Smart Bets: We Insist!

Considered a groundbreaking work of the civil rights era, legendary jazz drummer Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite was recorded in the summer of 1960, just over a month after the sit-in movement desegregated the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro. Unapologetically political, the composition begins with the slave chants of “Driva’ Man” and closes in Africa with “Tears for Johannesburg,” weaving in the powerful vocals of Roach’s partner Abbey Lincoln along the way. Under the title We Insist!, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center hosts a restaging of the work by the New York City/Philadelphia-based Fresh Cut Orchestra with Melanie Charles handling the singing. Performances take place Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. $10-20 suggested donation. Photo of Melanie Charles by Sean Pressley

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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