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Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and trumpet master, Nicholas Payton, will be live in concert with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, featuring two masterworks rarely encountered in the concert hall: “Sketches of Spain” and “Black American Symphony” (United States premiere). Both works highlight the contribution of Black American music to the world, here through the lens of symphonic music. “Sketches of Spain”–the renowned 1960 concept album by Miles Davis and Gil Evans–explores and reinterprets the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms of Spain. In concert, while the orchestra performs from the manuscripts prepared for the original recording, Payton reconsiders the cultural influences of Spain via the Moors from Africa. In “Black American Symphony,” Payton draws exclusively from the canon of 20th century black music (blues, gospel, jazz, rhythm & blues, hip-hop) to reveal a continuum of communal expression of a people that continues to change with the times. This timely statement sums up the last 100 years of Black American music and suggests the possibilities of what is ahead for the next 100 years. Joining Payton on stage to conduct this work will be Darin Atwater, founding director of Soulful Symphony.

The concert is produced by Colorado College under the auspices of the Colorado College Africana Intellectual Project and Office of Performing Arts.

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Nicholas Payton in Concert with The Colorado Springs Philharmonic


Pikes Peak Center
190 South Cascade Avenue
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903
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