaZah is the duo of sitarist Shanta Nurullah and vocalist Zahra Baker. This partnership draws upon the talents that Zahra and Shanta share as storytellers, actors, musicians, writers and teaching artists. They create and perform work that draws heavily from African and African-American folkloric, storytelling and musical traditions for adult and youth audiences. They have both performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, The National Storytelling Festival, and the National Festival of Black Storytelling.
This performance is a reinterpretation of two historic African American works – “Harlem” by poet Langston Hughes and the anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”
PANELISTS: JAMES SANDERS, JEAN LEROY, ARTURO O’FARRILL, JAMES EARLY, MICHELE ROSEWOMAN
JAMES EARLY – Moderator
James Counts Early retired from the Smithsonian Institution in March 2015 after thirty-one years of service in a multitude of positions. He served as assistant provost for educational and cultural programs, assistant secretary for education and public service, and interim director of the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A long-time advocate for cultural diversity and equity issues in national and international cultural and educational institutions, his applied research explores participatory museology, cultural democracy statecraft policy, capitalist and socialist discourses in cultural policy, and Afro-Latin politics, history, and cultural democracy. He curated several Folklife Festival programs including South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation (1999) and Sacred Sounds: Belief and Society (1997). James Early holds a B.A. in Spanish from Morehouse College and completed graduate work (A.B.D.) in Latin American and Caribbean history, with a minor in African and African American history, at Howard University.
For four decades, pianist/composer/educator Michele Rosewoman has expanded the horizons of jazz while remaining firmly rooted in tradition. A fearless bandleader and mentor, many have cited that working with Rosewoman made an indelible mark on their artistic development as musicians, composers and bandleaders.
With recordings as leader on Blue Note, Enja, SoulNote, Toshiba-EMI and her own Advance Dance Disques label, her long-standing Quintessence ensemble has consistently brought together cutting-edge voices while her New Yor-Uba ensemble (1983 debut at NYC’s Public Theatre) presents an uncompromised synthesis of contemporary jazz and traditional Cuban folkloric music, uniting master musicians from both worlds.
The name “New Yor-Uba” pays homage to the dynamic musical journey of ancient Yoruba culture from Nigeria, through Cuba to present day New York, reflecting its contemporary manifestations. Throughout it’s 36 -year history, New Yor-Uba has featured master Cuban folklorists including Orlando ‘Puntilla’ Rios, Roman Diaz, Pedrito Martinez and Ernesto ‘Gato’ Gatell, among others.
Having celebrated 30 years with a 2013 double disc release that garnered the #1 NPR Latin Jazz Recording of the year award, New Yor-Uba now celebrates 36 years of evolution with their latest recording, “Hallowed”– a ground-breaking project released November 1, 2019-to stellar reviews in major publications including JazzTimes, JazzIz and Downbeat and was voted the #3 NPR Best Latin Jazz Recording of the Year.
Her innovative recordings and projects have received great critical acclaim including a Grammy award and prestigious grants for composition and performance from the NEA, ASCAP and Chamber Music America.. She has performed with many jazz and Latin music greats, has presented her various ensembles at festivals, concert halls, clubs and universities throughout the world, is currently a board member at Chamber Music America and remains an active and dedicated educator
Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music.
In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland. He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba.
Violinist James Sanders confidently crosses stylistic borders but stays true to both the jazz violin legacy and his rigorous classical training to create music that transcends categories yet remains faithful to its multiple inspirations, which include his Caribbean heritage. He is a regular presence in Chicago’s creative music movement and has performed around the world, including major jazz festivals in Italy, Brazil, Poland, and Chicago. He leads the long-running Latin jazz group James Sanders’ Conjunto as well as Proyecto Libre, an ensemble that pulls equally from free improvisation and Afro-Caribbean traditions. He formed the Dark Matter String Band in 2018 to interpret the tradition of African American acoustic string music in a contemporary context, and his latest project is a series of duets for drums and violin inspired by all the great rhythm masters that he’s worked with over the course of his career. His past projects include the Blue Violin Quartet, an exploration of the role of the violin in jazz.iolinist James Sanders confidently crosses stylistic borders but stays true to both the jazz violin legacy and his rigorous classical training to create music that transcends categories yet remains faithful to its multiple inspirations, which include his Caribbean heritage.
Jean-Christophe Leroy is a percussionist of French, Vietnamese and Canadian descent living in the city of Chicago. He became enamored with Afro-Cuban percussion in the early 90’s and has since spent his life studying the music, traveling to Cuba to live and study with the musicians of the culture and then sharing the music with audiences in North America and abroad through performance and education. Along the way, Jean’s journey became spiritual as well as musical and he has since been initiated into several priesthoods of the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, including Omo Aña (priest of the drum) and Babalawo (high priest of Ifa). All though Jean’s strongest musical influence is that of Cuba, one of his strengths and passions is to explore where this music intersects with the music of the U.S. These intersections help define his personal touch when performing with musicians from our continent and the island of Cuba as well as his ability to educate non-Cuban musicians in a manner that stays true to the traditions without alienating students from varied backgrounds.