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SCAT!

SCAT!

An immersive work that takes audiences on a journey through a 1940s Kansas City jazz club filled with dancing, storytelling and a live band.

Updates

August 11, 2016City Of Hill-Migration Blues

Posted by: Urban Bush Women

City Of Hill-Migration Blues 

Sung by Pyeng Threadgill & Du’Bois A’Keen

Written by Craig Harris

Music from a work-in-progress showing of SCAT! at the Apollo Music Cafe on April 28, 2016.

SCAT! was created by Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Dramaturg Talvin Wilks in collaboration with The Company. 

Songs from SCAT!

This Song For You

Sung by Camille Thurman

Written by Craig Harris

Reminiscing 

Sung by Tendayi Kuumba, Camille Thurman, Pyeng Threadgill

Written by Craig Harris

Parker’s Mood by Charlie Parker

Sung by Tendayi Kuumba

Mrs. Wrong 

Sung by Tendayi Kuumba with Craig Harris

Written by Craig Harris

Many Things

Sung by Pyeng Threadgill

Written by Craig Harris

Hep Hep 1

Sung by Band and Performers

Written by Craig Harris

City Of Hill-Migration Blues 

Sung by Pyeng Threadgill & Du’Bois A’Keen

Written by Craig Harris

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August 11, 2016: Mrs. Wrong

Posted by: Urban Bush Women

Mrs. Wrong 

Sung by Tendayi Kuumba with Craig Harris

Written by Craig Harris

Music from a work-in-progress showing of SCAT! at the Apollo Music Cafe on April 28, 2016.

SCAT! was created by Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Dramaturg Talvin Wilks in collaboration with The Company.

Songs from SCAT!

This Song For You

Sung by Camille Thurman

Written by Craig Harris

Reminiscing 

Sung by Tendayi Kuumba, Camille Thurman, Pyeng Threadgill

Written by Craig Harris

Parker’s Mood by Charlie Parker

Sung by Tendayi Kuumba

Mrs. Wrong 

Sung by Tendayi Kuumba with Craig Harris

Written by Craig Harris

Many Things

Sung by Pyeng Threadgill

Written by Craig Harris

Hep Hep 1

Sung by Band and Performers

Written by Craig Harris

City Of Hill-Migration Blues 

Sung by Pyeng Threadgill & Du’Bois A’Keen

Written by Craig Harris

August 11, 2016: This Song For You

Posted by: Urban Bush Women

This Song For You

Sung by Camille Thurman

Written by Craig Harris

Music from a work-in-progress showing of SCAT! at the Apollo Music Cafe on April 28, 2016.

SCAT! was created by Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Dramaturg Talvin Wilks in collaboration with The Company. 

August 8, 2016: SCAT! Craig Harris, Composer, Trombonist & Band Leader

Posted by: Urban Bush Women

Composer and Trombonist, Craig Harris, leads the band during a work-in-progress showing of SCAT! at the Apollo Music Cafe. SCAT! was created by Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Dramaturg Talvin Wilks in collaboration with The Company. 

Band
Kahlil Kwame Bell (Drummer)
Craig Harris (Band Leader & Trombone)
Michael King (Piano Player)
Melissa Slocum (Bassist)
Camille Thurman (Vocalist & Saxophonist)

August 8, 2016: SCAT! Dress Rehearsal – April 28, 2016 at the Apollo Music Cafe

Posted by: Urban Bush Women

Scat!, set in a fictional Kansas City Jazz Club, is a multi-disciplinary jazz journey taking audiences back to the days of the Great Migration through song, dance and storytelling.

Created by Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Dramaturg Talvin Wilks in collaboration with The Company. Original composition by Craig Harris.

Performers
Du’Bois A’Keen, Amanda Castro, Courtney J. Cook, Chanon Judson,
Tendayi Kuumba, Stephanie Mas, Samantha Speis with special guest Pyeng Threadgill

Book by 
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Talvin Wilks with Tendayi Kuumba

Music and Lyrics by 
Craig Harris

Music Copyist
Richard Fairfax

Performance Coach
William Nadylam

Lighting Designer
Susan Hamburger

Costume Designer
Naoko Nagata

Band
Kahlil Kwame Bell (Drummer)
Craig Harris (Band Leader & Trombone)
Michael King (Piano Player)
Melissa Slocum (Bassist)
Camille Thurman (Vocalist & Saxophonist)

