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FringeArts – The Philadelphia Jazz Tap Ensemble: I Hope You Were Listening
September 16 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
What brings you here? What is that key moment in each of our lives, when we begin the one thing that will define our lives? We step into a studio, sit down with an instrument, or confront a blank canvas. Whatever it was that brought you to that beginning moment, it is alive. It’s what brings us here, now. Jazz calls us to create in the moment, out of the past.
I Hope You Were Listening was inspired by a story we read about Philadelphia jazz musicians, McCoy Tyner and Bobby Timmons, and how they began their studies in piano. Starting at the same piano bench, they shared the same music teacher as kids, but their trajectories in jazz were so different. They went on to define their sounds with two diverging band leaders – for Tyner, John Coltrane; for Timmons, Art Blakey.
Playing jazz is about making a personal journey: seeking and finding information and then making it one’s own. Learning how to play jazz happens by listening to another person’s body. The primary body gives us sounds, melodies, and memories; the secondary body then recalls them, imitates them, and then innovates them. The stories of what came before us, therefore, live through us and create our future. We as an ensemble are conscious of how much information we all hold, what we will do with it, how we will make it our own, and whether any of it will last after we are gone.
This concert of tap dance, jazz music, vocussion, and spoken word explores the music and the Philly connections between McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons, and John Coltrane. The Philadelphia Jazz Tap Ensemble advances the scope of American tap dance and jazz music traditions through current choreography, modern compositions, progressive performances, and accessible environments and contexts for the work. Utilizing the synergistic forms of tap dance and jazz music, the company reflects shared American history and our collective future.
The Philadelphia Jazz Tap Ensemble
Artistic Director, Choreographer
Arranger: Pamela Hetherington
Music Direction: Tim Brey
Company advisor and additional direction by Katherine Kramer
Mark Allen, saxophone
Tim Brey, piano
Pamela Hetherington, tap shoes
Anwar Marshall, drums
Madison Rast, bass
Bethlehem Roberson, tap shoes, tarima, vocals
Sponsored in part by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and Jazz in Fairmount.
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