Wadada Leo Smith

Τen Freedom Summers

Improvisation at the OCC

1 November 2014
Main Stage
Αn activist rhapsody on the struggle for political rights by a jazz improvisation pioneer
15 – 18 – 28 €
Concs 10 – 12 – 15 €
Unemployed 5 €
Social activism has always played a more central role in Wadada Leo Smith's life than his aesthetic explorations within the Western musical tradition. His pivotal role in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (A.A.C.C.), an organization that has left an indelible stamp on artistic events of all kinds in Chicago, was part and parcel of these activities. Similarly, the 22 compositions that make up his Ten Freedom Summers, a work which focuses on 1954-64, the period in which the young trumpeter was growing up, essay a psychological interpretation of events connected with the Civil Rights Movement.

But this is no picturesque or programmatic take on the Black American struggle for rights that should have been self-evident. Uninterested in describing situations and events, the music seeks instead to penetrate and respond to the pulse of those world-defining times: to Martin Luther King's Memphis speech, the March on Washington in 1963 to demand freedom, equality and employment, and the historic “I have a dream” address.

Smith and his 'Golden' quartet join forces with the video artist Jesse Gilbert to deliver a concert-fleuve which transcends his sound to confirm Smith's status as an engaged citizen activist as well as a key figure in the development of creative music, written and improvised alike.

Alongside there will be the Symposium: "Sounding possibilities: Improvisation and community action” and two more exceptional  performances by Medea Electronique "Koumaria Residency 2014" and Glue


Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet
Anthony Davis: piano
John Lindberg: double bass
Pheeroan akLaff: drums

Jesse Gilbert: video and projections

2 Nov 2014

Free admission


Talk-presentation with Wadada Leo Smith

sponsoring / partnerships

Supported by

Hospitality sponsor

Medical cover


2 Nov 2014

21:00 Upper Stage
18 €
Concs 10 € | Unemployed 5 €



31 Oct 2014

20:00 Upper Stage
Free admission


Medea Electronique Koumaria Residency 2014

1 - 2 Nov 2014

Upper Stage
Free admission


Symposium: "Sounding possibilities: Improvisation and community action”