White Cities by Gerald Clayton

White Cities
A Musical Tribute to Charles White
By Gerald Clayton
On Tour in Europe March 2023
A single life spread across three vibrant American cities: Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Gerald chose the title as a way to immediately bring race and racial tensions to the front of the listener's mind. He wants people to consider the whiteness of all three cities as a reminder of the overarching oppression pervading each place where White lived and that his expression, birthed as the blues, is a testifying of the black experience in a white world.

The title also refers to the artist himself. It is Gerald's intention to represent musically the evolution of White's heart and mind not just the subjects and messages of his works, but an accompanying examination of the person who created the works. Each composition reflects one of five sections of White's 5 Great American Negroes mural.
Gerald composed a different melody for each figure, and chose to intercut their melodic and harmonic themes throughout the piece as a way to represent the dual experience of sight-reading and close-reading the mural in its entirety. He drew inspiration from different aspects of White's work that include the figures themselves, their contributions, their immortalized expressions through White's unique artistic lens, and the spectrum of Gerald's emotional reactions to each section and the mural as a whole.

Line up (tbc)
Gerald Clayton Piano, Organ, Fender Rhodes
Joel Ross Vibraphone
Marquis Hill Trumpet
Logan Richardson Alto Saxophone
Jeff Parker Guitar