Composer and media artist Douglas R Ewart convenes a supergroup of reedists, vocalists, and dancers, along with visual artist Floyd Webb and performance poet Sterling D. Plumpp to express the ideas, feelings, history, and consciousness of the AACM. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the AACM and the opening celebration of The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, Ewart premieres new compositions drawing from the poetry of Plumpp as well as the writings of J. A. Rogers.
Rita Warford, Recitation and vocals
Maggie Brown, Recitation and vocals
Duriel E. Harris, Vocals, poetry, and percussion
Edward Wilkerson Jr, Clarinets and percussion
Mwata Bowden, Clarinets and percussion
J. D. Parran, Clarinets and percussion
Harrison Bankhead, Cello and bass
Preyas Roy, Marimbas
Douglas R. Ewart, Compositions, clarinets, voice, and percussion
Sterling D. Plumpp, Poetry
Ni’Ja Whitson, Choreography and dance
About the Artist
Douglas R. Ewart is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, instrument builder, and visual artist. He is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, where he started experimenting with the material, texture, and sound of objects that were around him as a child. Ewart emigrated to the US in 1963 and in 1967 entered the School of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) as a student of Shaku Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell. In 1983, he founded Arawak Records, with releases including two original albums Red Hills and Bamboo Forest. His constantly evolving suite, Music from the Bamboo Forest, is comprised of six movements and uses numerous instruments—many of them handmade—such as bass and alto flutes, shakuhachi, panpipe, nay flutes, blocks, bells, gongs, and bambino.
Ewart has served as the Chair of the AACM multiple times between 1986 and 2009. He is a prolific lecturer, teacher, and workshop leader in the US, Europe, and Japan, and his visual art and in-gallery performances have been presented throughout the US. Ewart has led many ensembles including Douglas Ewart and Inventions, Clarinet Choir, Nyhabingi Drum Choir, Quadrasect, and Elements. Ewart has performed with a number of musicians including Muhal Richard Abrams, Fred Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis, Robert Dick, Ameen Muhammad, Von Freeman, George Lewis, Leo Smith, Cecil Taylor, Alvin Curran, Kahil El Zabar, Joseph Jarman, Kalaparush, Roscoe Mitchell, and Mwata Bowden.
The Freedom Principle features an interactive sound installation that Ewart created with George Lewis and Douglas Repetto titled Rio Negro (1992/2007/2015), as well as Stan Douglas's two-channel film installation, Hors Champ (1992), which Ewart collaborated on.