Chris Combs' "Race Riot Suite" will Premier in Tulsa


Progressive lap steel guitarist Chris Combs will be premiering his new composition "Race Riot Suite" with the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and additional musicians in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 20.

"Race Riot Suite" commemorates the lives lost and resilient spirit of Tulsa's black community following the 1921 Tulsa race riot that flattened Tulsa's Greenwood district. 39 people died in the riot, which included a aerial assault by World War I era biplanes.

Chris Combs' musical interpretation of the turmoil incorporates elements of jazz, blues, bluegrass and Western swing. The piece was recorded in April, and a CD will be released on August 30 by Kinnara Records. A pre-release clip from the album can be heard at soundcloud.com/jfjo/grandfathers-gun. You can watch a video slideshow of the sessions at vimeo.com/21044944.

"This is the world premiere," Combs said in a phone interview with the Tulsa World. "It's never been played live in complete form. This will likely be the only time we get everyone from the recording in a building together for a live show - just one night." There will be two performances at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Friday evening at 8 PM and 10 PM.

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is Brian Haas on piano, Chris Combs on lap steel, Jeff Harshbarger on bass and Joshua Raymer on drums. The all-star lineup of additional players includes Jeff Coffin, Steven Bernstein, Peter Apfelbaum, Mark Southerland and Matt Leland.

For tickets and more information, visit www.TulsaPAC.com.

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