Music
All original compositions, Craig Harris
“Parker’s Mood” by Charlie Parker
with lyrics by King Pleasure
“Where Are You?” by Dinah Washington
– Dinah ‘62 (re-mastered)

URBAN BUSH WOMEN

Founder/Visioning Partner 
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Producing Partner                                                                                                                                                                     Jonathan D. Secor

Associate Artistic Directors 
Chanon Judson & Samantha Speis 

Associate Producer LD/Production Manager Operations Manager
Lai-Lin Robinson Susan Hamburger Tahnia Belle

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Overview

SCAT! is a multi-disciplinary, immersive jazz journey taking audiences back to the days of the Great Migration. Set in a 1940s Kansas City jazz club, SCAT! features a live original jazz score by award-winning composer Craig Harris, a quartet of musicians, the Urban Bush Women (UBW) dancers and guest artist Pyeng Threadgill. The audience plays an integral role as participants in an actual club setting, food and drink included. SCAT! takes its name from a kind of improvised jazz singing in which the voice is used to emulate sounds of a musical instrument. By placing the work in a club-like venue with a live band, in this case the Apollo Music Café, SCAT! will take on the vibrancy, casualness and interplay between audience and performers found in jazz clubs.

 

Musically, SCAT! will utilize a jazz quartet and live vocals to support the work’s physical and verbal storytelling. In its full conception, the club's waiters and bartender will be performers. Elements of the music as well as the movement will be improvised each evening as performers interact with the public, with choreographic concepts reflecting the improvisational nature of jazz and scat singing.

 

This evening-length performance will be brought to life by UBW’s electric ensemble of seven dancers in collaboration with some of New York City's finest musicians. The Harlem-based composer Craig Harris will create an original jazz score, play trombone and lead the band with pianist Michael King, bassist Melissa Slocum, drummer Kahlil Kwame Bell, and vocalist Camille Thurman. The Urban Bush Women dancers will also sing, scat and tell stories as they move across the stage and among the audience, who will be seated at café tables and bar stools. This theatrical dance work will also feature costumes by Naoko Nagata, lighting by Susan Hamburger, and dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks.

 

UBW is currently developing SCAT! with the goal of mounting it as a long-running theatrical production in the future. In partnership with the Apollo Theater, UBW will present five public, work-in-progress showings of SCAT! from April 28-May 1, 2016, with tickets priced at $15. These workshop presentations are a vital stage in creative development of this new piece, particularly to work with the new score and live musicians and to workshop the dynamics of interaction with a public audience.

 

SCAT! will be the fourth of Zollar's deeply personal works for UBW that delves into themes of The Great Migration, when scores of African Americans migrated from the rural South to cities of the industrialized North, West and Midwest. UBW aims to elicit a direct and immediate response and invite the audience's participation in telling the story of the Great Migration, which completely transformed American urban culture. Furthermore, UBW hopes to connect with audience member’s own personal histories as well as topical events today such as forced immigration and the global refugee crisis. The element of audience interplay is a new creative direction for UBW, and the company also plans to workshop ways to integrate social media such as live tweeting into performances.

Project-related Media

Second Sight

Second Sight appears on Craig Harris' album "Souls Within the Veil," which he composed to commemorate the centennial of W.E.B. Du Bois' "The Souls of Black Folk." This sample showcases his skill as a composer and as an ensemble musician in live performance. This was recorded live at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA in 2003. The recording also features Oliver Lake and Steve Coleman on Alto Saxophone and Hugh Ragin on Trumpet. Two additional samples of Craig Harris' compositions and performances appear on his personal profile.

MADE BY

HEP HEP SWEET SWEET excerpt

HEP HEP SWEET SWEET is a UBW work from 2014 that inspired SCAT! The piece is personal portrait drawing upon the music and culture of the Great Migration and Jawole Zollar’s memories from the era. This excerpt shows the UBW dancers and how they speak, sing, move and scat along to Cab Calloway’s 1940 classic, “Are You Hep to the Jive?” This performance from March 2015 also features live piano playing by George Caldwell and costumes by SCAT! collaborator Naoko Nagata.

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Project Details


Start and End Date

04/12/2016 - 05/01/2016

Location

New York, New York

Updates (5 RECENT)

Last Updated August 11, 2016

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Project Created By

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Urban Bush Women

Brooklyn, New York

Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, with bold, innovative, demanding and exciting works that bring under-told stories to life through the art and vision of its award-winning founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The company weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African...


IN COLLABORATION WITH

Craig Harris

New York, New York

Role: Composer, Trombonist & Band Leader

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