Jazz at Lincoln Heart Focuses on Music’s Position in Social Justice

Jazz at Lincoln Center Focuses on Music’s Role in Social Justice

With in-person concerts unlikely to return this spring, Jazz at Lincoln Center announced a full season of video presentations on Tuesday, each focusing on the role of jazz in the fight for social justice.

The spring schedule includes four shows, each streamed on the center’s website for $ 20 per ticket. (Member and subscriber prices are lower.) Each show will remain available for streaming for a period of days.

The first concert, “Legacies of Excellence”, will premiere on February 20th. With singer Catherine Russell, it examines the contributions of jazz legends through an educational lens and is presented as part of an initiative called Let Freedom Swing.

For the remaining three shows, guests will join the jazz in the Lincoln Center Orchestra, conducted by Wynton Marsalis. On March 26th, the ensemble will present “Voices of Freedom”, a celebration of four great jazz singers of the 20th century: Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone. A number of contemporary singers, including Melanie Charles and Shenel Johns, will interpret the famous works of these characters.

The orchestra returns on May 21 with Freedom, Justice and Hope, a program of new compositions by two emerging musicians: bassist Endea Owens, who will debut a suite in honor of black journalist Ida B. Wells; and trumpeter Josh Evans, who will present a work in response to the 1919 Elaine massacre in Arkansas. The compositions were written in collaboration with racial justice activist Bryan Stevenson, who will be attending the concert.

The season ends with a June 10 show dedicated to the music of John Coltrane, including a big band rendition of his iconic “A Love Supreme”.