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Royal Hartigan Honors Ancestors In Free Concert, May 5 In Pittsfield

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Royal Hartigan Percussionist, author, activist, and Pittsfield (Mass.) native Royal Hartigan brings the Blood Drum Spirit ensemble to his home town, to honor his (and our) ancestors on Sunday, May 5, at 3 pm. The concert will take place at the Zion Lutheran Church at 74 First Street, Pittsfield.

A free will offering is suggested and all proceeds from offerings will be donated to the Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations Emergency Fuel Fund and to Berkshires Jazz, Inc. Hartigan will be joined by saxophonist David Bindman, pianist Art Hirahara, and bassist Wes Brown.

As a recipient of both J. William Fulbright and Asian Cultural Council awards, Dr. Hartigan has performed, conducted research, recorded, and taught in the Philippines in residencies since 2006. He also brings students from UMass Dartmouth, where he is a professor, to Ghana, West Africa, each year, studying in rural villages with master drummers and dancers.

A scholar of world music, Hartigan has published four books and participated in numerous recordings as a sideman or with his ensemble. His mother, Hazel Hartigan, and uncle, Ray Hart, were tap dancers and musicians who toured throughout the world and taught tap in the Berkshires from the 1930s to the 1970s.

The concert is dedicated to Royal's parents, James and Hazel Hartigan, uncle Ray Hart, and all our departed loved ones.


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