Dahi Divine, tenor saxophone; Albert Baliwas, alto saxophone; Theo Hill, piano; Zwelakhe-Duma F. Bell le Pere, bass; Khary Shaheed, drums
Dahi Divine is a tenor saxophonist, composer, and band leader, the latest in an illustrious lineage of jazz artists from Philadelphia. His first album, The Element, released in April 2015, signals the arrival of an artist remarkably well-versed in the modern jazz idiom and whose command of his craft displays virtuosity, eloquence, and maturity. In addition to leading his own quartet, he has shared the stage with James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Charles Fambrough, Monnette Sudler, Arturo O’Farrill, Kenny Burrell, and Ira Sullivan, among others. His Summergarden program features the premiere of Victims to Vanity, a piece he wrote in tribute to his brother Gahib Divine, who died in street violence in Philadelphia in 2011. Divine writes, “My brother’s death made me realize how my focus on success, acceptance by others and public appearances, and what I thought were problems—seemed superficial and misplaced, and at the end of the day meant nothing. What I needed was to be around family and the people I cared for the most. This song emerged as a vehicle for healing.”
The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971. In keeping with MoMA’s history of presenting jazz and classical music in the Sculpture Garden, this year’s concert series once again welcomes the participation of The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Titled New Music for New York, the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night. Juilliard concerts are performed by members of The New Juilliard Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs, who has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, all of which are enjoying their New York premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two up-and-coming jazz ensembles whose concerts emphasize original works, each with one world premiere.
Summergarden is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Sculpture Garden may close if attendance reaches maximum capacity. Entrance to Summergarden is through the Sculpture Garden gate on West 54 Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Sculpture Garden opens at 7:00 p.m., and concerts start at 8:00 p.m. and run approximately one hour to 90 minutes. The Sculpture Garden closes at 10:00 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will be held in The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, and the Museum’s 54 Street entrance will open at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition galleries are closed during Summergarden. The Garden Bar sells savory and sweet treats, including baguette sandwiches and homemade soft pretzels with dipping sauces, locally made gelato from Il Laboratorio del Gelato, wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. In the event of rain, refreshments are not available.