Wadada Leo Smith has been musically ruminating on Rosa Parks's civil rights legacy since at least 2005. He dedicated a Miles-inspired track to her on that year's Tabligh and regaled her resistance later with "Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 381 Days" on 2012's Ten Freedom Summers. Here, as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music (following a set by Taylor Ho Bynum's fifteen-piece PlusTet ensemble), Smith premieres "Rosa Parks — Oratorio, 6 Songs With Video" for a twelve-piece ensemble featuring Smith and fellow trumpeters Ted Daniel, Hugh Ragin, and Graham Haynes. Smith's "Parks" fascination continues next month with the release of America's National Parks, a six-part suite dedicated to public landscapes including Yellowstone, Yosemite, and New Orleans' National Culture Park.
The visionary trumpeter