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Moondog: Sidewalk Dances

Sunday 12 November 2023


Brighton Dome Concert Hall

Tickets: £40 / 33.50 / 27.50 / 19.50 / 13

Americana reimagined. Brighton Philharmonic join forces with some of the greatest jazz players on the scene today to explore Moondog, the cult figure whose influence stretches from 1960s New York to DJ Mr Scruff.

The acclaimed saxophonist and ECM artist Andy Sheppard has long been a creative partner of Joanna MacGregor, and the first half of this concert explores their best-selling album Deep River, where classic spirituals and Mississippi blues meets electronica. Deep South Americana is poetically reimagined for the 21st century, with music by Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan.

Composer, poet, percussionist, instrument-maker, record producer: Louis Hardin – known as Moondog – was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Blind from the age of sixteen, he travelled from Kansas to New York, hanging out with Charlie Parker, Stravinsky, Lenny Bruce, Frank Zappa and Allen Ginsburg, and became a well-known street performer on Sixth Avenue. Dressed strikingly (if briefly) as a Viking, his iconic compositions – Voices of Spring, Bird’s Lament, Dogtrot and Single Footinfluenced the young Steve Reich and Philip Glass. His music encompasses bebop, swing, rumba and Bach-like counterpoint, all captured in Joanna MacGregor’s deft and witty 12-movement suite Sidewalk Dances for orchestra and jazz musicians, led by Andy Sheppard. She’s also joined by the brilliant drummer Seb Rochford (Polar Bear, Kutcha Butcha) and the pioneering tabla player and record producer Kuljit Bhamra.

Moondog: Sidewalk Dances

Deep River

Music from the Deep South


Sidewalk Dances (arranged MacGregor)

Andy Sheppard


Kuljit Bhamra


Seb Rochford


Matthew Fairclough

Sound Projection

Joanna MacGregor

Conductor / Piano

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