In keeping with our recently established practice of finding creative ways to celebrate All Saints Weekend – known variously in different parts of the globe as All Souls, Dia de los Muertos, Fete Gede, etc. – FCCOL will welcome Michele Rosewoman and her New Yor-Uba Jazz Ensemble to Old Lyme on Saturday evening, Oct. 28, and again on Sunday morning, Oct. 29. The ensemble will offer a free concert (with a suggested donation of $20) in the Meetinghouse at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday night and perform sacred music as part of the church’s 10:00 a.m. Sunday worship service. We are fortunate indeed to be able to welcome such a stellar and storied ensemble to our community.
Formed 40 years ago, Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba has blended contemporary jazz and traditional Cuban music, tracing the path of a dynamic musical and spiritual system from Nigeria to Cuba and then to New York (and, by extension, New England as well). This is the tradition of the Orishas, spiritual deities that govern different aspects of the world and of human life. The Orishas have provided strength and shelter for generations of people seeking to preserve their ancestry, and humanity, across numerous and varied hardships. Yoruba music and spirituality has been a gift to world culture, and has shaped the life of the Americas in ways that deserve broader recognition. Through her decades of musical innovation, Michele Rosewoman has been instrumental in bringing both the music, and the traditions, to a wider public.
New Yor-Uba is composed of: Michele Rosewoman (piano), Alejandro Berti (trumpet), Greg Osby (alto, soprano sax), Stacy Dillard (tenor sax), Chris Washburne (trombone, tuba), Yunior Terry (bass), Robby Ameen (drums), Román Díaz (percussion) Rafael Monteagudo (percussion), Abraham Rodriguez (percussion) and Roger Consiglio (vocals).
Funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, these concerts are a part of a wider tour this fall, with stops at Boston University and in Springfield, MA (The Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares). Using music as the conduit, it is an effort to highlight the contributions of African and Afro-Diasporic traditions to the cultural life of New England.