RiffShots of Jazz on Freedom as a Tribute to Nelson Mandela

“There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions”  ~ Anise Nin

Charles MingusFables of Faubus

Give a listen and feel the sense of freedom coursing through your heart and mind.  Just close your eyes, lean in and open yourself up to Mingus’ Fables of Faubus.  

This is a Jazz Tribute to Nelson Mandela who passed on yesterday.  My heart is filled with such sorrow for The Man Who personified freedom.  When I called my uncle Dr. Larry Ridley, around 2:00 pm (PT) he could not speak because he did extensive work in South Africa and simply loved Mandela who fought a valiant battle for freedom that rang out throughout the world.

 This reminds me of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s capturing the social resonance of the music’s embodiment of freedom though discipline and play, conveying the artistic and historical significance of the jazz culture at the start, and the heart, of the sixties. 

Jazz has always been one of the most important musical narratives of the African-American journey toward freedom in America. Emancipation did not mean equality for ex-slaves, and jazz, whose call to improvisation models the principles of freedom, has often documented the ongoing pursuit. Indeed, this year jazz musicians and educators Dr. Ronald Myers and Dr. Larry Ridley are illuminating African-American history within jazz by organizing a national Juneteenth jazz concert series.

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