Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to photograph the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra performing live at Presentation Theater as part of the USF Black History Month series of events. The band played two sets comprising music from The Lights Suite, Port Chicago, and their current work-in-progress Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman — this was one of only a few opportunities 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, tells the inspiring story of Harriet Tubman and features the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, members of the Glide Memorial Church choir, as well as many other well-known Bay Area vocalists.
The full, completed piece is set to premiere at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival at 1pm on May 5, 2007. In the meantime, you might want to check Marcus’s schedule for more upcoming shows and educational events surrounding this new body of work.
You can click the thumbnails below to see larger versions of the pictures, or alternatively, click here to view a slideshow of the entire photo set.