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Knox Jazz Year

Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency Concert Finale


Andrew Crawford

Music Administrator and Managing Director of Jazz Year

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


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Envelopes filled with lyrics for the choir.

Jeremy Cunningham's "The Weather Up There"

September, 2021 TBD

7 p.m.
Kresge Recital Hall, Ford Center for the Fine Arts, Knox College
Free and open to the public

Jeremy’s release The Weather Up There focuses on the life of Jeremy's younger brother Andrew, who died in a home invasion robbery in 2008. Working closely with Jeff Parker, Paul Bryan, and Josh Johnson, this new work confronts the tragedy of violence and examines the acute ripple effect on several people's lives through the lens of memory, response, and collage. 

In his own words, Cunningham explains, “I wrote The Weather Up There to confront the loss of my brother Andrew to gun violence, who died in a home invasion robbery some 10 years ago. My brother was a kind soul, and I used those warm memories of him to illustrate his life as a counterpoint to the pieces that confront his tragic end. Recorded accounts from my family and friends appear throughout the album to show just how far the ripple effect of gun violence extends through a community.”

As part of his process, Cunningham wrote poems and collected a series of audio interviews from family members and close friends of his brother that detail their experience of loss and the effect gun violence has had upon their lives. Cunningham formed a drum choir for these compositions with close mentors and colleagues Mike Reed, Makaya McCraven, and Mikel Patrick Avery, in order to further deepen the textural and emotive impact of these deeply personal works. The collective improvisation of the drum choir is their response to the calls of personal stories and narrative accounts of these troubling events. 

Recently, Cunningham traveled to Cincinnati with media artist Kim Alpert, who documented the scenery and locations referenced in The Weather Up There. Alpert will be performing as a member of the upcoming performances for this project to provide a visual counterpoint to the musical performance.

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Professor Laura Lane directs a Knox College Choir concert.
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Printed on Sunday, June 13, 2021