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Tonight, multipercussionist/bandleader/recording artist Ian Dogole has created an evening of tribute to a true giant in the history of Jazz and “World” music – pianist/composer Randy Weston. Entitled, “Afro-Weston,” the concert features new arrangements of some of Randy Weston’s most highly acclaimed Afro-infused Jazz compositions, with a special focus on pieces that blend the hypnotic and intoxicating instruments and rhythms of the Gnawa people from Morocco.
- Ian Dogole – African, Middle Eastern and South American hand drums and melodic percussion instruments, cymbals and shakers
- Yassir Chadly – gimbri (Moroccan 3-string bass lute), oud, qarqabas (Moroccan hand cymbals) and vocals
- Frank Martin – piano
- Paul McCandless – woodwinds
- Dave Tidball – woodwinds
- Dan Feiszli – double bass
The Weston compositions to be newly arranged and performed come from three transcendent recordings that document the power and spirit of his blending of indigenous music from other cultures into a Jazz-centric ensemble and approach – “The Spirits of Our Ancestor” (1991), “Saga” (1995) and “Khepera” (1998). Three of the Weston pieces that will serve as the foundation for this performance are “Blue Moses,” “African Cookbook” and “The Healers.”
“For over 50 years, Randy Weston has most eloquently and elegantly fused the indigenous music traditions of Africa into his voluminous output of Jazz compositions,” said Ian Dogole. “His seven-year residency in Morocco and frequent use of Gnawa musicians from Morocco in his performances and recordings speak to his deep affection for this music. I don’t know of any musician who has so profoundly and vividly conveyed the musical and spiritual connections between Jazz and its African roots. It is my hope that by celebrating his music with this tribute concert, we can share this aspect of his musical legacy with those who have been touched by his cross-cultural vision and with those who have not yet experienced the power and expansive nature of his music. I am so grateful to the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music (SFFCM) for providing me with a platform to honor Randy Weston’s Afro-centric approach to adventurous improvisational music.”
It is serendipitous that on the very same night as this performance, Randy Weston will celebrate his 90th birthday with a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, accompanied by his African Rhythms ensemble. Furthermore, Ian and his collaborators will be performing many of the same compositions at the concert as Randy and his band will be performing that night at Carnegie Hall.