Ten Freedom Summers

by wadada leo smith


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Ten Freedom Summers is a large work inspired by the activity of the civil rights movement from The Niagara falls congress in 1905 and 1948, when President Harry S. Truman signed the Executive Order 9981 and up to Dr. Martin Luther King's Memphis speech in 1968.

2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington. I have composed a large work dedicated to addressing the issues of the Civil Rights Movement, particularly the decade from 1954 to 1964. The work, titled Ten Freedom Summers, consists of a collection of nineteen compositions performed over three evenings. Its world premiere took place in October of 2011 in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex at the REDCAT Theater and the music was recorded in November of 2011 and released on May 22, 2012 for Cuneiform Records.

I would like add a new work to the Ten Freedom Summers collection. This new work will be entitled "The March on Washington D.C.- August 28, 1963" and will be for quintet (trumpet, piano, bass, 2 drummers), string quartet, and harp. The ensembles performing the work include the Golden Quartet, the Pacific Coral Reef Ensemble, the Flux String Quartet and video artist Jesse Gilbert. This new work will be approximately 15 minutes long. I would like to be able to premiere this new work at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this historic event.

In order to complete and premiere this new work, I am looking for your support to raise a minimum fundraising goal of $17,000. If this funding goal is achieved, I would be able to improve the theatrics of the performance, which would include additional high-definition screens for video projections. This is an exciting opportunity for me to show the Civil Rights Movement in a new light. Thank you for your support.

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