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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - Pan Africa
Artist - Derrick Gardner & The Jazz Prophets

For those unaware, Impact Jazz is proud to announce the January 13th, 2023 release of Pan Africa, a groundbreaking artistic endeavor by trumpet great Derrick Gardner and his steadfast ensemble the Jazz Prophets.

Inspired by a life-changing visit to Ghana, Gardner pays homage to his ancestors on this riveting release, rooted in the spirit and traditions of the African diaspora.

An unerring emphasis on African rhythm lies at the center of each track of Pan Africa, displaying the Jazz Prophets� stellar integration of the language of jazz and of its parent � traditional African music.

On Pan Africa, Derrick Gardner is joined by his brother, trombonist Vincent Gardner, alto and tenor saxophonist Robert Dixon, pianist George Caldwell, bassist Obasi Akoto, and percussionist Kweku Sumbry on the drum kit and African percussion.

1. Djemba Kan (1:30)
2. Appointment in Ghana (5:10)
3. 10,000 Ships (9:29)
4. The Sixth Village (7:39)
5. Highlife Suite (6:52)
6. Blues for the Diaspora (7:31)
7. Vicente, The Afro Mestizo (7:36)
8. NKRUMAH �da RULAH (7:22)
9. Assin Manso � The Last Bath (10:48)

This beautifully crafted, wholly embolden of the African diaspora, musical journey opens on the traditional piece Djemba Kan and the triumphant, solo-laden perfection of Gardner�s arrangement within Jackie McLean�s Appointment in Ghana, and follow those up with some hauntingly somber notes and chords, all by they themselves entwined within layers of harmonized melodies, of the near ten minute 10,000 Ships, the infectiously buoyant percussion within The Sixth Village, and then we get the low slung, rhythmic blues jazz of Highlife Suite.

Along next is the soaring, euphorically beholden, minor blues of Blues for the Diaspora (where Gardner uses his horn to beckon and reflect) and that is seamlessly followed by the delightfully elated vibes within Vicente, The Afro Mestizo, the album rounding out on the atmospherically-charged, yet underscored NKRUMAH �da RULAH, closing on the celebratory vibrancy of the reflective Assin Manso � The Last Bath (which was written in tribute to Assin Manso, a city located in the central region of Ghana).

It was the summer of 2021 and Derrick Gardner found himself traversing the coastal savannas of Ghana amidst a five-week tour with the Jazz Prophets, Gardner�s long-standing sextet since 1991. Between performances, Gardner visited important historical sites relative to the transatlantic slave trade, Ghanaian independence, and the Pan African movement. This had a profound effect on him, and served as the genesis of Pan Africa.

The resulting nine tracks strive to honor different facets of the African diaspora. A rhythmic motif lies at the center of each track, acting as the pulse, driving and unifying each member of the Jazz Prophets, like six limbs of the same body. Gardner and his band mates deliver a passionate, fervent performance here. The ancestral connections are palpable and real in the work, where honoring the ancestors is paramount.

Official Website

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Derrick Gardner & The Jazz Prophets @ Twitter

Derrick Gardner & The Jazz Prophets @ YouTube