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Friday and Saturday, July 1 & 2
Doug Hammond “Solo Griot” | Rod Williams Ensemble
Doors at 7:30 pm

TThis killer double bill links the legacy of Detroit's legendary Tribe Records with the music of today, pairing the work of master percussionist and composer Doug Hammond with the outstanding ensemble of pianist Rod Williams.

A native of Florida but also a former Detroiter, Doug Hammond made his recording debut as a leader with one of the greatest releases in the Tribe catalogue, Reflections in the Sea of Nurnen. His career as a drummer included working with Nina Simone, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Donald  Byrd, Betty Carter, Regina Carter and Charles Mingus, whose record Mingus Moves is named for Hammonds's composition "Moves." Mingus' cover of this track, which also appeared on Sea of Nurnen, was an incredible tip of the hat from one of jazz's most important composers. Hammond is also the originator of the M-Base method of improvisation, which is often misattributed to his disciple, saxophonist Steve Coleman. M-Base has been utilized players like Geri Allen, Regina Carter. For this performance, Hammond will play a solo "Griot" set, with special guest artists.

When Tribe Records co-founder Phil Ranelin had to assemble a band to tour his new Vibes from the Tribe record, he decided on several then-unknown Detroit musicians, including Rod Williams on piano and the future rhythm section of Griot Galaxy: Jaribu Shahid on bass and Tani Tabbal on drums. For this special concert, Williams reunites with Shahid and adds younger generation Detroit musical stalwarts Djallo Djakate (drums) and Rafael Statin (winds). Williams, now a New Yorker, has worked with such luminaries as Lester Bowie, David Murray, Sam Rivers and Henry Threadgill. 

Wednesday, July 13
Kombilesa Mi (Columbia)

Kombilesa Mí is born from the rich musical and historical heritage of San Basilio de Palenque,  the first free black town in the Americas, fuses the traditional sounds of the community with urban music.  Members of Kombilesa Mi like Afroneto, KRMP, Mc Pm, and others, experiment with the possibilities of the instruments introduced to them when they were young, the very ones created by their ancestors and layer them with new sounds. The instrumentation includes traditional drums, their own creations of metal handmade drums, the marímbula and they rhyme and rap in Spanish and the traditional Palenquera language, a fusion with African Bantu, Portuguese, French, and English. The new genre is called RFP, which stands for Rap Folklorico Palenquero and includes cumbia, son de negro, mápale and son palenquero.