JazzArts Charlotte presents the regional premiere of “We Insist” during the 60th anniversary of this jazz suite’s groundbreaking artistic statement of civil rights and social justice. “We Insist,” Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, is a classic protest jazz album released in 1960 on themes related to the civil rights movement. This performance, created on Charlotte’s Black Lives Matter mural plaza, is presented in conjunction with Black History Month.
Composer and drummer Max Roach, born in Newland, North Carolina, is considered one of the most important jazz drummers in history. He is one of the many influential jazz musicians from this region that makes the Carolina’s a well of jazz history. The Carolina’s continues to be a source of world-class jazz musicians.
There is a historic link between jazz and civil rights. As the leading genre of music of the 1950s and ’60s, it offered both a common ground between white and black communities and created an artistic outlet for the message of equality.
Music led by special guest trumpeter Sean Jones. Jones is an internationally-recognized performer, leader, composer, and educator, served as lead trumpeter for Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra and is currently the President of Jazz Education Network.
Performed on the Black Lives Matter mural as a combined artistic statement to reinforce the desire to elevate the message of social justice, equity and inclusion, and make it a priority.
Sean Jones is joined by regional musicians, speakers, and dancers on the mural for an integrated artistic expression, then and now.
This production was developed by JazzArts Charlotte, in partnership with Charlotte Center City Partners, Levine Museum of the New South, US Bank, and Knight Foundation.
Sean Jones, trumpet
Dawn Anthony, vocalist
Elijah Freeman, tenor saxophone
Lovell Bradford, piano
Ocie Davis, drums
Shannon Hoover, bass
Tyrone Jefferson, trombone
Johnny Vegara, congas
Noah Munford, congas
Gary Munford, congas
Rajuma Bey, congas
Dr. Willie Griffin, speaker & historian at the Levine Museum of the New South
Quentin Talley, poet & Program Director at Hayti Heritage Center
Tamara Williams, choreographer
Dinora Ramirez, Lydia Heidt, & Raquelah Conyers, dancers