Friday, July 13, 2018, 7 pm
Top jazz vocalist of her generation Brianna Thomas, joined by trombone legend Wycliffe Gordon, honors the life and legacy of Dr. King through the music of Mahalia Jackson and Nina Simone
“The best young straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation” (WSJ) Brianna Thomas explores the repertoire of the “Queen of Gospel” Mahalia Jackson and the legendary activist Nina Simone, two artists inextricably linked to the life and work of the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mahalia Jackson was a friend and supporter of Dr. King Jr, and her gospels and spirituals served as the soundtrack to the civil rights movement. Likewise, Nina Simone’s iconic songs of soulful passion and protest honored and were inspired by King’s philosophy and leadership. These uplifting musical narratives are expertly laced together in this world premiere by accomplished vocalist Brianna Thomas, who is joined by special guest trombone legend Wycliffe Gordon and an ensemble of powerhouse soloists including Bruce Harris, James Hurt and Marvin Sewell.
Brianna Thomas, vocals
Special Guest : Wycliffe Gordon, trombone
Patrick Bartley Jr., alto saxophone
Bruce Harris, trumpet
Marvin Sewell, guitar
Conun Pappas, keyboards
Fernando Saci, percussion
James Hurt, piano
Ryan Berg, bass
Kyle Poole, drums
Generous support for the NYBG Summer Concert Series: An American Tribute provided by the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund