In August 2016,
Cuneiform Records Congratulates the
National Park Service on its Centennial
Announces the Upcoming Release of
America's National Parks,
a Double-Disc Set of Music by
Composer/Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith
with his Golden Quintet
August 25th, 2016
100th Anniversary of the
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
"The national parks represent an idea born in this country, as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most magnificent and sacred places in our nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich,
but for everyone."
- Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan
An Act to Establish a National Park Service, 8/25/1916.
(General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives)
On August 25th, 1916, the Organic Act was signed into power by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, creating the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner … as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
The idea of creating National Parks - setting aside land to be owned by the American people in perpetuity, for the public's pleasure and national pride - was an American innovation. The first example of this dates back to 1872, when the US federal government under President Ulysses S. Grant designated Yellowstone as a "public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people," creating the first and oldest National Park in the world. The concept of national parks spread worldwide as the US designated additional parks and other nations began to establish their own. The 1916 Organic Act ensured the future of America's National Parks by creating a special federal bureau under the US Department of the Interior to be their stewards, and to manage and preserve them.
Numerous celebrations honoring the National Parks Centennial (National Park Service Centennial) are being held in August 2016, including:
- The National Archives in Washington DC is displaying the Organic Act of 1916 in a special exhibit throughout August.
- Free admission to all National Parks (some usually charge admission) on the weekend of Aug. 25-28
- Music celebrations in various parks
For more info on the National Parks Centennial:
Info on the Organic Act & National Parks from:
“The national parks are more than landmarks, monuments, and territories,
more than mountains, forests, lakes, and geologic wonders.
They represent a piece of the American soul.”
- Edwin Bernbaum
Cuneiform Records' release of Wadada Leo Smith's America's National Parks auspiciously coincides with the 2016 National Parks Centennial celebrations.
October 14th, 2016 marks the release of
WADADA LEO SMITH's
America's National Parks
"My focus is on the... idea of setting aside reserves for common property of the American citizens: those who have passed on before, those who are here in the present, and those who will come in the future. The...collective notion about common property, inheritance, longevity, transformation, and sustaining beauty down the line...” -Wadada Leo Smith
Wadada Leo Smith is one of America's leading composers and trumpeters and one of the most respected creative musicians in the world. His recordings and performances have been acclaimed by the international music press, and the Ankhrasmation scores he creates for some music are now in the art world's spotlight, currently exhibited at the Hammer Museums' Made in L.A. 2016 exhibit and lauded with a 2016 Mohn Award. Smith's prior release on Cuneiform was Ten Freedom Summers, a four-disc set celebrating the American Civil Rights Movement, for which he was named one of the 3 finalists for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Music. America's National Parks follows in the musical, conceptual/political and spiritual footsteps of Ten Freedom Summers, continuing Smith's dedication to celebrating America's best ideas, most monumental achievements, and most noble ideals.
Wadada Leo Smith
America's National Parks
(Cuneiform Records - Rune 430/431)
Release Date: October 14, 2016
"The notion of creating these national parks has been celebrated as the
earliest idea of collecting common ground for the ordinary base of a society. ...it’s a collective notion about common property, inheritance, longevity, transformation, and sustaining beauty down the line, where any American in history coming forward
can see and have ownership of this common property.”
- Wadada Leo Smith
1. New Orleans: The National Culture Park USA 1718 (20:57)
2. Eileen Jackson Southern,1920-2002: A Literary National Park (9:38)
3. Yellowstone: The First National Park and the Spirit of America The Mountains, Super-Volcano Caldera and Its Ecosystem 1872 (12:14)
4. The Mississippi River: Dark and Deep Dreams Flow the River a National Memorial Park c. 5000 BC (31:07)
5. Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks: The Giant Forest, Great Canyon, Cliffs, Peaks, Waterfalls and Cave Systems 1890 (6:46)
6. Yosemite: The Glaciers, the Falls, the Wells and the Valley of Goodwill 1890 (15:23)
Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet, director of the ensemble
Anthony Davis: piano
Ashley Walters: cello
John Lindberg: bass
Pheeroan akLaff: drums
Jesse Gilbert: video artist
Music composed by Wadada Leo Smith.
Published by Kiom Music, ASCAP.
Recorded on May 5, 2016 and mixed by Nick Lloyd
at Firehouse 12 Recording Studio, New Haven, CT.
Mastered by Gene Paul at G&J Audio, Union City, NJ.
Art and Yosemite National Park photography by Jesse Gilbert.
Wadada photo: R.I. Sutherland-Cohen
Anthony photo: Erik Jepsen
Ashley photo: Tim Coburn
John photo: Sotiris Kontos
Pheeroan photo: Jimmy and Deena Katz
Jesse photo: Mona Tian
Package design by Bill Ellsworth
© 2016 Wadada Leo Smith
(p) 2016 Cuneiform Records