Royal hartigan

royal hartigan. Photo by Weihua Zhang.

royal hartigan is a percussionist, pianist, and tap dancer. He has studied and performed the music of Asia, Africa, Europe, West Asia, and the Americas, and is versed in the traditions of African American blues, gospel, funk, hip-hop, and jazz. He has performed, given workshops, and recorded internationally with his own Blood Drum Spirit ensemble and many master artists including the Fred Ho Afro-Asian Music Ensemble, Hafez Modirzadeh’s Paradox, and the David Bindman-Tyrone Henderson Project, among others. His publications include Blood Drum Spirit: Drum Languages of West Africa, African America, Native America, Central Java, and South India; West African Rhythms for Drumset; and articles in numerous music journals. hartigan is a professor at UMass Dartmouth and a visiting professor at the Centre for Culture and African Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. He holds doctorates in world music and ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. He served as a Center Performance panelist in 2014 and a Performance LOI panelist in 2015.

A world premiere, music-theater work by playwright Colman Domingo and directed by Patricia McGregor will offer a fresh perspective on the artistic legacy of vocalist and jazz pianist Nat “King” Cole by bringing to light both his on- and off-stage personas, as well as telling the story behind the 1957 demise of his groundbreaking national television variety show amidst America’s growing civil rights movement.

Elevator Repair Service’s production of The Sun Also Rises (The Select) was reviewed in the New York Times and Artforum after its premiere in New York City.

Grants & Grantees

In celebration of their 140th season, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia will reconstruct Felix Mendelssohn’s 1841 revision of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, in an American premiere at Girard College Chapel.

For his first Philadelphia appearance in over four decades, Milford Graves will present a rare solo performance inside the oldest barn in Philadelphia County at Bartram’s Garden.

Choreographer Ralph Lemon talks about ephemerality in relationship to his work in the dance field, and the complexity of memory.

This event features saxophonists/composers Mahanthappa and Lehman, and WNYC’s John Schaefer, as they address the unique challenges of collaborating across genres.

Pew Fellow Christopher Colucci on his progression from musician to sound designer, the music and books that inspire him, and more.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Susan Warden is an independent choreographer who served as artistic director for 940 Dance Company at the Lawrence (Kansas) Arts Center.

Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design fosters the study, exploration, and management of the arts: media, design, the performing, and visual.

As the Center has opened the cycle for 2016 grants, the program directors share insights into the application process.

Grants & Grantees

John Blake, Jr. (1947–2014, Pew Fellow, 2010) took his inspiration as a contemporary jazz violinist and composer from some of the genre’s greats.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, CAConrad wins the Believer Poetry Award, Geoff Sobelle’s play The Object Lesson heads to Australia, and Opera Philadelphia presents Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain.