Ursus Minor and Guests in Vitry-sur-Seine

Festival Sons d'Hiver 2012

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Ursus Minor

Mahmoud El Kati — Rapper

Stokley Williams — Singer

Desdamona — Rapper

Boots Riley — Rapper

Ada Dyer — Singer

Program notes

Ursus Minor joins forces with a stellar array of guest musicians to perform a vibrant and varied program in the twenty-first edition of the Festival Sons d’Hiver!

Formed in 2003 at the Campus rehearsal studio in Paris, Ursus Minor crafted their first project around an important philosophical question: “How do we enter the twenty-first century without losing sight of what came before?”—an idea that the band continues to address today. A dazzling blend of early jazz, upbeat funk, and electro rap, Ursus Minor combines tradition with innovation while reflecting upon important social issues.

In 2012, founders Tony Humas (keyboard) and Francois Corneloup (baritone saxophone), were joined by drummer Stokley Williams and guitarist Mike Scott, long-time collaborator of Prince. Their performance at the Festival Sons d’Hiver commemorates Howard Zinn, a historian-activist, whose book A People’s History of the United States was the first to highlight the exploitation of the majority by social structures favoring a small elite. The concert reflects upon freedom and injustice, with emotive spoken word performances including The Words of Frederick Douglass, Miss America, and We Shall Overcome denouncing oppression in America. A defiant tone is set through powerful vocals in Don’t Take But For An Answer and Respect, while instrumental improvisation reigns free in Drivin Car—guaranteeing a concert filled with musical and emotional intensity.

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