A distinctive trait of Kevin Harris is his desire to constantly grow, evolve, improve, and advance.
In looking to expand his skills as a composer, Harris set out to put music to the renowned and significant thoughts shared by James Baldwin, in particular those from the book ‘The Fire Next Time’.
The actualization of this idea is his project “Roots, Water, and Sunlight”, which comprises three movements for a wind octet to be accompanied by rhythm section, digital instrumentation, and recorded words of Baldwin. It is set to debut at the Berklee Performance Center on February 5th.
Kevin Harris has assembled an extraordinary team of musicians who have shown to have their own voice and are eager to bring the audience through this journey. In this through composed piece, Harris’ instrument will not be his piano. Instead he will be at the very forefront, leading the ensemble in executing and delivering his message through the notes he has composed.
In “The Fire Next Time” Baldwin courageously addresses racial injustice in America. With his composition, Harris aspires to convey, through musical expression, Baldwin’s perspective on how blacks and whites must transcend what they think they know, believe, understand and fear, and that only by expanding their perception on both sides, they can fulfill and honor the way society can and perhaps should be.
In the words of Baldwin: “Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame” is the reminder that when our reality is unexpectedly shaken up by presenting itself in a different way, it is only by engaging with this new reality that we can actually find beneficial conclusions.
Baldwin’s unique understanding of the racial undertones of the 60’s seems to be quite close to what we are experiencing today, where challenged realities are not met with a willingness to evolve.
Harris’ ultimate desire is that his music will inspire his audience to listen carefully, to be in tune with all positive stimuli that surround us and continuously be committed to positive and courageous changes.
• Composer and Director:
• Wind Section:
Anggie Obin Flute
Jonathan Suazo Alto Sax
Gregory Groover Tenor Sax
Noah Slate French Horn
Jason Palmer Trumpet
John Bradford Trumpet
Elliot Brown Trombone
Max Agree Trombone
• Rhythm Section
Max Ridley Bass
Tyson Jackson Drums
Nikolai Mishchenko Piano
• Electronic Digital Instrumentation:
Advance tickets: $10
Day of show: $15