Dom Flemons | The American Songster

GRAMMY award winner, two-time Emmy nominee,  and cofounder of GRAMMY award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops—Dom Flemons has been branded the moniker “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers over 100 years of early American popular music. Flemons is an American old-time music, Piedmont blues, and neotraditional country multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. An expert player on the banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife and rhythm bones, Flemons is a true modern Songster, engaging audiences from the green Carolinas to the ruddy Southwest with personalized interpretations of folk, blues, early jazz and rock, country, and original material.

Gretchen Parlato

“Gretchen is a singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music. She takes a lot of chances with her understated style, and it works. Every note is expressive, powerful, and pretty. And most important, her heart is in the right place.”—Herbie Hancock

In the ten years since her arrival in New York City, Gretchen Parlato has emerged as one of the most inventive and mesmerizing vocalists of her generation. In an artful communion of space, texture and a genre-bending repertoire, she has introduced a musical sea-change, making the power of subtlety front and center in jazz. Winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, Parlato has appeared on a bevy of other artists’ albums, including recordings by bassist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Kenny Barron, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, among others.

Joel Ross ‘Good Vibes’

“The vibraphonist Joel Ross is already widely known as contemporary jazz’s top prospect. Kingmaker, his major-label debut, out now on Blue Note, shows that he has what it takes to build something vital.”—New York Times

“I never had a doubt that I was going to do music,” says Joel Ross, the most thrilling new vibraphonist in America. The Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based player and composer has performed with historic and seasoned artists—Herbie Hancock, Louis Hayes, Christian McBride, and Stefon Harris—as well as with cutting-edge contemporaries like Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Clayton, and Marquis Hill. In 2019, Ross joined the Blue Note Records roster and added his name to an illustrious jazz vibraphone legacy on the label that extends from Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson to Stefon Harris and now Ross. At ArtPower, he will be performing with his newly minted Good Vibes ensemble.

Sean Jones’ Dizzy Spellz

Trumpeter, musical director Sean Jones and choreographer, tap dancer, and vocalist Brinae Ali have teamed up to create a piece that fuses elements of jazz, tap, hip-hop, and bebop to articulate the social vernacular of the African-American experience.

Inspired by the music and life story of Dizzy Gillespie, Dizzy Spellz offers an Afro-futuristic lens to explore the intersection of cultural and spiritual dilemmas with the African Diaspora. From Dizzy’s coming of age through the racial and social dynamics in the Deep South, to his creating and curating the bebop movement in New York, to his spiritual journey to Africa, and, finally, his delving into Afro-Cuban music and the Baha’i Faith, Dizzy was a complex man well ahead of his time and with plenty of stories to tell.

Harold López-Nussa

As a scion of an illustrious musical family, Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa is one of the brightest lights on Havana’s thriving jazz scene. Son of drummer Ruy López-Nussa and nephew of pianist Ernan López-Nussa, López-Nussa was born in Havana, where he still lives. “I need the kind of relaxed life that Havana gives me,” he said.

“Every time I return to Cuba, I feel something special—not just a connection with my family and friends, but with the place itself. This is where my music comes from, what it talks about.” His second release for Mack Avenue Records, Un Día Cualquiera, is grounded in the island’s cultural tradition and lifestyle, representing this musical vantage point with force and innovation. López-Nussa tells this story—his story—with drama, heartfelt emotion and consummate skills.

Corey Harris & Cedric Watson
True Blues

Featuring two of the most vivid voices in “modern-Delta” (Rolling Stone) blues—Corey Harris and Cedric Watson—team up for this special show. True Blues chronicles the extraordinary living culture of the blues in an evening of music and conversation and vividly brings to life this crucial wellspring of American music.

Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, bandleader, and MacArthur fellow Corey Harris has carved out his own in blues. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Wilco, among others, and was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese 2003 film, Feel Like Going Home, which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. Harris shares the stage with one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson—a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, and songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential.

Deirdre Bair

National Book Award–winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her 15 remarkable years in Paris with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, painting intimate new portraits of two literary giants and revealing secrets of the biographical art in her new book, Parisian Lives.

In 1971 Bair was a journalist and recently minted PhD who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize–winning author Samuel Beckett. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography and propelled Bair to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch? De Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile.

At ArtPower, Bair will speak about Parisian Lives—including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish back in the 1990s and that give audiences a new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.

Msaki and The Golden Circle

We regret to inform you that tomorrow’s performance on Wednesday, February 12 with Msaki and the Golden Circle has been cancelled. Unfortunately Msaki has fallen ill and is not being allowed to board any flights out of her country. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Our Box Office will be calling to process refunds. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the UC San Diego Box Office at 858-534-8497 or email artpower@ucsd.edu.

 

Trailblazing vocalist and guitarist Msaki creates a sound that combines soulful folk, Xhosa lyrics, and African polyrhythms with moments of sincere improvisation. Her raw delivery disrupts your senses as she weaves subtle tales of love, loss, home, revolution, and hope. For this performance, Msaki plays with the Golden Circle, an ever-evolving and expanding band of incredible musicians from different backgrounds that was created to retain and promote Africa’s identity and culture through soulful music.

Alicia Olatuja

Once you have listened to acclaimed vocalist, composer, and arranger Alicia Olatuja, you won’t soon forget her. Praised in the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone,” Olatuja combines the earthy with the sublime, bringing a grounded relatability to genres as lofty as classical, as venerated as jazz, and as gritty as R&B.

Olatuja returns to ArtPower with her new project: Intuition: Songs From The Minds Of Women, celebrating the musical contributions of women composers by reinterpreting their songs through her own lens of classic, jazzy soul. Intuition is a dazzling journey through time, tempo, genre, language, and culture from some of the most respected artists of our generation, featuring songs by Sade, Angela Bofill, Brenda Russell, Linda Creed, Imogen Heap, Tracy Chapman, Kate Bush, and others.

Jamison Ross

Grammy–nominated and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz award-winning drummer, bandleader, and vocalist Jamison Ross delivers the messages of humanity through the medium of jazz. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Jamison realized his passion for music while growing up in his grandfather’s church, where he felt the power of music. He began his study of jazz as a high school student and gained worldwide acclaim as a featured musician in the Tribeca Film Festival–winning documentary CHOPS.

His 2015 debut release, Jamison, introduced the world to his concept of rhythm and melody and also garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. His sophomore release, All For One, takes listeners a level deeper into Jamison’s ethos. The album is a result of a personal revelation that “we all have the capacity to love with empathy in a deeper way.”