Ian Dogole’s “Afro-Weston” Project Earns 2015 San Francisco
Friends of Chamber Music (SFFCM) Musical Grant Program Award

Multipercussionist/bandleader/recording artist Ian Dogole was awarded a 2015 San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music (SFFCM) grant for his project entitled “Afro-Weston,” a musical tribute concert that featured new arrangements of pianist/composer Randy Weston's Afro-infused compositions, with a focus on pieces that blend Gnawa instruments and musical approaches into a Jazz-oriented context. The concert took place at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA on March 19, 2016.

 The collaborators on this project were:

  • Ian Dogole – dumbek (pan-Arabic goblet drum), African talking drum, kalimba (East African thumb piano), cajon (Afro-Peruvian box drum), hang (Swiss steel pan-inspired, melodic percussion instrument), floor tom, cymbals and shakers
  • Yassir Chadly – gimbri (Moroccan 3-string bass lute), oud, qarqabas (Moroccan hand cymbals) and vocals
  • Dan Feiszli – double bass
  • Frank Martin – piano
  • Paul McCandless – woodwinds
  • Dave Tidball – woodwinds
Afro-Weston Band at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA (Photo by Paul Miller)

Afro-Weston Band at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA (Photo by Paul Miller)

Randy Weston

This was Dogole’s third grant award from SFFCM, with previous projects including “Beyond All Limits,” which honored the musical legacy of trumpeter/composer Woody Shaw (2009) and “Shorter Moments,” which paid tribute to saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter (2011).  

The Weston compositions that were performed came from three transcendent recordings that document the power and spirit of his blending of indigenous music from other cultures into a Jazz-centric ensemble and approach – “The Spirits of Our Ancestor” (1991), “Saga” (1995) and “Khepera” (1998). Weston pieces included “Blue Moses,” “The Healers” and “The Gathering.” 

“For over 50 years, Randy Weston has most eloquently and elegantly fused the indigenous music traditions of the African sub-continent into his voluminous output of Jazz compositions,” said Dogole. “His seven-year residency in Morocco and frequent use of Gnawa musicians from Morocco in his performances and recordings speak to his deep affection for this music from the Sahara and its role in his music. The fact that he is so under-acknowledged for his prodigious contributions to the music over such a long period of time is a driving force in my desire to share his musical legacy with as many listeners as possible. I am so grateful to SFFCM for providing me with a platform to honor Randy Weston’s cross-cultural approach to adventurous improvisational music.”

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