Ancestors Mothers’ Day Concert to Benefit Berkshire Hospice and Freeman Women’s Center
Percussionist, author, activist, and Pittsfield native Royal Hartigan brings his Blood Drum Spirit ensemble to Pittsfield, Massachusetts to honor our ancestors on Mothers’ Day, Sunday, 9 May, 2010, at 3 pm. The concert will take place at the First Church Congregational at 27 East Street, Pittsfield, at Park Square (see map). A free will offering is suggested and all proceeds from offerings and CD sales will be donated to the Hospice Care of the Berkshires and the Elizabeth Freeman Women’s Center of Pittsfield. Hartigan will be joined by saxophonist David Bindman, pianist Art Hirahara, bassist Wes Brown, and Asante dancer Kwabena Boateng.
As a recipient of both J. William Fulbright and Asian Cultural Council awards, Dr. Hartigan has performed, conducted research, recorded, and taught in the Philippines in residencies since 2006. He also brings students from UMass Dartmouth, where he is a professor, to Ghana, West Africa, each year, studying in rural villages with master drummers and dancers. A scholar of world music, Hartigan has published four books and participated in numerous recordings as a sideman or with his ensemble. His mother, Hazel Hartigan, and uncle, Ray Hart, were tap dancers and musicians who toured throughout the world and taught tap in the Berkshires from the 1930s to the 1970s.
The Blood Drum Spirit ensemble brings a global vision to music, exploring deep into the world’s great traditions through the prism of live jazz performance. Ensemble members have lived, played and toured throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, and Asia, including four tours of China as featured ensemble at the renowned Beijing Midi Jazz Festival. They have released three double CDs, most recently Ancestors and Blood Drum Spirit Live in China, (Innova 2008), both to critical acclaim. In its 27th year, Blood Drum Spirit features a combination of world music with extended improvisations, original compositions reflecting influences from India and Africa, as well as unique interpretations of jazz classics in the African American tradition.