Michelle N. Gibson and New Orleans Jazz



Jacob’s Pillow (358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA 01223, Becket MA)

Michelle N. Gibson will be performing Takin’ it to the Roots in a roving performance across the Jacob’s Pillow campus, a dance theater work that investigates the creative impulse in Gibson’s choreography and practice, which is rooted in her New Orleans African American experience.

Gibson is a cultural ambassador of the diasporic dance traditions of the Black community in New Orleans. A Second Line Grand Marshall, her choreographic work embraces the spaces between the secular and sacred, touching on Contemporary Modern, Afro Funk, Jazz, Afro-Modern and her own New Orleans Original BuckShop Second Line Aesthetic.

A preacher’s daughter, she grew up with knowledge of Congo Square and its significance to New Orleans dance history, and clear understanding that the influences of Senegambian and Angolan dance on the enslaved Africans in New Orleans had as much to do with her attraction to the communal experience of Second Line culture as the sound of the brass band blaring or the buck jumping community members improvising their lived testimonies.

NOJO 7, led by Grammy-Award-Winning drummer and Artistic Director Adonis Rose, is a dynamic ensemble drawn from the full New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Playing within the New Orleans Brass Band style, the group has the versatility to perform within various musical idioms and has a broad repertoire that encompasses traditional New Orleans music, funk, R&B, and original compositions. The band tours with Ledisi, and has collaborated with the rapper Slick Rick, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eric Benét, and several other major performing artists.

Accessibility — This performance takes place at multiple sites across the Pillow campus, including a wooded area. Some sites may have limited seating. This performance encourages audience members to interact with the dancers and musicians. This roving performance involves uneven terrain on gravel and grass paths. Docents will guide audience members to each site. Golf carts are available to assist audience members to and from the sites. The sites are not wheelchair accessible.

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