Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation
Presented by the american vicarious
Saturday, January 11, 2020 @ 7PM
*Tickets include a $2 theater restoration fee
Using songs, lyrics, and imagery, Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation makes a testimony of the struggle endured by African Americans in the Southeast during Jim Crow and chronicles the efficacy of the Blues as a salve for suffering.
Gerald Clayton searches for honest expression in every note he plays. With harmonic curiosity and critical awareness, he develops musical narratives that unfold as a result of both deliberate searching and chance uncovering. The four-time GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer formally began his musical journey at the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where he received the 2002 Presidential Scholar of the Arts Award. Continuing his scholarly pursuits, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance at USC’s Thornton School of Music under the instruction of piano icon Billy Childs, after a year of intensive study with NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron at The Manhattan School of Music. Clayton won second place in the 2006 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Piano Competition.
René Marie has cemented her reputation as not only a singer but also a composer, arranger, theatrical performer and teacher. In the span of two decades she has released 11 recordings and has made countless stage performances. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations, René borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Her body of work is musical, but it’s more than just music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark corners of the human experience, and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit.
Christopher McElroen is a Brooklyn based media producer and director. Most recently, Christopher directed (A)loft Modulation, a world premiere play by Jaymes Jorlsing. Christopher received a 2013 Helen Hayes Award for his direction of the world premiere stage adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s iconic novel Invisible Man. Alongside visual artist Paul Chan and Creative Time, Christopher co-produced and directed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, a yearlong community development through the arts initiative in post-Katrina New Orleans. The project was recognized by the New York Times as one of the top ten national art events of 2007. The archives from the production have been acquired into the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and were on exhibit at MOMA May 2010 through September 2011. Christopher had the honor of directing the world-premiere of 51st (dream) State, the final work of poet, musician and activist Sekou Sundiata. 51st (dream) State was a multimedia exploration of American empire that premiered in New York at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival before touring internationally. Christopher co-founded the acclaimed Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) where from 1999 – 2009 he produced 41 productions yielding 18 AUDELCO Awards, 6 OBIE Awards, 2 Lucille Lortel Awards, a Drama Desk Award and CTH being named “1 of 8 theatres in America to Watch” by the Drama League.
the american vicarious, under Artistic Director Christopher McElroen, Producing Director Erica Laird and Executive Producer Tony Micocci, was formed in 2018 and is committed to producing creative content across disciplinary boundaries that aspires to reflect on America’s ideals and realities, and that which unites and divides its people. Their inaugural year, 2019, included Jaymes Jorsling’s (A)loft Modulation, and Sherief Elkatsha’s documentary film Far From the Nile in addition to Gerald Clayton’s concert installation Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation.
This performance is a showcase included in the NYC Winter JazzFest Marathon Pass and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference. Please RSVP here if you are attending either of those events with a valid badge