Painter Jacob Lawrence inspires an evening of jazz and soul.
Jacob Lawrence was 23 years old and living in New York City when he completed the Migration Series, a 60-panel set of paintings on cardboard that depicted the wave of African Americans who relocated to New York from the Deep South in the early 20th century. It’s an iconic work of American art—and the inspiration for composer Derek Bermel’s The Migration Series Concerto. Bermel’s piece was first performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra in 2006; in October it makes its debut in Seattle, where Lawrence was a longtime professor at the University of Washington. Seattle Symphony and Roosevelt High School Jazz Band perform the concerto, which swings with the grandeur of classic, big band-era jazz. This installment of Sonic Evolution also features Seattle-based guitarist Bill Frisell playing the music of Seattle-based keyboardist Wayne Horvitz as well as neo-soul singer Shaprece debuting a set of new material.