Music of Horace Tapscott featured at upcoming Dudley House Jazz Band Concert

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The Dudley House Jazz Band and Harvard GSAS are proud to present the music of Horace Tapscott and the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. The concert will take place on Saturday, December 10 at 8 p.m. in Dudley House on the Harvard campus and is free and open to the public.

Born in 1934, pianist and composer Horace Tapscott grew up in the African American community of Los Angeles, performing throughout the city and touring the country in the late 50s. While Tapscott’s prospects for a national career were bright, he returned to L.A. in the early ’60s with the goal of fostering African American music in his hometown. Continuing this mission until his death in 1999, Tapscott founded the Pan African People’s Arkestra in 1961, a group designed to preserve, develop and promote the work of local musicians. Spurred by Tapscott’s powerful compositions, the group pushed the boundaries of the avant garde, and soon became the center of Los Angeles’ creative music scene.

Despite Tapscott’s important role in African American music history, his music remains under-recognized outside of Los Angeles. The Dudley House Jazz Band is proud to present a concert of music by Tapscott and members of the Arkestra, including music by saxophonists Jesse Sharps and Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq, two Arkestra alums who have gone on to prominent careers in the U.S. and abroad. The concert will conclude with a new arrangement (by the composer) of Abdul- Khaliq’s Eternal Egypt Suite, an extended composition that has not been performed anywhere since 1976.

The Dudley House Jazz Band is an ensemble of graduate students from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as Harvard undergraduates and community members. The group specializes in performance of historic repertoire, including a 2010 debut of a new arrangement of Mary Lou Williams’ Zodiac Suite. This concert is made possible through the permission of UGMAA Foundation, which continues to advance Horace Tapscott’s musical and community vision.