Gig of the Week: Davis on ‘DuSable to Obama’
By Jessi Virtusio Gig of the Weekemail@example.com March 6, 2013 12:09PM
Orbert Davis, a Momence native, is a clinical associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
FROM CHICAGO’S BLACK METROPOLIS’
♦ 4 p.m. March 10
♦ The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, off University Parkway east of Governors Highway, University Park
♦ Tickets, $30, or $10 for students with 10 percent savings for seniors and 20 percent savings for groups of 10 or more
♦ (708) 235-2222, centertickets.net
♦ This Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble performance, led by Orbert Davis, will be followed by a panel discussion
Updated: April 9, 2013 11:08AM
Governors State University’s One More Night series will close its 2012-13 season with “DuSable to Obama: Music from Chicago’s Black Metropolis.”
The show will feature the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, led by trumpet player Orbert Davis.
“It’s 100 percent classical and 100 percent jazz,” Davis said of the CJP, which he co-founded .
“We create new music with the fusion of the two. By doing so, it created a sound and music that many people can identify with.
“I call it inner diversity. It’s being diverse on the inside that allows us to be extremely flexible.
“What we do is so unexpected that the audience leaves fulfilled and wanting more.”
The March 10 concert in University Park will include music from the Emmy Award-winning documentary “DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis.”
“This upcoming performance features some of the most talented musicians from the Chicago area,” said Davis, a clinical associate professor of music at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Those musicians include saxophonist Ari Brown and singer Maggie Brown.
The free panel discussion “What is Next for Chicago’s Black Metropolis?” will follow the concert.
Moderated by Craig Gilmore, board chair of 100 Black Men of Chicago Inc., the panel will include Davis, who grew up in Momence.
“It’s the closest venue to my hometown,” he said of GSU. “There’s so much of the community that I just love and I know. I feel a part of the community.”
Other panelists include:
♦ Bennett Johnson II, of Third World Press.
♦ The Rev. Michael G. Sykes, pastor of Faith United Protestant Church in Park Forest.
♦ Melody Spann-Cooper, chairman of Midway Broadcasting and president of WVON Radio.
♦ James Montgomery, an attorney and managing partner at Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Montgomery, L.L.C.
♦ Andrea Zopp, president and chief executive officer of Chicago Urban League.
“When I started scoring the film, I learned so much about not only African-American history as it pertains to Chicago but just Chicago history,” Davis said.
“For me, music is the soundtrack to our lives and the aspect of being a part of a musical performance and having the discussion is going to open many people’s eyes not only to what the music was about, but what the documentary taught.
“It allows us to discuss and debate various issues. I think that’s through education. That’s so different from students studying to take a test.
“It’s really about discovering the history of the arts and discovering who we are in the process.”
March 10’s show will include video highlights.
“It’s that powerful,” Davis said of the documentary. It’s something that everybody needs to see.
“There will be parts that will touch everyone’s hearts. So this opportunity to present it live, we’re really excited about it.
“Stories can be told in different ways through the documentary, through newspapers, through books, but for this experience the music tells the story.”
“I think of it as a silent movie,” he said about the March 10 gig. “There’s sections where images will be on screen and music will be played to the images.
“Not a word will be spoken, but the message comes across.”
More of my conversation with Orbert Davis will be on Elaborating on Entertainment at blogs.southtownstar.com/entertainment.