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Darius Jones // For The People – Statues: Legacy of Sacrifice

Composer Darius Jones presents the completed live performance of his improvisatory reflection on American culture.

Overview

In the fall of 2020, Roulette will present composer Darius Jones’ complete multi-movement project For The People, including the premiere of its final installment: “Statues: Legacy Of Sacrifice.” Built on the foundational idea of American culture as a synonym for diversity, Mr. Jones’ sweeping 7-part work breaks boundaries and exposes the history of struggle, frustration, and cooperation throughout our nation’s past.

Mr. Jones presented the first movement of this project, “LawNOrder” (pronounced “law no order”), at Roulette in December 2017. With an ensemble of both instrumental and vocal artists, the 45-minute large ensemble game piece aims to question the concept of law and order throughout the history of the United States. His subsequent movement, “America The Joke,” brings a dark comedic perspective to the mythology of American culture. Roulette presented the world premiere of the third movement, “Being Caged in ICE,” in November 2018. In all three works, artists are given a time-frame and a series of guidelines with specific performance instructions to allow each participant the ability to express individual and uninhibited interpretations; a thematic reflection on American culture as a culmination of many unique yet equally critical perspectives. Mr. Jones encourages performers and audience members to face the truth behind actions against one another and ultimately broaden mindsets to create positive dialogue.

Mr. Jones’ November 2020 performance at Roulette will be the first time the entire seven movements of For the People will be performed, and will mark the premiere of the piece’s final movement. “Statues: Legacy of Sacrifice,” offers a commentary on the contemporary American struggle to achieve justice, equality, and freedom. The movement will showcase four civil rights characters who each sing a 10-minute solo encapsulating the themes presented. The November 2020 performance of the entire 105-minute piece, comprised of three large ensemble game pieces and four solo game pieces, affords the ideal opportunity to obtain high-quality video and audio recordings of this expansive and ambitious project.

Roulette is deeply committed not only to the creation of new work, but also to the long-term development of artists’ careers. The most evident manifestation of this idea can be seen in our multi-year commitment to the realization of this full work. Beyond Mr. Jones, any given Roulette evening may feature a now-established artist who has been with us since our earliest days in 1978, with a performance the following evening of an emerging artist making their first professional statements. With the shift to our current venue in 2011, we’ve managed to triple our programming, now presenting up to 120 music, dance, and intermedia shows annually, allowing ample opportunity for the newest creative voices of our time while continuing to invest in artists for the long-term. Roulette has proudly presented Mr. Jones and his work for over ten years in various capacities and looks forward to continuing support for him and many other artists in their endeavor to create work that is new and provoking.

Project Media

Darius Jones Quartet for Roulette TV
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Darius Jones Quartet performs “Book of Mæ’bul,” the third chapter in the Man’ish Boy series created by Jones.

Suggested 3min. excerpt: 6:07 – 9:03

Performers:
Lisle Ellis, bass
Jason Nazary, drums
Angelica Sanchez, piano

Darius Jones // For The People: America The Joke
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This excerpt of “America The Joke” illustrates Jones’ dark comedic approach to address issues plaguing our society.

Performed at Roulette on November 5, 2018

Ian Antonio, percussion
Gelsey Bell, voice
Nina Dante, voice
Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
Daniel Givens, electronics
Jessica Jones, tenor sax
Josh Modney, violin
Weston Olencki, trombone
Leia Slosberg, flute
Eric Wubbels, piano

Darius Jones // For The People: Being Caged in ICE
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The premiere of “Being Caged in ICE” depicts the longevity of struggle and frustration that accompany the perpetual feeling of restriction in society.

Performed at Roulette on November 5, 2018

Sean Conly, bass
Nick Dunston, bass
Shelley Nicole, voice
Mary Prescott, piano
Jean Carla Rodea, voice
Sugar Vendil, piano
Eric Wubbels, piano

Start and End Dates

11/01/202012/31/2020

Location

Brooklyn, New York

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Conceived in Chicago and established in a Tribeca loft in 1978 at the height of the Downtown experimental arts revolution, Roulette is one of the few surviving organizations to maintain its identity as an Artists’ Space and its commitment to bringing the experimental performing arts to a wider public. Roulette’s mission is to support artists…

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