Sounds of Liberation feat. David Murray & Creative Arts Ensemble
performing Drum Dance to the Motherland
Thursday, October 31, 2019
8:00 PM
  • Performance

Johnny Brenda’s
1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA
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Program Info

$25 General Admission
21 & Over


Sounds of Liberation

  • Monnette Sudler – guitar
  • Bill Mills – keyboards
  • Charles Veasley – bass
  • Dwight James – drums
  • Juan Diego – vibraphone
  • Omar Hill – percussion
  • David Murray – tenor saxophone
  • Elliott Levin – saxophone
  • Jan Jeffries – percussion

Creative Arts Ensemble

  • Monnette Sudler – guitar
  • Charles Veasley – bass
  • Dwight James – drums
  • Juan Diego – vibraphone
  • Omar Hill – percussion
  • Chuck Treece – sound effects

This Halloween, Ars Nova Workshop celebrates the groundbreaking, eclectic career of one of Philadelphia’s legendary jazz pioneers, the vibraphonist and composer Khan Jamal.

Sounds Of Liberation was a band – and a social movement – formed in of the Germantown and Mt. Airy neighborhoods of Philadelphia in 1970. Originally conceived and formed by Jamal, the arrival of Byard Lancaster in 1971 helped shift their focus and efforts into a higher gear, placing the ensemble at the forefront of avant-garde Black expression in the early 1970s. The group issued one self-released album, New Horizons, in 1972 on their own Dogtown label, before making a surprise return in 2019 with a long-lost 1973 session from Columbia University and an ANW-presented reunion of the band’s surviving members. They’ll return to the stage with one of their most iconic contemporaries, free jazz tenor powerhouse David Murray, as their special guest.

Several members of Sounds of Liberation, including guitarist Monnette Sudler, drummer Dwight James, and bassist Billy Mills, also convened as members of the Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble. The same year as New Horizons was released, the CAE’s mind-blowing performance at Philadelphia’s Catacombs Club was captured for Drum Dance to the Motherland, an extremely limited edition release on Dogtown before a long-overdue reissue in 2018 reintroduced the band’s genre-blurring sounds to the world. In its improbable fusion of free jazz expressionism, black psychedelia, and full-on dub production techniques, this eccentric, one-of-a-kind masterpiece remains a bracingly powerful statement 45 years after it was recorded.

Cover: Sounds of Liberation / Photo via The Key