The Geechee Seminoles: Gullah Geechee Ingredients in Jazz
Bassist Melvin Gibbs and percussionist David Pleasant, known as the Geechee Seminoles, will give two events on campus on April 23, 2019 on the Gullah Geechee musical elements in jazz and popular music. The Gullah Geechee nation is an Afro-diasporic community from the sea islands near the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.
Melvin Gibbs is an bass player and record producer who has appeared on around 200 albums in diverse genres of music. Time Out New York Magazine dubbed him “the world’s greatest bassist”. The New York Times cited him in their “Best Jazz Performances of 2017” and NPR recognized him for the same in 2018. He has played bass in electric free jazz, funk, hip-hop, world music and punk/metal bands, with artists such as Bill Frisell, Henry Rollins, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Bernie Worrell (of Parliament Funkadelic and Talking Heads fame), Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Marisa Monte, Femi Kuti and Eddie Palmieri. He currently plays with his band Harriet Tubman.
David Pleasant, Drumfolk Riddim Specialist, creates volatile polyrhythmic admixtures featuring Gullah-Geechee inspired tradition. It is in that music=movement culture that ring play, Ring Shout, juba, hand jive, work songs and more, break conventional aesthetic boundaries. In it vibration, sound, community and freedom reveal the practical and conceptual power of Indigenous culture. A choreographer, composer, independent scholar and published writer, Pleasant is a Drum-folk master and true Griot of the present. Born in Savannah Georgia, and raised on Sapelo Island and in Darien, Ga. , Pleasant has spent over 30+ years introducing Gullah-Geechee (early African American culture) to national and international participants.
The Geechee Seminoles will give two presentation/performances. They are both free and open to the public, taking place in Dixon Recital Hall (Dixon Annex 152) at 11:00 am and 7:00 pm on the campus of Tulane University.