Akropolis Reed Quintet Announce 6th Album, 'Are We Dreaming The Same Dream?'

April 4, 2024

Akropolis Reed Quintet joins forces with Grammy-nominated composer and jazz pianist Pascal Le Boeuf and celebrated drummer Christian Euman.

Release Date: April 26, 2024    |   PRE-ORDER ON BRIGHT SHINY THINGS

“America is woven of many strands; I would recognize them and let it so remain.”
Ralph Ellison, from Invisible Man (1952)


Are We Dreaming the Same Dream? is an examination of what Ralph Ellison calls “the unity of American experience.” With a hybrid ensemble comprised of Akropolis Reed Quintet, pianist/composer Pascal Le Boeuf, and drummer Christian Euman, Le Boeuf deconstructs the fabric of his American experience by recognizing the strands of his musical DNA—Geri Allen, Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Leonard Bernstein. What are the strands that form our collective identity, and are we dreaming the same dream?


The complete septet came together for the Akropolis' debut on Michigan's esteemed University Musical Society (UMS) performance series last fall and will be bringing back the monumental project for the Akropolis' 2024/25 season. Click here to learn more about experiencing Are We Dreaming The Same Dream? live in concert!  




Watch 'Strands' on YouTube! Single #1 from Are We Dreaming The Same Dream?


Note by Pascal Le Beouf:

This project was prompted by a quote from choreographer Bill T. Jones. When I first worked with Bill in 2014, I was taken by his fearless approach to creating socially engaged art, and the myriad ways in which he married improvised and planned material throughout the collaborative process. That same year, he published Story/Time (Princeton University Press) which examines his artistic relationship to John Cage, whom he both admires and questions.

“If one were to examine [...] the DNA of one’s influences [...] in terms of how the various strands interact to create the artist, one would see how important conflict between strands is. I don’t think any artist can come to who they are without experiencing this conflict. [...] In some cases, one has to accept an uncomfortable fit in order to become the artist one truly is.”

On a personal level, this music represents my struggle to understand, as Bill puts it, the artist who I truly am, the context in which I exist, and the strands of influence that form my identity. But this work also begs the audience to consider the unity or disunity of their American experience and to examine the strands that contribute to our collective identity, for as Ellison once pointed out, “the most agonizing mystery sponsored by the democratic ideal is that of our unity- in-diversity, our oneness in manyness. American culture is of a whole, for that which is essentially ‘American’ in [that] it springs from the synthesis of our diverse elements of cultural style.”



Are We Dreaming the Same Dream? was commissioned by the Akropolis Reed Quintet with support from the National Endowment for the Arts “Art Works” program, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program, the Alice M. Ditson Fund Recording Program, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. This work was completed by Pascal Le Boeuf while in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award. 




Each artist on stage is a powerhouse in their field. Founded in 2009, the Billboard charting, 7-time national prize winning Akropolis Reed Quintet makes music with “infallible musicality and huge vitality” (Fanfare Magazine). Winner of 7 national chamber music prizes including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal, Akropolis has premiered and commissioned over 150 works by living artists and composers. Pascal Le Boeuf is a Grammy-nominated composer, pianist, and producer described as "sleek, new" and "hyper-fluent" by the New York Times. He is widely recognized for his polyrhythmic approach to chamber music and hybridization of disparate idioms. Christian Euman, one of Revive Magazine's "six drummers you should know about," has toured with Jacob Collier, Kurt Elling, Billy Childs, Walter Smith III, and Geoff Keezer, among others. He attended the Thelonious Monk Institute where he studied and performed with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chris Potter, Jimmy Heath, and Stefon Harris.