Projects

Emergence

Through an exploration of Alice Coltrane’s spiritual jazz, Emergence examines what it means to make American music right now.

Emergence

Through an exploration of Alice Coltrane’s spiritual jazz, Emergence examines what it means to make American music right now.

Silkroad seeks support to commission and develop Emergence (working title), a new work by Ethiopian-American composer and saxophonist Danny Mekonnen that illuminates the “spiritual jazz” developed by pianist, harpist, singer, and composer Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (1937–2007).

Alice Coltrane was a significant influence on the music of her husband, John, and after his death, forged a new genre of musical expression that drew on the gospel of her childhood, her accomplished career in jazz, and Indian spiritualism. Mekonnen will develop the piece with Silkroad through a workshopping process that will engage the musical traditions of Ethiopia, India, the U.S. and others in a revisionist historical dialogue about the artist’s legacy. Just as Alice Coltrane fused elements of the diverse musical traditions that influenced her spiritual development, Emergence will draw on the rich tapestry of traditions that make up our many-layered contemporary identities in an act of radical cultural collaboration.

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