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Bill Lowe and the Ensemble of Signifyin' Natives Thursday, November 29th 8PM


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Columbia University Center for Jazz Studies Presents:

The Louis Armstrong Professorship Concert Bill Lowe and the Ensemble of Signifyin' Natives Thursday, November 29, 2007 8:00 pm Philosophy Hall, Room 301 Columbia University Morningside Campus 116th Street & Amsterdam Avenue Free and open to the public

Bill Lowe and the Ensemble of Signifying' Natives present an evening of music which improvises on musical themes old and new. Lowe, this semester's Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at Columbia, will lead the seven musicians in performances that improvise with/through pieces by Duke Ellington, Sun Ra and Thelonius Monk. The concert will also feature original compositions by members of the ensemble, including a number of premieres: The premiere of “Mary and Lubna," by William Lowe, in which he uses words, pictures and music to tell a story of two women from two worlds in one time The premiere of “Falling," by David Bindman, in which he employs a variety of West African rhythms as compositional material “Ra Rave," John Voigt's homage to Sun Ra and his use of conduction “New Geographies" by Taylor Ho Bynum, a musical exploration of group gestures in conversation with individual improvisations “A Letter to the People," by Warren Smith, incorporating spoken word in a musical letter to the people of the world, primarily those in the US, regarding armed struggle and human existence “Baghdad USA" by Hafez Modir, in which he marries Persian and African-American musical principles

The core ensemble of Signifyin' Natives is: Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, shells, percussion) Bill Lowe (bass trombone, tuba, clave, flamboyan) Hafez Modir (tenor sax, soprano sax, alto sax, ney, new hybrid instruments) David Bindman (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute, clarinet) Warren Smith (trap drums set, bass marimba, tympani, other percussion) John Voigt (bass violin, pogo bass, voice) Kevin Harris (piano, electric keyboards)

Signifyin' Natives has as its mission to address conflict, internationally and at home, by accentuating our essential humanity through shared participation in the creative process. This consortium of musicians and educators, led by trombonist/composer Bill Lowe, is dedicated to applying the principles and techniques they have developed in their creative music pursuits to enhance interpersonal communication among diverse communities. These techniques include balancing between composition and improvisation; developing an individual voice in a collaborative setting; seeking new forms and structural innovations; and incorporating ideas and influences from diverse sources. Signifyin' Natives brings together activist artists from music, dance, theater, spoken word and film who are dedicated to sharing their creative traditions, learning and listening to the traditions of others, and collaborating on new avenues of communication and expression.

This concert is made possible through the generous support of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.

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