munity. It was founded in 1989 by the late world-renowned master (J)azz
Daáood, in an attempt to fill a cultural void in the L.A. community. Initially
music and art landscape. The Stage’s mission is to secure, preserve and
the oral tradition to a local, national and international audience. More
Composed during a three-month residency at 18th Street Arts
Center as part of the Herb Alpert Foundation Make Jazz
Fellowship, Tabari Lake’s first full-length work debuts tonight
at the historic World Stage. These seven new songs explore the
conditions of Virgin Islands identity and politics through the lens
of a young USVI native. Lake hopes to illuminate the beauty of the
sights and sounds of “America’s Paradise,” and to spark dialogue
about what it means to exist in a constant duality: as a carrier of
your culture and as a contemporary artist.
THE PROGRAM (notes from Tabari Lake)
AfroCaribbean Woman - This song was inspired by grandmother Trenita
Hodge and is dedicated to Mary “Queen Mary” Thomas, one of the lead-
ers of the 1878 “Fireburn” labor revolt in St. Croix, Danish West Indies.
Blue Tarp City - A visualization of the Virgin Islands post-Irma and Maria,
two Category 5 hurricanes that devastated the islands in 2017.
Under Siege - A description of a new reality moving from St. Thomas, a
place where the idea that a police officer would take your life simply for
the color of your skin didn’t exist, to the US mainland where that sudden-
ly became a reality.
The Village - Growing up, I had a community of teachers, elder musi-
cians, classmates, and avid supporters who fostered my musical talents
from a young age.
Catch & Keep (Acacia Retusa) - “A common weed that forms dense
thickets of vine-like vegetation. It is found throughout the island. Covered
in hundreds of hooked spines, catch & keep is aptly named for its abil-
ity to hook into and hold anything.” (National Park Service of the Virgin
To War For What? - A question posed in light of the fact that Virgin
Islands residents cannot vote for President but are encouraged to serve
in the Armed Forces.
Blue Gold - A reference to the American passport and the privileges that
come from being citizens of the US.
Tabari Lake (Bass)
Mark Hartsuch (Saxophone)
Brandon Bae (Guitar)
Michael Wooten (Piano)
Nakeiltha “Nikki” Campbell (Percussion)
Anthony Fung (Drums)
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Tabari Lake is a Los Angeles based bassist and 18th Street Art Center’s
eighth Make Jazz Fellow. A native of St. Thomas USVI, Lake grew up ad-
miring the bassists in the local bands that would play during carnival fes-
tivities. He began his musical education at the local public school, first on
steel pan, then clarinet, and finally finding his voice in the electric bass.
Lake’s continued musical growth led him to relocate to the mainland to
continue his education and dive deep into classical, and (J)azz studies. Lake
quickly learned that he existed in a dichotomy: both (J)azz and calypso, both
classical and hip hop, both foreigner and American.
Tabari has Bachelors degrees in Bass Performance and Contemporary
Writing & Production and a Masters degree in Contemporary
Performance (Production Concentration) from Berklee College of Music.
He has performed with artists such as Terence Blanchard, Dion Parson,
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Joey Alexander, Victor Provost, Russell Gunn’s
Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, Tia Fuller, and Sting, among others.
ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP AWARD
Sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation to honor and support jazz
artists, 18th Street Arts Center annually hosts its Make Jazz Fellowship,
awarded to a (J)azz composer for a three-month, fully funded residency.
This opportunity is for an individual (J)azz artist to advance or complete a
body of original compositions. For three months the Make Jazz Fellow
lives and works among artists in sunny Santa Monica, California. The
award supports the artist by providing a monthly stipend, a furnished live-
in studio, and opportunities to inspire Jazz students in
partnership with Los Angeles-area colleges and universities.
4321 Degnan Blvd.