Nelson Mandela Tribute: Hope In Action

July 21, 2008

Chicago took center stage in a day of world-wide celebration honoring the life and ideals of Nelson Mandela, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Orbert Davis, artistic director, composer, performer and conductor of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, premiered a new composition to honor the global message, struggle, perseverance, and triumph of this humanitarian icon. The orchestra delivered the composition, entitled "Hope In Action," which artistically represents Nelson Mandela's ideals of diversity, inclusiveness, and change.

The composition seamlessly wove jazz and classical, African rhythms, interspersed with moments of inspirational narration, and culminated with a grand chorus of a children’s choir. In conjunction with the event, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic hosted and featured prominent South African jazz saxophonist and educator Zim Ngqawana, as its first "Artist-In-Residence."


The Chicago Tribune (July 23, 2008)
To hear narrator T’Keyah Crystal Keymah delivering Mandela's words on the brutality of racism or the terrors of solitary confinement, while Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic thundered or lamented behind her, was to experience Mandela’s story in vividly  poetic terms.”-Howard Reich (July 21, 2008)
The highlight of the evening was the tribute to Nelson Mandela in four parts, titled “Hope in Action”, which former newscaster Bill Kurtis introduced.[...]All the musicians of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic are talented and accolades go to the string, brass, woodwinds, and percussion sections and to Ryan Cohan on piano, Stewart Miller on bass and Ernie Adams on drums.”-Mary Lou Wade

BusinessWire (July 17, 2008)
“'The inspiration to compose this work for the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic comes from the many parallels I can draw between Mandela’s ideals of perseverance, his mission for diversity, reconciliation and equality, and how the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic embodies these ideals both externally and internally,'[Orbert] Davis said.”-BusinessWire
Fanfare for the Uncommon Man (Mvmt. 4)
Prisoner 466-64 (Mvmt. 3)