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Community Music Center: CMC Teen Jazz Orchestra Performance, directed by Marcus Shelby
May 22, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
CMC’s Teen Jazz Orchestra will perform Jazz music learned this year including original music by Betty Reid Soskin, arranged by Marcus Shelby. Guest artist, vocalist, Jamie Zimmer, will be featured on the original music.
96-year-old Betty Reid Soskin is America’s oldest park ranger, famous for defying age and tirelessly speaking about segregation and civil rights in California and beyond. What most people don’t know is Betty was also an acclaimed singer/songwriter in the 1960s and 1970s with a voice like Billie Holiday and the relevance of Nina Simone, but she eschewed entertainment and never recorded commercially. Her songs are poetic reflections on her experiences as a mixed-race woman confronting Jim Crow style segregation in the workplace and the housing market in the East Bay. For 40 years, her music has sat untouched on dusty tapes, lost to the world
The process of this collaboration of composition, arrangement and performance is being documented in a feature-length film entitled “Sign my Name to Freedom”, intended for release in 2019 via public broadcasting and film festivals around the country.