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Marcus Shelby Orchestra

Sat, Sep 8, 2018, 1:00pm2:30pm

Photo of Marcus Shelby with upright bass and historical photo of Louis Armstrong's baseball team
Sat, Sep 8, 2018
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Great Lawn, Yerba Buena Gardens
Mission St. between 3rd & 4th Sts.
San Francisco, CA + Google Map
(415) 543-1718


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Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues

Marcus Shelby, YBG Festival’s resident composer, is a masterly bassist, charismatic bandleader, and award-winning composer. But it’s probably most accurate to describe him as an American griot whose music explores the stories too often overlooked and diminished in the history books. In his latest YBG Festival commission he delves into the glorious, uplifting and heartbreaking story of African-Americans and the national pastime during the Jim Crow era with “Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues.” An 80-minute composition written for the Marcus Shelby Orchestra, vocalists, and narrator, “Black Ball” is inspired by the character, love, courage, brilliance, failure, and humor of Negro League players who made far-reaching but oft-overlooked contributions to American life during the years from Reconstruction through the 1950s.

Featuring: Tiffany Austin, Kim Nalley, Mujahid Rashid, Donald Lacy, Tristan Cunningham and more.

Presented with support from

Free Black Ball lecture & demonstration with Marcus Shelby Thursday, August 23, 2018 @ 6:30pm – 8pm, at Museum of the African Diaspora, Mission St @ 4th Sts, San Francisco.
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