My name is Antoine Roney, I am a Jazz
I have performed and recorded with many
great Jazz artists such as Elvin Jones, Wallace Roney and Freddie Hubbard and was personally mentored by Jazz Legend, Alto Saxophonist Jackie Mclean. I am
currently working on a documentary project presenting a juxtaposition of
acoustic jazz and indigenous music from Africa.
To give you a bit of historical
background, “Jazz” music was created in the United States. African
culture is deeply steeped in the original foundation of this music. The Blues
is an expression derived from work songs (field hollers, call and
response) spirituals (ceremonials). James P. Johnson notated these expressions
and created the Blues form. The Blues element is the link between
Jazz and African music. Even today as jazz has progressed, it has always retained
the African element of the blues.
In recent years, I have traveled
through various parts of West Africa and had the opportunity to interact and
share music with people from different local communities. It was an incredible
experience: I had the good fortune to collaborate and perform with many accomplished,
local musicians. One finding that permeated all these different impressions was
the realization that the ‘Spirit of Blues’ expression is the ‘language’ link
between Jazz and African music.
Sadly, none of these initial
explorations were ever documented but my Jazz Trio returned to Ghana last year
and we had a chance to create video footage of our stay there. The trip was
completely self- funded: it turned
out to be rather difficult due to a tight time schedule, hostile terrain and
some band members having trouble getting acclimated to the living conditions
and intense heat.
In spite of those challenges, we were
able to obtain some great footage of the band but because of a very limited
budget, we were unable to hire a professional camera and sound crew. This
prevented us from documenting this experience on a superior level.
Our mission is to create a powerful
audio/visual document of bringing Jazz music back to Africa on the level of its
advanced evolution. We intend to showcase the inherent communication between Jazz
music and African culture and consider this documentation essential for the future
comprehension of Jazz music history in relation to its African roots. The
completed documentary and its accompanying sound recordings will be made
available for historical and educational lectures and for jazz and music
education in the U.S. and around the world.
Your donations are essential in helping fund the proper production of this project to pay for:
- air travel,
- local transportation,
- camera and sound crew,
- as well as basic financial aid to the local African communities that will help and guide us.
Your help is deeply appreciated!