Monthly Archives: September 2013

MARTIN LUTHER KING & THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

Excellent post by our friend, Paul Bradshaw…

MARTIN LUTHER KING & THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON is another magical film from the Hackney based Smoking Dogs. Directed by Jon Akomfrah this evocative and historically illuminating documentary celebrates the pivotal moment in modern history when the the Civil Rights movement descended on Washington DC to pressurise a vulnerable but sympathetic President John F Kennedy to go forward with his Civil Rights Bill.

As with all Smoking Dogs films it’s beautifully constructed and while the story is imbued with an intense urgency it’s punctuated by a monochrome, dream like quality that’s graced, at one point,  by Miles Davis’ muted horn.

The rigorous nature of Jon Akomfrah’s directorship ensures that Dr King’s role was not elevated in importance above others who played a crucial role in making the march happen. At the heart of the organisation was the so called ‘Big Six’ led by the charismatic Philip Randolph – president of…

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BOOK NOW: Great trailer by Denys Baptiste and Lemn Sissay for NOW IS THE TIME

Great little trailer for Denys Baptiste’s new project, Now Is The Time that goes on tour next Saturday. Please share with your friends!

Denys is working for the very first time with the award-winning poet, Lemn Sissay whose projected video narration of specially commissioned poetry is integral to the live music performance. Take a look, let us know if you like it, and get booking! We think you’re going to enjoy this show! 

Video produced by Franklyn Lane Films

VIDEO: New Denys Baptiste project – NOW IS THE TIME – tribute to Dr Martin Luther King Jr

We popped into Denys Baptiste’s rehearsal to get a sneak preview of his new music for Now Is The Time. As you might expect, there are a lot of great, memorable tunes and the band sounds GRRRRREAT!!

‘Now Is The Time…’ for Denys Baptiste to rehearse for the Lively Up! Festival Tour

Denys Baptiste rehearsal

This weekend we attended Denys Baptiste‘s Now Is The Time…Let Freedom Ring! rehearsal in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London where this project will be presented in a month’s time. It was a great rehearsal – thanks to Southbank Centre’s production team for facilitating this – and, oh my, our audiences are certainly in for a treat with this one!

It was brilliant to see some of the musicians who played on Let Freedom Ring! back in 2003 – musicians like Giorgio Serci (guitar), Satin Singh (percussion), Jenny Adejayan (cello) and Omar Puente (violin) – now 10 years older and a good bit wiser! We also saw Jazz Jamaica’s trombonist, Harry Brown in the musical director’s chair for the first time on one of our projects (nice one, Hazza!).

Now Is The Time is Denys’ new suite in four movements that preludes Let Freedom Ring! There’s plenty of classic jazz, blues and gospel in there, plus some Afrobeat and some properly groovin’, funky elements as well. Denys certainly knows how to write great tunes – we’ve already started humming the piece after just one rehearsal. Can’t wait to hear Now Is The Time with the choirs. It’s going to be absolutely amazing!

Could this be another Denys Baptiste classic? Very possibly… ! Check out the tour dates and find out when you can hear this wonderful new music.