Ernest Dawkins: Redefining Frederick Douglass


Chicago, IL

Show: 8:30PM

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Event Details

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Ernest Dawkins' new composition Redefining Frederick Douglass honors, illuminates, and reinterprets the life and legacy of this African American hero and scholar.  Commissioned by Chamber Music America and presented by Live the Spirit Residency, this extended original work features a 10-piece instrumental ensemble and spoken word artistry.  


Ernest Dawkins- composer, director, saxophone, electronics

Khari B- disco poetry

Kevin King- woodwinds

Corey Wilkes- trumpet, electronics

Ben Lamar Gay- cornet, electronics 

Steve Berry- trombone

Will Faber- banjo, electronics 

Alexis Lombre- piano

Julius Paul- bass

Isaiah Spencer- drums

The piece makes audible the spirit, power, and philosophy of Douglass, conveying the complexity of his life and loves, the liberatory rhythm of his ideas, voice, and work, and the insights and example that his work as an activist and public figure provides for the present. Sounding out the emancipatory energy of Douglass' life, the movements of this piece let listeners both think through his legacy and feel it deeply.  The powers of self-determination, the creation of a language of liberation, and the intensity of his commitment to advancing and fighting for freedom stand as core themes in this work.   Dawkins' music creates a new opening into Douglass' legacy, inviting listeners into a dialogue across generations.  

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Event Location



3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL, 60618

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Ernest Dawkins / Khari B / Kevin King / Corey Wilkes / Ben Lamar Gay / Steve Berry / Will Faber / Alexis Lombre / Junius Paul / Isaiah Spencer