afro roots

Live performance of original work to commemorate ENP’s 75th Anniversary Community Arts & Culture (CAC) and Live Arts Miami (LAM) are proud to present Jose Elias’ Everglades Songbook Suite (ESS), a dynamic live concert event featuring new musical compositions and soundscapes that celebrate the sights and sounds of the Florida Everglades at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 24, at the Long Pine Key Amphitheater within Everglades National Park.

Presented in honor of Earth Day and the park’s 75th anniversary, the concert is free and open to the public. Park dmission required.

Everglades Songbook Suite is presented as part of LAM’s EcoCultura series of performances for the planet, and as the culmination of CAC’s annual Afro Roots Fest.

The event is being produced with support from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and filmed for its “Arts Across America” docu-series.

“We are thrilled to be a part of bringing music into this glorious setting as part of our EcoCultura series, celebrating Earth Day in our beloved Everglades National Park,” said Kathryn Garcia, LAM’s Executive Director. “Through projects like these, artists can inspire us all to listen to, connect with and take care of our planet.”

The vastly resplendent Everglades has inspired countless works of literature and art, including this new musical composition created by Grammy-nominated musician, composer, and producer Jose Elias.  A 2016 Artist in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) fellow, Elias wrote the music for ESS after spending considerable time at Everglades National Park.

The project, which stands as the creative and artistic statement of his experiences, first came to fruition on June 21, 2021 as a short film shot in the Everglades, co-produced with LAM and AIRIE for International World Music Day.

Now it returns with its first ever live performance at Everglades National Park.

“I’m very happy to have the opportunity to perform the ESS in the environment that inspired the piece in the first place,” said Elias, who is also the founder and executive director of the Miami-based nonprofit CAC. “To have it coincide with the 75th anniversary of the national park is a personal and professional honor.”

The project features a rotating cast of musicians playing a variety of global instruments, including the Cuban tres, Venezuelan cuatro, percussion and woodwinds, indigenous flutes, and the African Kora.

Featured musicians alongside Elias (Cuba) will include: Morikeba Kouyate (Senegal), Aboubacar Camara (Guinea), Carlos Ochoa (Peru), Damian J. Sanchez (Cuba), Gino Coca Mir (Puerto Rico), Kenneth Metzger (Puerto Rico), Samuel Tommie (Seminole Tribe), Aboubacar Soumah (Guinea), and Rajesh Bhandari (India).

“The park is happy to partner on projects such as this that help others see and understand the Everglades in new and unique ways,” said Pedro Ramos, Superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks. “We are excited that the Everglades songbook performance is going to be a part of the seminar series celebrating the 75th anniversary of Everglades National Park.”

                                    Sunday, April 24, 4 p.m.

            Everglades National Park, Long Pine Key Amphitheater

                   40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034

Parking is located at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, guests can take trolley to Long Pine Key Amphitheater. Trolley will run to and from both locations from 2 – 6 p.m.

Tickets: This event is free with limited capacity. RSVP is strongly encouraged at bit.ly/ESSENP2022.

Please note that park entrance fees apply. For more information, please visit AfroRootsFest.com.

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