400: An Afrikan Epic Documentary
“ The music settled into a space somewhere between chamber music and jazz. It is indeed a soundtrack, and it reminds one of Bill Lee's orchestral soundtracks for his son, Spike Lee's films. There is an effortlessness about Lomax's compositions, maybe it is because his symphonic writing is built upon the foundations of percussion and a blues tradition. Both of which speak to music audiences have grown up listening to, not only jazz, but rock and hip-hop music.” - Mark Corroto
In the spring of 2013 film makers, Jason Wood and Charles Hairston, were looking for a scholar in music to help with a film on the life and work of Logan Rollins, a saxophonist who recorded two albums while an inmate at the Ohio Penitentiary. They connected with musician and composer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II and developed great working relationship as well as a friendship. As the work on the Logan Rollins film came to a close in 2016, Dr. Lomax announced his plan to become the first person to record and release an epic 12 album cycle on one day commemorating the 400th year since the first enslaved Afrikans were brought to North America. The team continued to work together to document the development of the cycle and the premier concert of the 400 Years Suite culminating in the documentary, 400: AN AFRIKAN EPIC.
“Lomax’s uncommon leadership... and his ability to bend his great musicianship to the will of the story is what makes this one of the most important stories you will ever hear in music.” - Raul Da Gama
Urban Art Ensemble:
Edwin Bayard- soprano and tenor saxophone
William Menefield- piano
Dean Hulett- bass
Mark Lomax, II- drums/composer
John Lardinois- violin I
Devin Copfer- violin II
Norman Cardwell-Murrai- viola
Mary Davis- cello
Ucelli: The Columbus Cello Quartet:
Directed by Jason Wood
Audio by Charles Hairston
Audio engineering by Jon Fintel
Mark Lomax, II
Dr. Lomax ambitiously tells the story of Black America over the course of a 12-album cycle to be released in 2019. 400: An Afrikan Epic is divided into thirds and explores thousands of years of the history that is pre-colonial Afrika, the Ma’afa (the 400 years between 1619 and 2019), and Afro-futurism expressing a vision of what Blacks in America will heal toward in the next 400 years; a healthy, high functioning, and united block of the African diaspora.
This 90-page full color digital curriculum guide contains historical overviews, definitions, discussion questions, and over 100 scholarly references that encourages high school and college learners to think critically about Afrikan history through an alternative lens in completing both independent research projects and lesson plans developed by educators.