If, like me, your knowledge of the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, begins and ends with Bob Marley's "War" and rastafarians believing he was/is god, we are probably showing our ignorance.
But if your idea of fun is not a two hour show about the Emperor you are probably, again like me, not driven to see Toman Dancker's two hour telling "rock opera" "Power Of The Trinity" -Selassie's name translated to English, telling of the great man..
Well, after listening to former "No New York" denizen Tomas Dancker, current multi-culti album of the same name, I've got news. Go, because it sounds awesome. From jazz to hard rock to reggae, Tomas integrates so many sounds into the story that at least musically, it sounds important.
But also, Selassie is a fascinating man, and not simply God incarnate. An ancestor of (get this) the Queen Of Sheba! and the last of a great Dynasty that ruled over Ethiopia for 3000 years.
Check the pix for dates and I will be at the Summerstage gig on Tuesday, myself.
Here is the press kit had to say:
"New York, NY- City Parks Foundation proudly presents the July 27, 2012 premiere of THE POWER OF THE TRINITY, by SummerStage presented by AT&T, New York City’s largest free performing arts festival taking place in 18 parks in all 5 boroughs.
Live global-soul music sets the backdrop this riveting, high-energy theatrical concert about Ethiopia’s last monarch, Emperor Haile Selassie and his unbreakable determination to save the Ethiopian kingdom from foreign invasion.
The Power of the Trinity is a play written by the late New York playwright, Roland Wolf that examines the determination of one man to save a nation. King Haile Selassie (whose name translates directly to “The Power of the Holy Trinity) was the last of a 3000 year reign of monarchs in Ethiopia and is recognized as one of the first globally conscious African leaders of the 20th century. The production focuses on his leadership during Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia and Selassie’s riveting appeal for help from the League of Nations. Selassie’s famed speech on freedom and humanity ends with a haunting premonition of World War II, noting “It is Ethiopia today. It will be you tomorrow.”
All shows will feature musician Tomás Doncker backed by a full band performing the soundtrack live with an array of famed Ethiopian musicians including BBC World Music Award winner Mahmoud Ahmed, Selam Seyoum Woldemariam, Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibabaw in addition to bassist/producer Bill Laswell. Using songs from Tomás Doncker’s album Power of the Trinity– which was inspired by the same event — sets the tone for a production colored with multiple personalities, at times introspective and at times sobering but constantly inspiring and enduring. Doncker’s brand of “global soul” music flecked with R&B, Jazz and Funk influences breathes life into the story of a king who challenged the powers that be.
Award winning director Alfred Preisser has developed an aggressive modernist interpretation for this production which will feature live dance, edited dialogue and full staging that conveys the strength of Selassie and the people of Ethiopia.
“Haile Selassie was an important world and African leader for the times and he served as the inspiration for what I like to call “global soul music” which exemplifies the unity of spirit that is captured in this musical theater work,” says Tomás Doncker regarding the soundtrack that was created for the production. “The ability to play this music live at each performance alongside of the actors really captures my initial goal in creating this album: to embody and convey the internal beauty and impact Ethiopia has had on the world.”