A number of years have passed since the last performances of James Demars’s Sabar: Concerto for African Drums and Orchestra. But now the time has come again. It’s happening in Memphis, TN, thanks to MSO music director, Robert Moody, who conducted the premiere in Phoenix so many years ago. While it will be the first performance ever done without Mark Sunkett (for whom the piece was composed), I will have the great honor of playing alongside three of the most masterful sabar drummers I’ve known: Medoune Yacine Gueye, Dethie Sarr Diouf, and Abdou Mbaye. They are my Sabar Dream Team!
Follow Up to Memphis
The performances were a great success, despite Mother Nature throwing her worst at us. We got in one day of solid rehearsals wit the orchestra and dancers before Memphis was covered in ice. But the show did go on, to great acclaim. See this link to a review that appeared in the Memphis Flyer:
In spite of the unexpected weather, which made everything more difficult, we had a wonderful visit. We did manage some sight-seeing and good eating, and met some really wonderful people. Thanks, Memphis!!
The MSO puts out a beautiful printed program, also made available online. Program notes are on pages 28-31: