Featuring Cassandra Wilson, Ravi Coltrane, Sonia Sanchez, Saul Williams, Nasheet Waits & more. Video by Alyson Shotz.

The revolutionary 1960 album We Insist!: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite explored issues of social justice and racial inequality through the lens of jazz and poetry. In celebration of the centennial of Max Roach — drummer, bebop pioneer and civil rights activist — this landmark work is reimagined for today’s world.

Musical director Nasheet Waits (of Max’s percussion ensemble M’Boom) is joined by vocalist Cassandra Wilson, poets Sonia Sanchez and Saul Williams, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and bassist Eric Revis. The Honorable Mayor Ras Baraka will help open the program, with a special appearance by The Last Poets and Vincent Toro. Experience the modern evolution of the Freedom Now Suite, a piece that continues to live, expand and inspire across generations.

“We American jazz musicians of African descent have proved beyond all doubt that we’re master musicians of our instruments. Now what we have to do is employ our skill to tell the dramatic story of our people and what we’ve been through.”

–Max Roach to DownBeat magazine



Generous support of the Standing in Solidarity series is provided by PSEG Foundation
Additional support provided by Verizon and Women@NJPAC