When Martin Luther King Jr. was a seminary student in nearby Chester, he attended a lecture at the First Unitarian Church on how Mohandas K. Gandhi integrated Henry David Thoreau's theory of non-violent civil disobedience that ultimately inspired King's non-violent protests for civil rights. Over four nights at the breathtaking Frank Furness–designed First Unitarian Church Side Chapel, William Parker and Muhammad Ali will perform music inspired by this story, inviting four Philadelphia heavyweights as guests: Dave Burrell (Pew Fellow, 1996), Sun Ra Arkestra's Marshall Allen (Pew Fellow, 2012), Bobby Zankel (Pew Fellow, 1996), and Odean Pope (Pew Fellow, 1992).
Sunday, May 11: William Parker, Muhammad Ali Duo + Odean Pope
Monday, May 12: William Parker, Muhammad Ali Duo + Marshall Allen
Tuesday, May 13: William Parker, Muhammad Ali Duo + Dave Burrell
Wednesday, May 14: William Parker, Muhammad Ali Duo + Bobby Zankel
These events are part of Ars Nova Workshop's Center-funded New Paths Festival, a citywide festival conceptually connecting some of the most innovative artists in the world to a variety of historic and peculiar Philadelphia spaces. While the work of these artists is inherently adventurous, the festival aims to deepen artists' engagement with their performance space as well as with the city's history, cultures, and people, making these events uniquely Philadelphian.