Saturday, January 8th, 2005
Will Calhoun with Don Byron and The Symphony Space Adventurers Orchestra, "The Greatest Hits" (music of EWF, Sugar Hill Gang, Stravinsky, etc).
Don Byron and the Symphony Space Adventurers Orchestra
Contrasting Brilliance 5th Anniversary Concert: The Greatest Hits Featuring special guests Master Gee, Big Bank Hank and Wonder Mike from the Sugar Hill Gang.
The first half of this concert will feature Byron and his intrepid ensemble revisiting the composers that he has contrasted over the years – the brilliance of Sly Stone, Henry Mancini, Igor Stravinsky, and Herb Alpert and Earth Wind & Fire. The second half will be an uninterrupted celebration of SugarHill Records, the label that introduced rap music to the world.
The SugarHill Gang, comprised of Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike, and Master Gee, made hip-hop history when they recorded the single "Rapper's Delight," released in 1979. The song is largely credited as being the first rap radio hit, exposing the masses for the first time to an art form that would eventually sit at the heart of today's pop culture. The multi-platinum seller is widely known as hip-hop's breakthrough single and paved the way for the mainstream success of rap music in the 1980’s.
Other Sugar Hill Gang hits include "8th Wonder" and "Apache" in the mid-80’s, and 1999’s Jump on it, a rap album for children.
“And so, ladies and gentlemen… the Symphony Space Adventurers Orchestra! In this band, our roots are in both jazz and classical, with these two musics as the basic framework for the musicianship we expect from the players. We approach the American sound from many angles. We’ve studied the Bay Area funk of Sly Stone, the Bronx–New Jersey rap of SugarHill Records, the manicured pseudo-Latin pop of Herb Alpert, the seminal cartoony compositions of Raymond Scott, the lush harmonic world of Henry Mancini, the complex jazz-driven world of Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire, and the beautifully controlled dissonance of Stravinsky. This is the music that has shaped our environment, the music that Americans hear internally in their inner soundtrack. This is the music that we call on emotionally, when we are happy, sad, sexy, goofy, frightened. Other countries have other musics. This is ours. For our orchestra—and, I would bet, for much of our audience—Sly, SugarHill, and Herb Alpert may be the music closest to our sense of the American canon.”
- Don Byron
Tickets: $28/$23; Members $23/$18; Seniors, Students, 6 Tix $25/$20
Venue: Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
2537 Broadway at 95th St.
8pm w/ intermission