Jazz@UUCSS January 19, 2020

The Harry Appelman Quartet
Selma, Soweto, Bethlehem:
Jazz Reflections on Freedom Struggles

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Portraits of Harry Appelman at the piano on May 22, 2009. (staff photographer Will Yurman).

Harry Appelman, piano
Todd Marcus, bass clarinet
David Jernigan, bass
Eric Kennedy, drums

Join us on Martin Luther King weekend for a powerful program featuring jazz interpretations of music associated with three liberation movements: the U.S. civil rights struggle, South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, and the ongoing struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and human rights. 

Created by pianist Harry Appelman, the program includes compositions by South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, John Coltrane, and Lebanese oud player Marcel Khalife as well as arrangements of an African American spiritual, South Africa’s national anthem, and Palestinian and Israeli songs.


“There is no doubt that music plays an important part in all of these struggles.
Music is a natural human response to pain. It can provide hope and help sustain the will to act for change. In some cases, music directly expresses themes of liberation, maintaining dignity under repression, and the desire for peace. In others, it’s a symbol of cultural identity, which can be a source of pride and inspire people to keep up the struggle for freedom and self-determination.
We can, if we all do our part, make sure that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. As Frederick Douglas and others after him have said, ‘None of us are free if one of us is chained.’ ”
– Harry Appelman

Watch the quartet’s arrangement of “Zimbabwe” by Abdullah Ibrahim

jazz@uucss is a collaboration between the UUCSS Music Committee and jazz scholar, Bertrand Uberall. Our vision is to create an affordable, listener-friendly performance venue for jazz in the DC area, create new audiences for outstanding young jazz musicians, and foster connections between UUCSS and the local jazz community.