LOS ANGELES COMPOSERS OF THE PAN AFRIKAN PEOPLES ARKESTRA
The Los Angeles Composers of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra is the current project of The Gathering: Roots & Branches of Los Angeles Jazz under the leadership of Jesse Sharps, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and early bandleader in the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. The mission is to complete and secure the archive of the composers of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, record select pieces, and document the history and background of the music.
2021 marked the 60th anniversary of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, which was founded originally in 1961 by Horace Tapscott as UGMA, the Underground Musicians Association. Over the next decades UGMA evolved into an umbrella organization that included poets, dancers, artists, and community activists, eventually known as the Union of Gods and Artist Ascension (UGMAA). The musical expression of UGMAA grew into the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and since around 1971 it has continued as a multi-generational band and representation of the original vision Horace Tapscott had for a community based orchestra bringing "African American Classical Music" to the community and sharing the history of great composers of that music. It has seen numerous generations of musicians come through the group (panafrikanpeoplesarkestra).
On June 5th 2022 the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, CA generously supported a recording session featuring select pieces from the archive, including Horace Tapscott's The Ghetto Suite. This was in celebration of the 60 year history and was facilitated through California Institute of the Arts.
It represents the first step in this important cultural and musicological work and there are several ways to help out. LACPAPA has partnered with Soul Force Project, a 501c non-profit that promotes social justice through global music and the arts. Please contact us or get more information on the Support page.
LACPAPA Board of Directors
Jesse Fundi Roberto Fuasi
Sharps Legohn Miranda Abdul-Kahliq