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Oliver Lake’s JUSTICE with Sonic Liberation Front – The Vocal Works of Oliver Lake

Oliver Lake’s JUSTICE with Sonic Liberation Front – The Vocal Works of Oliver Lake
Friday, August 5th 8PM
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement
1542 East Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125


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Oliver Lake’s JUSTICE with Sonic Liberation Front | Oliver Lake – composer, arranger, conduction, spoken word / Kevin Diehl: drumkit, synth drums / Elliot Levin: tenor sax / Veronica Jurkiewicz: violin / Matt Engle: acoustic bass / Jameka Gordon: flute / Voices: Chaela Harris – alto / Ravi Seenerine – tenor / Shanon Chua – soprano

Oliver Lake is a man known for many things – saxophonist, bandleader, composer, trailblazer. Yet, somehow he is about to be known for another. For years known as one of the greatest composers and bandleaders in the vanguard of jazz, Oliver Lake is stepping out with one of the most-unique recording projects of his 50-year career: Justice – The Vocal Works of Oliver Lake.

The Justice project represents Lake’s first work centered around his stellar compositions for voice. The selections vary: voices with quintet, a capella with poetry, voices with quintet and poetry, conduction. Among the highlights are Oliver reading his own poetry. The performances vary greatly in mood, sentiment, and timbre. The compositions, the poetry and performances are cries for love, justice, empathy, and progress, for a world in need of the same.

While being primarily known as a saxophonist and bandleader, Oliver’s truest gift is as a composer. His interest in recent years has shifted outside the sound of the saxophone – focusing more and more on the ability to harness the voice as an instrument.

The artistic scope of renowned saxophonist, composer, painter, and poet Oliver Lake’s half-century-long career is unparalleled. Lake’s extensive collaborations include work with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Flux String Quartet, Bjork, Lou Reed, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Anthony Braxton, James Blood Ulmer, William Parker, Vijay Iyer, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille and a veritable who’s who of the jazz vanguard.

Lake’s breadth of disciplines can be traced back to his formative years with the Black Artists Group, the innovative St. Louis collective of musicians, poets, dancers and painters he helped architect over 35 years ago. As a co-founder of the internationally acclaimed World Saxophone Quartet (with fellow luminaries David Murray, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett), Oliver firmly established himself in the “Loft” jazz scene of the 1970’s in New York City, and has since produced a body of work that is both expansive and versatile enough to avoid falling solely into the trappings of the “avant-garde” and “free” labels. The fact that his work can stand on compositional merit alone, all while he has etched a place for himself as one of the elite saxophone players and improvisers of recent times, is a testament to Oliver Lake’s stature as an artist.

A trailblazer through and through, Oliver Lake continues to produce in the vociferous, uncompromising way he only knows how to, currently immersed in the work of such adventurous ensembles as the Oliver Lake Organ Quartet, Oliver Lake and the Sonic Liberation Singers, Oliver Lake Big Band and Trio 3.

Sonic Liberation Front is deeply rooted in the traditions of Afro Cuban music and has spent years fusing that grand tradition with new sounds including composed jazz, modern chamber composition, and the powerful Orisha spirit.

Sonic Liberation Front brings together sounds and time periods in a manner like no other band around today. As Sonic Liberation Front, this ensemble has consistently won international critical acclaim and have been named #1 or Top 10 by the Village Voice, All About Jazz, Jazziz, and more. The band has recorded five internationally-distributed albums. The ensemble has played extensively in the Philadelphia and New York area, and at festivals and cultural institutions throughout the Midwest U.S. and Canada.

“At times wild and purgative, the album is also full of moments like this one: poised, stubbornly hopeful, grounded in Lake’s memories of a more revolutionary age and seeking to stir that energy up again”. – GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO/NEW YORK TIMES – [THE PLAYLIST] June 10, 2022

venue is wheelchair accessible, please contact us at media at museumfire dot com for more info

This performance made possible by a sponsorship grant from Penn Treaty Special Services District.

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Evangelical Lutheran Church of The Atonement
1542 East Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125 United States
267 639-9224
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