PROJECT AMERICANA Begins!

What is Project Americana?

Project Americana is the first of four projects that will anchor Symphony Space’s upcoming 2016–2017 Season.

In this election year, PROJECT AMERICANA (October 04–28) sets out to explore our country’s shared history and culture through music, literature, film, science, and thought as envisioned by Symphony Space’s Artistic Director, Andrew Byrne. The Project includes concerts, films, readings, and talks that will culminate with a special multidisciplinary presentation (The American Slave Coast).

At the center of Project Americana is a residency by banjo virtuoso, Béla Fleck.

Béla has 30 Grammy Award nominations — of which he’s won 15 — and, believe it or not, also just happened to grow up in our neighborhood on the Upper West Side. Having given an inspired performance here with his wife Abigail Washburn two years ago, Béla agreed to curate a four-concert series for us called Acoustic Planet Tales™ as part of Project Americana.

BELA FLECK RESIDENCY: ACOUSTIC PLANET TALES™

Béla Fleck Residency: Acoustic Planet Tales™

BANJO ROUNDTABLE
FEATURING: BÉLA FLECK, WITH SEAMUS EGAN, TONY TRISCHKA, DON VAPPIE & ABIGAIL WASHBURN

SUN, OCTOBER 23 | 8PM

Ambassadors of Irish, Old Time, New Orleans, Creole, bluegrass, New Grass, and jazz styles meet to celebrate their shared love of the banjo. Performing separately and together, they demonstrate the many sides of America’s instrument.

$35-$65 | $25 (30 & Under with ID) • Peter Jay Sharp Theatre


Other Project Americana Events


THALIA DOCS: LOMAX, THE SONGHUNTER

SUN, OCTOBER 16 & SAT, OCTOBER 22 | 5PM & 7:30PM

A documentary film series, “Lomax, the Songhunter,” pays tribute to the pioneering ethnomusicologist, political activist,oralhistorian, and filmmaker Alan Lomax (1915–2002), a towering figure who devoted his long life to collecting and popularizing American folk music.

Over two weekends in October, we are presenting Alan Lomax: The Songhunter, a special documentary series honoring Lomax. Included are Rogier Kappers’ poignant portrait of Lomax near the end of this life, and the five-program series American Patchwork from the 1980s that documents regional folklore, Ballads, Blues, and Bluegrass shot in his Greenwich Village apartment 1961.

$10–$14 | $12 (Senior/Student) • Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre


STEINWAY SALON: CLIPPER ERICKSON

THUR, OCTOBER 20 | 7PM

​As part of the Steinway Salon series, pianist Clipper Erickson plays music by American composers, including pioneering African-American composer R. Nathaniel Dett. The program also includes works written for Erickson by David Finko, Laurie Altman, and Richard Brodhead, plus pieces by Barber and Copland.

$15 • Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre


THALIA BOOK CLUB: TALES OF TWO AMERICAS: STORIES OF INEQUALITY IN A DIVIDED NATION

WED, OCTOBER 26 | 7:30PM

Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist), Kirstin Valdez Quade (Night At The Fiestas), and Rickey Laurentiis (Boy with Thorn) come together for an evening of discussion and readings from this new collection edited by John Freeman (editor of Freeman’s), which showcases the literary world’s response to inequality with stories and essays on such topics as immigration, racial injustice, gender, and greed in America today.

$21–$25 | $15 (30 & Under with ID) • Peter Jay Sharp Theatre


THE AMERICAN SLAVE COAST

FRI, OCTOBER 28 | 8PM

The final event of Project Americana, The American Slave Coast, is a special live event with readings, commentary, and music performances based on Ned and Constance Sublette’s The American Slave Coast, a powerful alternative vision of the history of the United States and the slave-breeding industry that shaped it. Featured is New Orleans musician and bandleader Donald Harrison, joined by a special ensemble, as well as film director Jonathan Demme, spoken-word artist Carl Hancock Rux, and more special guests to come!

$35-$65 | $25 (30 & Under with ID) • Peter Jay Sharp Theatre


AT A GLANCE
  • Tue, Oct. 4 (7:30 pm):
    Selected Shorts: The Best American Short Stories with Junot Díaz
  • Mon, Oct. 10 (8 pm)
    Words on the Move with linguist John McWhorter
  • Fri, Oct. 14 (8PM)
    Acoustic Planet Tales™: Béla Fleck, banjo + Victor Wooten, bass
  • Sat, Oct. 15 (7:30PM)
    Acoustic Planet Tales™: Sierra Hull, mandolin
  • Sun, Oct. 16: 
    Thalia Docs: Alan Lomax series
    - 5 pm: Lomax: The Songhunter
    - 7:30 pm: Cajun Country + Appalachian Journey
  • Mon, Oct. 17 (7:30PM)
    Acoustic Planet Tales™: Abigail Washburn, banjo + Wu Fei, Chinese zither
  • Wed, Oct. 19 (8PM)
    Uptown Showdown: Hillary vs. Trump!
  • Thurs, Oct. 20 (7PM)
    Steinway Salon: Clipper Erickson
  • Sat, Oct 22: (11AM & 2PM):
    Just Kidding: Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers: The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow
  • Sat, Oct. 22: 
    Thalia Docs: Alan Lomax series
    - 5PM: Jazz Parades + Dreams & Songs of the Noble Old
    -
    7:30PM: Ballads, Blues, and Bluegrass + The Land Where the Blues Began
  • Sun, Oct. 23 (8PM)
    Acoustic Planet Tales™: Banjo Roundtable 
    with Fleck, Washburn, Tony Trischka, Seamus Egan, + Don Vappie
  • Wed, Oct. 26 (7:30PM)
    Thalia Book Club: Tales of Two Americas 
    with Roxane Gay and John Freeman
  • Fri, Oct. 28 (8PM)
    The American Slave Coast
    with Donald Harrison + band, Ned Sublette, Jonathan Demme, and Carl Hancock Rux

For further information on Project Americana, visit: http://www.symphonyspace.org/events/series/198/project-americana.


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