Inspired By The 150th Anniversary Of The Civil War, Concert And Exhibition At The Rosenbach Feature Original Work By Renowned Pianist & Composer Dave Burrell


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World-renowned jazz pianist Dave Burrell will once again debut original work at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia in exclusive concert performances on Thursday, April 10 at 6:00 pm and Saturday, April 12 at 7:00 pm. The fourth in a five-year series of concerts commemorating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War, Burrell’s work for 2014 explores fascinating new territory. Entitled Listening to Lincoln, the piece is inspired by both the massacre of black Union soldiers at the Battle of Ft. Pillow and an address given by President Lincoln in reaction to the events there. Burrell’s approach to creating modern jazz pieces inspired by historical events has led to the artistic fusion of the past and present, and has drawn the human stories behind the Civil War into sharp and relatable focus. This year’s concert is also unique in that Burrell has collaborated with poet and librettist Monika Larsson and soprano Veronica Chapman-Smith to add vocals to the performances for the first time, opening the project to new creative heights.

Beyond these compelling performances, visitors to the Rosenbach can enrich their experience through our special companion exhibition, Four Scores on 150 Years Ago: Dave Burrell’s Civil War Concerts, on view from Wednesday, April 2 to Sunday, May 25. The exhibition explores this fascinating and unique project from its inception to today. Highlights include interviews with Burrell about his creative process, as well as his musical scores and research notebooks, displayed beside to the original Civil War documents which inspired them. Visitors can also enjoy recordings of the previous concerts in the series: Portraits of Civil War Heroes, Civilians during Wartime, and Turning Point.

About The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia

The 54-location Free Library of Philadelphia system advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. The combined holdings of these renowned collections—which include hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera—inspire unique exhibitions and programs throughout the year. With more than 6 million in-person and 9 million online visits annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.

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