WATCH & LISTEN
Music & Direction by decibelists: Emma Alabaster & Leo Ferguson
Edited by Erin Greenwell
The video was created through an interactive process of community engagement in which born-and-raised New Yorkers were invited to tell their “displacement stories” and create short narratives for the video.
Full decibelists album available on all streaming platforms
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice, Never Again Action and New Sanctuary Coalition joined forces to launch the Let My People Go campaign, to bail people out of jail and immigration detention, and demand that Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio #FreeThemAll.
Just in time for the first night of Passover, nine musicians and over thirty singers came together to set our demands to music. The ensemble features Black Jews and other Jews of Color, professional singers and passionate amateurs, and people from every background — all united in outrage over the government’s indifference to the lives of incarcerated New Yorkers.
Emma Alabaster - Vocal Arranging; Leo Ferguson - Arranging & Production
Lyrics adapted by Mare Berger, Emma Alabaster, Leo Ferguson, and Alicia Raquel Bauman Morales Video edited by Drew Dickler; Directed by Emma Alabaster & Leo Ferguson
“I Know What It Means To Be Free” was created by the Let My People Go campaign in collaboration with Israel Adeyemi Adeniji who was arrested by the police and spent 190 days in ICE detention. Last year, BCBF paid the $12,000 bond - ransom - required to secure Israel's freedom and reunite him with his family. The criminal charges against Israel have since been dropped but he is still fighting his immigration case. Thousands of our immigrant neighbors remain in detention.
Support the campaign here: https://bit.ly/iknowwhatitmeanstobefree
Produced by Israel Adeyemi Adeniji and Emma Alabaster
Narrated by Israel Adeyemi Adeniji
Directed and Animated by Nathan Leigh
Music by ES Wex
Audio Mixing by Emma Alabaster
Poem by Sterling A. Brown
Music, Vocals & Acoustic Guitar - Cornelius Eady
Bass, Vocals & Music Direction - Emma Alabaster
Violin - Concetta Abbate
Drums - Leo Ferguson
Electric Guitar - Charlie Rauh
Vocals - Robin Messing
Arrangement - Rough Magic
Emma Alabaster - bass & vocals, Lisa Liu - guitar
In the Third Generation the Daughters Are Free (2009)
"Alabaster’s album represents a unique voice in New York City’s underground jazz community. Coming across like an autobiographical concept album for the downtown scene, the compositions presented here are focused around Alabaster’s bass playing, singing, and spoken word writing. However the album is also grounded in the forward thinking improvisational work displayed by Emma and her sympathetic band, which features Jim Bertini on drums, Alex Carter on tenor saxophone, and Jonathan Nocera on electric guitar. In addition, the band is joined by Ian Turner on two tracks, who contributes vocals and laptop manipulations."
-All About Jazz
Aurora Levins Morales writes,
“It takes three generations. If you resolve your relationship with your mother you’ll both change, and your daughter will have it easier, but her daughter will be raised differently. In the third generation the daughters are free.”
“This musical memory collage is for the fearless poet, the judicious savant, or, simply, the inquisitive listener who is ready for the next unorthodox musical journey.”
-Sharon Nichols, Chronogram Magazine