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CONCERT: Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids
CONCERT: Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids

Fri, 12 Apr

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Plan B

CONCERT: Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids

Doors 6 PM On stage for 8 PM 18+ (13+ w/ guardian)

Time & Location

12 Apr 2024, 19:00

Plan B, Norra Grängesbergsgatan 26B, 214 50 Malmö, Sweden

About the event

In celebration of a HALF CENTURY in the performing arts beginning with the founding of his legendary band, THE PYRAMIDS in 1972, Idris Ackamoor will salute this epoch with the AMERICAN PREMIERE of “AFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMS,” the 50th Anniversary commemorative double vinyl album release in 2023 for STRUT Records. “AFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMS,” is a departure from any albums recorded by Idris Ackamoor with The Pyramids or his other ensembles over his entire career as a performer and composer! This will be the first time Idris has composed music for orchestra musicians featuring a string quartet, additional horn section, several vocalists, as well as, his seven piece band IDRIS ACKAMOOR☥THE PYRAMIDS. The band features Idris performing on saxophones, keytar, piano, vocals, spoken word and percussions; original Pyramids co — founder, Margaux Simmons conducting the orchestra and performing on flutes, percussions, vocals, Sandra Poindexter on acoustic and electric violins, vocals and percussions, Bobby Cobb on guitar, and vocals, original member Bradie Speller on congas and percussions, original member Mark Heshima Williams on acoustic and electric basses, and George Hearst on drums.

“AFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMS,” pays homage to the present AFROFUTURISM movement that has embraced the science-fiction writers Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany, and musician Sun Ra. IDRIS ACKAMOOR ☥THE PYRAMIDS also have been celebrated as progenitors of Afrofuturism in interviews and articles. “Ackamoor’s route to Afro-Futurist jazz began in the US in the 1960s, but was fast tracked in 1972, when he and the band, then a trio, began a year traveling and performing in Africa. From Morocco, the group set off through Senegal for Ghana, before crossing the continent and traveling in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Along the way they experienced at first-hand the ritual power of music and its ability to bind communities together—the twin tenets of first-wave Afro-Futurist jazz, which combined science fiction-inspired magical realism with black consciousness-inspired socio-political activism” - ALL ABOUT JAZZ - Chris May.

AFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMS chronicles the historic “times we be a’livin’," the past we be feelin,' and the future the planet is headin’ in. It is a testament to survival, unity, and honesty to face our collective destiny! The title track, “AFRO FUTURISTIC DREAMS,” is a psychedelic San

Francisco experience inspired by George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic. “POLICE DEM” was composed for all the known and unknown black victims who have suffered at the hands of police murders and brutality including Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, George Floyd, and musician Elijah McClain. “THANK YOU GOD” is spiritual jazz for the 21st century in the vein of Pharaoh Sanders’ “The Creator Has a Master Plan” and “Tauhid,” and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” 

“NICE IT UP,” is a celebratory romp to shout out our survival and triumph over a historic tragedy of unparalleled proportions. The composition, “GARLAND ROSE," is dedicated to Idris’ granddaughter, all of our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and Darnella Frazier, the Minneapolis teenager who filmed the murder of George Floyd...all who will inherit this earth we as, ancestors ‘in waiting,' will bequeath to them.

THE PYRAMIDS was founded FIFTY YEARS AGO in 1972! Saxophonist Ackamoor had originally left his hometown of Chicago to study music at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, where his teachers numbered legendary pianist Cecil Taylor. Via the Antioch Abroad Program, Ackamoor landed a year’s study overseas in 1972, which allowed him, and two Antioch students, Margaux Simmons and Kimathi Asante, to travel to Europe and Africa where they co — founded THE PYRAMIDS. The trip took in a musical spiritual journey up into Northern Ghana, the land of the Fra Fra of Bolgatanga and the Islam-influenced Dagomba in Tamale, where Ackamoor taped some field recordings. “We played with the King’s musicians in Tamale. I also undertook a healing ceremony in the bush of Bolgatanga with a Fra Fra traditional healer (a Juju Man).” Back in Yellow Springs, THE PYRAMIDS brought together all of the knowledge from their journey and

released 2 independently produced albums including “LALIBELA” (1973), and “KING OF KINGS” (1974). After graduating, Idris and the band headed to Oakland, California and quickly met other musicians in the thriving San Francisco Bay Area music scene where they recorded their third album, “BIRTH/SPEED/MERGING” in 1976. THE NEW YORK TIMES is among the outlets hailing the recent release of “THE PYRAMIDS - AOMAWA: THE 1970s RECORDINGS” — collecting the Pyramids’ neglected Afrofuturism efforts from the 1970s. “Deliriously unconventional selections like "Birth Speed Merging, Pt. 2" remain thrilling more than 45 years after they were recorded.” 

THE PYRAMIDS played their last concert at the 1977 UC Berkeley Jazz Festival sharing the stage with vocalist Al Jarreau, and jazz legends Woody Shaw and Dexter Gordon. Out of the blue, The Pyramids announced their return in 2007. “Around 2006 there was an increased interest in the 1970s music the band recorded with many requests from record labels to re-issue the early albums,” Ackamoor explains. “The Pyramids’ three LPs were showing up on eBay for high prices. A European booking agency began organizing concert dates for the band and The Pyramids were fully back in business. The momentum has continued for the group with Ackamoor landing a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gilles Peterson at his Worldwide Awards in London.

IDRIS ACKAMOOR☥THE PYRAMIDS’ acclaimed 2020 release, “SHAMAN,” was celebrated as “ONE OF THE BEST JAZZ RELEASES OF 2020” by All About Jazz, Treblezine Magazine, hhv Mag, as well as, receiving 4 Star reviews across the board including Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Journal and others! Rolling Stone calls it, “...a great afro-jazz trip, flamboyant and timeless, where the ghosts of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders often appear. Brilliant.” Tom Jones of FutureMusic Magazine says, “A highly expressive, energetic record that takes us on a long, unpredictable journey through the human soul, this is Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids at their

innovative best.” “SHAMAN” was selected by the NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD as “ALBUM COVER OF THE YEAR FOR 2020!!”

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