In 2012, the iconic avant-garde trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith released a three-CD statement titled Ten Freedom Summers, the culmination of 30 years of research, introspection, composition and refinement. It is a tribute to the major figures and forces of the midcentury Civil Rights Movement, and it pulls the angularity of some contemporary Western classical music with the writhing pugnaciousness of free jazz. The recording sat near the top of the list on most 2012 jazz critics’ polls, and it made Smith a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In a career that includes co-founding the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and releasing three-dozen albums as a leader, this was Smith reckoning on another level with the way that art attacks assumptions.
Here he performs selections from 10 Freedom Summers with a coalition of colleagues from BANFF and other musicians, including D.C.’s own Brad Linde and Luke Stewart. This special, free performance is part of Smith’s two-day residency at the Georgetown Day School.
Register for tickets here.