We were lucky enough to attend the first public performance of a new exciting project being developed by the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra as part of the free outdoor Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The piece is currently a work-in-progress, and this was a rare opportunity for jazz fans to get a “preview listen” to this challenging new work.
Marcus has been commissioned by the Creative Work Fund and the Committee for Black Performing Arts at Stanford University to collaborate with the Yerba Buena Arts & Events and the Museum of the African Diaspora to develop Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, an original oratorio for jazz orchestra.
The work, which is based on a book of the same name by Kate Clifford Larson, will tell the inspiring story of Harriet Tubman and will feature the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, members of the Glide Memorial Church choir, as well as several other well-known Bay Area vocalists. The full, completed piece is set to premiere at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in Spring 2007.