Wadada Leo Smith’s Defiant And Fearless Elegy For Emmett Till 

Source: NPR.

Wadada Leo Smith bends over to lay his sheet music on the dry mud bank of the Little Tallahatchie River in Glendora, Miss. – population 139. The sun catches the bell of his trumpet as he runs through a few scales. A crop duster circles overhead. “You have some kind of experience that you live through and have to make something out of,” he says. “The good and the bad is all put into the music. It’s me.” Then he steps into a canoe, trumpet in hand, and begins to play an improvised musical elegy for Emmett Till based on a passage from his own composition “Emmett Till: Defiant, Fearless” — while floating down the same river where Till’s 14-year-old lifeless body was found.

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