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Duke Arts Presents

The Como Mamas


Sunday, October 22, 2017 | 7:00 pm

The Fruit

Remarkably little is known about the years Thelonious Monk spent on the road as a teenager, playing organ behind an evangelist and faith healer possibly called the Texas Warhorse. The influence of gospel on Monk’s music — big, strong chords above and a warm, assured spirit coursing below — is evident in everything he wrote. Few contemporary groups tap the same vein as the Como Mamas, a trio of singers from the tiny Mississippi town of Como. On their breakthrough, Get an Understanding, Della Daniels, Ester Mae Smith, and Angela Taylor belted out unaccompanied spirituals with a grit and power that would astonish even the staunchest agnostic. In Durham, too, the trio sings without accompaniment, on a program that considers the thrilling source material of Monk’s distinctive music.

Consult our MONK@100 guide for all the details on tickets, the venue, parking, sets, free events & more.

MONK@100 is made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation & the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. MONK@100 is an official event of the N.C. Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

The Como Mamas 'Meet Me At the River'

The Como Mamas 'Count Your Blessings'

The Como Mamas 'Artist Spotlight'

“Gospel singers in the truest sense, singing, hollering and testifying with pride and devotion.”

The Irish Times