Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company Builds Vibrant Contemporary Dances To Gain A Deeper Understanding Of The Challenges Attributed To Mixed Heritage.

Spotlight on Idris Ackamoor

PUSH Dance Company and Bayview Opera House present the world premiere of The Motley Experiment by Raissa Simpson March 27-29 at Bayview Opera House in San Francisco. The evening-length, multimedia dance work inspired by Jazz-age Modernist and Harlem Renaissance figure Archibald Motley features original music composed and performed live by Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids

How will the jazz-era be brought to life in The Motley Experiment? Learn more about Idris Ackamoor and his 6-member jazz orchestra Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids.

Idris Ackamoor is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, actor, tap dancer, producer, administrator, and director. He is the Founder of the San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey and the Founder, Artistic Director of the legendary jazz and world music ensemble Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids is just returning from a summer and fall 2019 tour performing throughout Europe including shows in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Turkey, Belgium, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and many other locations. He also recorded a brand new album while in London for STRUT Records entitled, SHAMAN! which will be released as a double vinyl album in June 2020. Compositions from the album will be featured in the PUSH 2020 Spring Season production co-presented by Bayview Opera House. 

Ackamoor has performed and collaborated with tenor Saxophonists Chico Freeman and John Tchicai, the late alto saxophonist Charles Tyler, drummer Famoudou Don Moye of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, The Cecil Taylor Creative Orchestra, choreographer/dancer Bill T. Jones, the late writer Ntozake Shange, his longtime partner, actress Rhodessa Jones, and many others. He was a protégé of Chicago legendary master clarinetist Clifford King who had played with Jelly Roll Morton and Freddie Keppard in the 1920s. Ackamoor received his B.A. in Music from Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio where one of his most influential teachers was the influential pianist Cecil Taylor. He has also studied tap dance with legendary hoofers Al Robinson, Steve Condos, and Eddie Brown. He is one of the first musicians of his generation to have traveled, lived and studied in Africa in 1972/73. During his stay in Africa, he performed with the King’s Prayer Drummers of Tamale, Ghana as well as lived in Kenya where he studied the music of the Kikuyu and Masai.

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