Tag Archives: Birdfoot

Birdfoot Festival: New Orleans 300: Creole Contradanzas

New Orleans-born pianist Jelly Roll Morton, a pioneer of early jazz, famously said: “if you can’t manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz.” In honor of the New Orleans tricentennial, the seventh annual Birdfoot Festival pays tribute to the African and Spanish roots of jazz. It dives deep into the music and irresistible rhythms that traveled with people, both free and enslaved, from Africa to Cuba and the Caribbean, to New Orleans, and then back again to Spain and France. One of the most irresistible of these rhythms was the habenera, an asymmetrical seductress from Havana born of the lilting Cuban contradanza. Can it be coincidence that the habanera shares its rhythmic DNA with infectious drum patterns from the Congo, became one of the building blocks of New Orleans jazz, and exploded as a dance craze in Spain and France? Even the skeptical will find their hips swaying.

Music by Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Paquito D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Maurice Ravel.

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Birdfoot Festival presents: 桜 SAKURA in Concert

Birdfoot is excited to welcome the unique and versatile cello quintet 桜 SAKURA for its 2018 Spring Artist Residency.

Showcasing the great warmth and scope offered by the sound of five cellos, 桜 SAKURA’s repertoire includes a set of Renaissance a cappella works ranging from the vulgar to the sublime, Debussy’s evocative piano preludes, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, and selections from Leonard Bernstein’s enduring West Side Story, and more!  This engaging ensemble, joined by Birdfoot’s Artistic Director Jenna Sherry, will delve deeply into Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in the latest edition of the popular Birdfoot Backstage series and will close out their residency with a dazzling and eclectic program of works spanning five centuries.