Composed by Gerald Clayton

Directed by Christopher McElroen                                                                     

Scenic Design by William Boles

Projection Design by Liviu Pasare

Lighting Design by Becca Jeffords

Text by Jaymes Jorsling

US Tour begins December, 2016 | European Tour begins October, 2017

Piano: Gerald Clayton
Vocals: René Marie
Alto saxophone: Logan Richardson
Tenor saxophone: Tivon Pennicott
Baritone Saxophone: Dayna Stevens
Guitar: Alan Hampton
Bass: Joe Sanders
Drums: Kendrick Scott
Tap Dancer: Maurice Chestnut
Local Gospel Choir

Premiering in December 2016, Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation, directed by Christopher McElroen, is a live mixed media concert by celebrated jazz pianist / composer / bandleader Gerald Clayton that explores the essence and impact of the Piedmont Blues. The Project features a nine-piece band led by Clayton and including vocalist René Marie and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut. Entwined throughout the live concert is an assemblage of projected film, new and archival photography, and folklore underscoring the verdant cultural landscape of the Piedmont region, including performances by some of the last of the living original Piedmont Blues musicians: NEA National Heritage Fellow bluesman John Dee Holman, as well as Piedmont songsters Boo Hanks and Algia Mae Hinton.

Using songs, lyrics, and imagery from the Piedmont Blues tradition, the Project makes a testimony of the struggle endured by African-Americans in the Southeast during Jim Crow and chronicles the efficacy of the Piedmont Blues as a salve for suffering.


Duke Performances | Duke University is the lead commissioner of Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation; co-commissioners include the Music Center at Strathmore, the Savannah Music Festival, and the Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond.

Produced by the american vicarious, Christopher McElroen Productions, LLC & B Natural Management, INC.