An intimate acoustic evening with Walter Parks and Vivian Sessoms. In Spirituals Reimagined, Parks and Sessoms will present original and traditional compositions of spirituals, hymns and worksongs that were the soundtrack to modern America as well as the songs that they have inspired.
“A listen to Parks’ soulful Americana rock is to be immersed in warm guitar melodies, smoky vocals and troubadour narratives that gather strength with age.” – WNYC
Founder of the swamp blues outfit Swamp Cabbage and having toured for 10 years with Woodstock legend Richie Havens, Walter learned the importance of delivering songs with relevant stories. Walter now lives in New York but he grew up in Florida and is researching the music that was made in the Okefinokee Swamp near where he grew up from Smithsonian Archives. He is presenting re-imagined arrangements of this southeast Georgia swamp music, originals and some Richie Havens songs in his show.
Hailed by Rolling Stone and Billboard as an “exquisite” singer, Vivian Sessoms has performed all over the world with some of the biggest names in music. A wunderkind that got her start opening for Marvin Gaye at the age of 9, she’s worked with legendary artists like Michael Jackson, Cher, Stevie Wonder and many others throughout the course of her multi-faceted career. Her new album, LIFE, is her third studio effort and first foray into the realm of jazz, and if you’re familiar with Vivian and her music, then you will be expecting a twist. How about a jazz record, served up with a side of funk, and beautifully garnished with lush orchestrations? Backed by a rotating lineup of all-star musicians, her first record in several years explores “How we as humans can come together to make a difference. I just know that when I hear a song I love, it takes me someplace beautiful, music has that power. I hope this music will inspire that.”