The Como Mamas 'Meet Me At the River'

The Como Mamas 'Count Your Blessings'

The Como Mamas 'Artist Spotlight'

The Como Mamas

MONK@100

Sunday, October 22, 2017 | 7 pm

Durham Fruit & Produce Company


$10 Duke student tickets will go on sale TUESDAY, AUGUST 29 at 11 AM. Tickets will be available for purchase online, via phone at 919-684-4444, and in person at the Duke University Box Office, Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

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Remarkably little is known about the years Thelonious Monk spent on the road as a teenager, playing organ behind an evangelist and faith healer possibly called the Texas Warhorse. The influence of gospel on Monk’s music — big, strong chords above and a warm, assured spirit coursing below — is evident in everything he wrote. Few contemporary groups tap the same vein as the Como Mamas, a trio of singers from the tiny Mississippi town of Como. On their breakthrough, Get an Understanding, Della Daniels, Ester Mae Smith, and Angela Taylor belted out unaccompanied spirituals with a grit and power that would astonish even the staunchest agnostic. In Durham, too, the trio sings without accompaniment, on a program that considers the thrilling source material of Monk’s distinctive music.

MONK@100 is made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation & the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. MONK@100 is an official event of the N.C. Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

“Gospel singers in the truest sense, singing, hollering and testifying with pride and devotion.”

The Irish Times

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