Samora Pinderhughes' "The Transformations Suite" (Full Concert) - Video
PUBLISHED:  Jan 19, 2017
Hear the radio episode here:
Documentary Short:

“Our best musicians in the jazz tradition were radical imaginers,” says Samora Pinderhughes. A pianist and composer in his mid-20s, he has asserted his connection to that lineage with The Transformations Suite, an earnest and ambitious new work combining music, words and visuals. The piece, which took five years to chisel into shape, was inspired by African-American resistance and protest movements, and the oppression that many still endure.

Pinderhughes now lives in Harlem, but he grew up in the Bay Area, in a family of academics and social activists. Shortly after releasing The Transformations Suite last fall, he brought the project to the Way Christian Center in Berkeley, for a performance that was several things at once: a homecoming, an album-release concert, a rousing community gathering.

Along with a group of smart young jazz musicians, the ensemble features spoken-word poetry by the accomplished actor Jeremie Harris and passages of soulful singing by Jehbreal Jackson. The site of convergence for these artists was Juilliard, the elite conservatory — and that unlikely setting for grassroots activism is a sign of how pressing and pervasive these issues have become.

Social justice and political outrage have been front and center in a wide array of music over the last few years, from Common’s hip-hop exhortation Black America Again to the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern-rock manifesto American Band. But jazz artists have often been the leaders in this regard: Pinderhughes joins a growing number of his elders and peers in creating music that indicts, confronts and critiques, without pretending to provide easy answers.

1:43 - “Transformation”
11:31 - “History”
21:02 - “Cycles”
35:28 - “Momentum, Pt. 2”
46:06 - “Ascension”

Recorded Nov 21, 2016 @ The Way Christian Center

Samora Pinderhughes (bandleader, piano, vocals), Jehbreal Jackson (vocals), Jeremie Harris (spoken word), Riley Mulherkar (trumpet), Lucas Pino (tenor sax), Joshua Crumbly (bass), Jimmy Macbride (drums)

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