HARTFORD-BASED AFRO-INDIGENOUS JAZZ MUSICIAN LEE MIXASHAWN ROZIE LAUNCHES WORLD PREMIERE OF AN AMERICAN SONGBOOK
Lee Mixashawn Rozie, composer and bandleader, with the collaboration and support of the Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Hartford Jazz Society, will launch the world premiere of AN AMERICAN SONGBOOK (AMS) on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at 8 p.m., with the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Jazz Ensemble opening at 7 p.m. and a free master class offered from 4:30-6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at tickets.usj.edu or 860.231.5555 for $20-$14. Performances and the master class will be held in the Bruyette Athenaeum at the University of Saint Joseph, located at 1678 Asylum Ave., in West Hartford, Conn.
AMS is performed by a quartet of world-class musicians: Lee Mixashawn Rozie on sax and flute, Rick Rozie on bass, Warren Byrd on keys, and Pheeroan Aklaff on drums. AMS embraces the music of the Americas – from Indigenous to Bebop, Stomp to Funk, Ragtime to no time – music that freely spans styles and labels driven by the inner pulse of creativity and spontaneity. Encompassing over a 5000-year history and two continents, Mixashawn traces and demonstrates both indigenous American and African-American contributions to American Jazz.
Ronald Lyles, President of the Hartford Jazz Society says, “This project is mission-centric as our aim is to cultivate an appreciation of the sound, culture, and love of jazz by presenting a variety of live events and other activities throughout the Greater Hartford Community.”
Autorino Center Director Steven Raider Ginsburg says, “This is one of the season’s seminal events. Lee Mixashawn Rozie is an acclaimed musician, visionary, and composer, and this is the world premiere of a long-time passion project. Along with that, the partnership with such an esteemed community organization as the Hartford Jazz Society, the longest continuously operating jazz society in the country, makes this event a deeply community-engaged experience.”
On Thursday, Feb. 27, from 6-7 p.m., Lee Mixashawn Rozie will lead a lecture-demonstration focusing on the roles that sound, tradition, and “being” play in understanding how creative energy is the wellspring of living. Lee Mixashawn Rozie will explore through sound, history, and group interaction how we manifest creativity/life. The panel is free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved at tickets.usj.edu or 860.231.5555 and will be held in the Bruyette Athenaeum at the University of Saint Joseph.
Lee Mixashawn Rozie has been a practicing multidisciplinary and internationally-acclaimed Jazz artist for the past three decades. Mixashawn holds a degree in History and Ethnomusicology from Trinity College and is equally at home in academic and cultural settings. Beginning from the point of Indigenous artist, using ancient cultural principles, maritime arts, and historical data, both written and oral, he has developed a system of “Hemispheric Principles” to inform and guide his art form, more directly referred to as “Wave Art”: sonic, aquatic percussive and harmonic. Mixashawn offers musical performances and educational workshops on Indigenous music, traditional and contemporary, as well as original – workshops that utilize his extensive experience as a performer, Indigenous artist, and educator to inspire creativity and natural expression for all ages.
For Lee Mixashawn Rozie’s complete bio and additional information, visit mixashawn.com.
These performances at the Autorino Center have been made possible by an Arts Project Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
The Autorino Center has inaugurated its new Faculty Fellows program with the 2019-2020 season, an educational endeavor that augments the performances that occur onstage with online content curated by University of Saint Joseph faculty. For AMS, Christiana Best-Giacomini, LMSW, Ph.D., associate professor of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice, has assembled supplementary materials that can be found at http://autorino.usj.edu/facultyfellows.