Luther Dickinson says his passion for Ocean Springs artist Walter Anderson’s “Seven Climates of Ocean Springs” is an ongoing affair.
“I’m still working on music for it,” Dickinson said in an interview with the Sun Herald. “I’ll be working on it for the rest of life — I’ll always be working on it.”
Dickinson will be bringing his passion for Anderson’s work back to Ocean Springs on Sunday for the second installment of his musical journey “Luther Dickinson’s Music Inspired by Walter Anderson’s ‘Seven Climates of Ocean Springs.” The show starts at 6 p.m. at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Tickets start at $50.
Joining Dickinson this year will be renowned pianist John Medeski (Medeski, Martin and Wood) and New Orleans drummer Johnny “V” Vidacovich.
Q: Your show was a big hit last year. Have you added some new elements to Sunday’s show?
A: Yeah, definitely. I’m pretty much playing new music this year just with the same theme. But the main thing is that this year, I have (John) Medeski and Johhny Vidacovich. When I first got inspired to this, I was in the museum and then I went to Australia and Medeski was with me. During that trip to Australia, I was just obsessed with the inspiration that art gave me. I was doing all the musical patterns trying to figure out how to make hurricanes and musical ying yangs and talking to Medeski about it the whole time. It was funny because I was thinking in a super heavy scientific way and I was showing Medeski the pictures and I showed him the alligator. He said, “Oh man, that’s easy, you just play the alligator.” He’s been a part of this process the whole time. He’s a great musician and a great improvisor and he has the ability to actually play what I hear when I look at that art.
Q: You also spent some time on Deer Island the last time you were here, correct?
A: Yeah, that was beautiful, that was something else. But you know what? The funny thing is it’s the art that talks to me. The island is beautiful, but Walter had a relationship with that place. It’s his art that moves me.
Q: The audience really seemed to be into last year’s show. Are you looking forward to Sunday’s performance?
A: It was one of the highlights of last year. Everybody there was just so happy and friendly. It was cool seeing families dancing and getting involved. It was beautiful, man.
Q: You’ve told me before how you wanted to evolve the project. Do you plan to make this an annual thing?
A: Yeah. I’m just going to keep expanding on the music I wrote because I wrote a ton of music. I’m still writing on it. It’s the kind of thing that will never be finished. I still want to get some orchestral movements going and maybe involve a community orchestra or dance troupe or maybe even Corey (Christy’s) brass band (Blackwater Brass). I’ll keep coming as long as they will let me in there.
Q: It’s the last week of Jazz Fest and this will be a great way to end it. You’re playing the “Exile on Bourbon Street” show Friday with Rolling Stones sax player Karl Denson. Do you know what you’re playing yet?
A: Man, I love The Stones. I’m so looking forward to it. I love Karl and his band and I love “Exile on Main Street” and I’ve been learning the songs off of it. It’s really going to be an honor.
Q: We lost Col. Bruce Hampton this week. What sort of role did he play in your life?
A: It’s unbelievable the way he went out — on stage at his 70th birthday celebration. Wow. I hope I get to go out doing what I love and surrounded by friends and family. It’s amazing.
He was an amazing man. He will be so missed but he will live on forever because he’s taught so many musicians so much. And we all carry him in our hearts. I swear I think about the Colonel every time I do a show. He’s the one who told me to go out and get in my zone, regardless if there are 10 people there or 10,000. He taught me to not let my ego get in the way of what I was supposed to be doing. He taught me to always get into the music regardless of where and when and that changed my life, man. It’s the best advice I’ve ever had.
If you go
Luther Dickinson’s Music Inspired by Walter Anderson’s ‘Seven Climates of Ocean Springs’
Walter Anderson Museum of Art at 510 Washington Ave. in Ocean Springs
6 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, 2017
Tickets start at $50 and are available at WalterAndersonMusuem.Org.