Spoken Word & Jazz Performances with Freedom First

In 2020, amid closures and cancellations due to Covid, an unexpected, magical partnership was formed between a group of international musicians out of New York City and Keith, an avid jazz lover. Together, Keith and jazz pianist Albert Marquès began to dream about doing something unheard of: making music TOGETHER, even while Keith is held in solitary confinement on Ohio's death row. And, then, in spite of the obstacles, they turned their wildest dreams into reality, and Freedom First was born!

 

What makes these collaborations so special is the fact that they are not supposed to be possible! Keith lent his voice and even "stepped into the recording studio" via live video footage, allowing him to see and hear and respond in live time to the musicians, who improvised and played their parts around his voice. The product is powerfully beautiful; we invite you to listen here: 

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"Tell 'Em the Truth" — ​Recorded May 8, 2021 at “Conveyor” in Brooklyn, New York
Written and performed by Keith LaMar / Musical composition by Albert Marquès
 

Including:

Adam O'Farrill - trumpet

Xavier Del Castillo - tenor saxophone

Patricia Brennan - vibraphone

Albert Marques - piano

Walter Stinson - bass

Zack O'Farrill - drums

Recording and mixing by Peter Karl

Video and editing by Luke Marantz
 

*****
 

"On Living" — Recorded February 21, 2021 at “El Local” in Girona (Catalonia), Spain 

Poem written by Turkish poet, Nazim Hikmet & Performed by Keith LaMar / Musical composition by Albert Marquès


Including: 

Erin Corine - vocals 
Milena Casado - flugelhorn
Albert Marquès - piano
Manel Fortià - bass 
Marc Ayza - drums 

 

Recording and mixing by Marc Piña

Video and editing by Aleix Campos

Video produced by A. Marquès
 

*****

"Afro Blue" — Recorded February 21, 2021 at “El Local” in Girona (Catalonia), Spain 

Poem written by Keith LaMar (as published in his book, Condemned) & Performed by Erin Corine / Musical composition by Albert Marquès


Including: 

Erin Corine - vocals 
Milena Casado - flugelhorn
Albert Marquès - piano
Manel Fortià - bass 
Marc Ayza - drums 

 

Recording and mixing by Marc Piña

Video and editing by Aleix Campos

Video produced by A. Marquès

"Afro Blue" was composed by Mongo Santamaria in 1959. In 1959 lyrics were added by songwriter Oscar Brown. Abbey Lincoln recorded it for her 1959 album Abbey Is Blue. In 1963. John Coltrane recorded "Afro Blue" with his legendary quartet, released on his album Live at Birdland (Impulse!).