The Como Mamas - Meet Me At the River

The Como Mamas "Count Your Blessings"

Artist Spotlight: The Como Mamas

“Praise lifted skyward in song. Smith’s towering voice, buoyed up by the harmonies of Taylor and Daniels, creates an indelible sound that is deeply human in its approach to the divine.”

AM New York

The Como Mamas

MONK@100

October 22, 2017 | 7 pm

Durham Fruit & Produce Company


Single tickets to Duke Performances 2017/18 shows will go on sale TUESDAY, JULY 11 at 11 AM. $10 Duke student tickets and $20 tickets for patrons ages 30 and under 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.

Made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

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

The Irish Times

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