Wooster Jazz Ensemble Concert Saturday, April 20

Performance to feature guest composer and conductor Ernest Dawkins

Event Details

April 20, 2019 - 7:30 p.m.
Freedlander Theatre

WOOSTER – The College of Wooster’s Jazz Ensemble will present a concert on Saturday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m., in Freedlander Theatre (329 E. University St.). The concert will feature guest composer and conductor Ernest Dawkins and his piece “Un-Till Emmett Till.”

“Un-Till Emmett Till,” is a 70-minute, multi-movement work based on the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, an African-American boy from Chicago who was accused of offending a white woman while visiting relatives near Money, Mississippi. The performance will also include guests Dee Alexander (vocalist), Corey Wilkes (trumpet), and Isaiah Spencer (drums) as well as sophomore Barron Gunning as the narrator.

Emmett Till

According to Dawkins, “the savage murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi was the straw that broke the camel’s back and launched the modern Civil Rights Movement. A few months later Rosa Parks said she was tired and would not sit at the back of the bus––she was not physically tired but mentally and spiritually tired of the racist and brutal treatment of blacks by whites in America’s south. Emmett is our man-child hero, who paid the ultimate price to fight racism in the U.S. This work is the last in a Trilogy of Tragedy composed for events and heroes of Chicago. They are meant as an offering for healing.”

Dawkins is a premier saxophonist and composer, whose life goal is for his music and compositions to reflect the evolving collective cultural memory of the American jazz aesthetic.  He is currently chairman of the Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians and executive director of Live the Spirit Residency. He is also the leader and founder of several ensembles, most notably the New Horizons Ensemble, Aesop Quartet, Chicago Trio, Live the Spirit Big Band, the Boglifier, and the Chicago 12.  Dawkins has recorded numerous albums and his publishing company, Dawk Music, has 12 releases to date.

The Wooster Jazz Ensemble is directed by Jeffrey Lindberg, professor of music at Wooster. He is also the director of the highly acclaimed Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Chicago’s oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation.

This concert is sponsored by The College of Wooster Jazz Ensemble, the Department of Africana Studies, the Cultural Events Committee, the Dean of Students Office, and the Office of the President.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are available at Buehler’s Milltown and Towne Market, the Wilson Bookstore, or at the door the night of the concert. Please note, this program contains strong language which may be considered inappropriate for some children. For more information, contact Jeff Lindberg at 330-263-2047 or jlindberg@wooster.edu.