About the Grant

$30,000 to support Ten Freedom Summers (MAP 2011), a new musical composition by Wadada Leo Smith.

About the Project

Ten Freedom Summers is a three-evening musical composition by Wadada Leo Smith, which will be performed by Smith’s dynamic Golden Quartet, joined by Southwest Chamber Music and conducted by Grammy Award–winner Jeff von der Schmidt. This large multimovement work is inspired by the activity of the civil rights movement from 1954–1964. The composition is in suite form and reflects the spiritual condition and attitude surrounding many incidents that changed American social history.

Ten Freedom Summers
is commissioned by the MAP Fund, James Irvine Foundation, and the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundations. Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Foundation commissioned “America” for the Golden Quartet, which inspires the opening of Ten Freedom Summers.

The music of Ten Freedom Summers is a psychological interpretation of the events pertinent to the struggle for civil rights, not a pictorial or cinematic treatment that musically describes each event or situation. The trajectory of the three-concert experience is: Concert One—America Part 1 & Part 2, Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party 1964, Rosa Parks, and The Freedom Riders Ride; Concert Two—Dred Scott 1857, Democracy, Buzzsaw: The Myth of the Free Press, September 11, 2001, and People of the Shahada; Concert Three—Brown v. Board of Education 1954, Little Rock Nine 1957,Freedom Summer 1964, LBJ Civil Rights Act 1964, and Martin Luther King, Jr.—Memphis Prophecy and Assassination.

The world premiere will take place October 28–30, 2011, at REDCAT at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Related Websites

Southwest Chamber Music


Grantee Search

Pick any or all criteria.

Enter names, keywords or phrases, e.g. "2004" or "dance":