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REGGIE WORKMAN'S AFRICAN-AMERICAN LEGACY PROJECT

Reggie Workman

REGGIE WORKMAN'S AFRICAN-AMERICAN LEGACY PROJECT (AALP) is a glorious 20-piece and 18 piece chorus created by the legendary bassist Reggie Workman to celebrate the legacy and future of African American composers and this great music we call "Jazz."

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 is a glorious 20-piece orchestra and 18-piece chorus created the by legendary bassist, Reggie Workman to celebrate the legacy and future of African-American composers and this create music we call “Jazz.” The musical concept of the AALP is similar to that of Mr. Workman’s mentor, John Coltrane. It involves utilizing a small group concept within the context of large group (here an orchestra and chorus) instrumentation and arrangements. Originally conducted by trumpet titan Charles Tolliver and most recently celebrated Trumpeter/Conductor Cecil Bridgewater, the AALP is history in the making as jazz stalwarts such as Billy Harper, Howard Johnson, Odean Pope and Reggie Workman and emerging artists, including E.J. Strickland and Stafford Hunter are joined by offspring and protégés dedicated to carrying the music forward. The repertoire features the music of great African-American composers and lyricists (including unique transcriptions of John Coltrane and Cal Massey compositions for Coltrane's Africa Brass Project), Abbey Lincoln and Workman and is evolving to include new compositions with each incarnation. The AALP has been successfully performed at such noted venues as Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, under the auspices of the Clef Club in Philadelphia, Harlem School for the Arts, The University of Mass at Amherst, the Virginia Museum, the fourth concert of Workman's historic Sculptured Sounds Festival 2007 and in October 2012, featured on the historic Impulse Records at 50 concerts at the Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall.  For the Sculptured Sounds Festival 2007, the AALP performed outreach to the community with three open community rehearsals and a concert at the Harlem School of the Arts that included several HSA students (sponsored by The New School). The students fully participated in the rehearsals, playing with a virtual who’s who of wonderful musicians, seasoned and emerging, Billy Harper, Jimmy Owens, E.J. Strickland, Howard Johnson, Matthew Garrison, Kiane Zawadi and more. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students and, since it was free to the public, an opportunity to expose a wider audience to the music of these great African-American composers. The AALP Concert and the Sculptured Sounds Music Festival as a whole was a critical and creative success. Besides garnering kudos from all the regional jazz trades and even Jazz Times, we were very favorably reviewed in the New York Times (Sculptured Sounds Festival Concert Sunday evening. The concept behind Workman’s AALP Workshop/Rehearsals Series and Concert is to provide a unique opportunity for talented teen music students to explore the wonderful legacy of African-American composers first hand, “buddying” with noted professional musicians, fully participating in the rehearsals while learning the rich history and legacy of this music. Another goal is to expand the repertoire of the AALP with each incarnation. We also are keeping the workshop/rehearsal open to public for viewing in order to encourage attendance by an even wider audience (i.e families, seniors) from the community. From the small studios of dedicated teachers in the community, to local venues and even the pews of our local places of worship, we are committed to reversing the steady decline of arts and music education in Harlem and similar underserved communities. Instead, we hope you will join the AALP in promoting our rich African-American musical legacy, now and to the future.