This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.
Immerse in a psychedelic time capsule! Join us as the legendary Bobby Callender brings his 1968 masterpiece “Rainbow” to life for the first time on stage at Timucua. Celebrating the 55th anniversary of this iconic album, this is a once-in-a-lifetime sonic journey you won’t want to miss. Marvel at Callender’s prog-rock fusion of Eastern philosophy, jazz, R&B, and pop in this unique live performance. Timucua awaits you for this musical awakening. Be part of history as we relive the “Rainbow”!
Featuring Bobby (Robert) Callender himself backed by a ten-piece psychedelic rock ensemble with sitar and tabla.
“Bobby Callender was an incredibly gifted poet and lyricist whose complex texts could only be compared to Scott Walker; the concepts of a U.K. artist of Indian heritage post-psychedelia were augmented by the lush arrangements of Paul Harris and Bob Gallo. The cast of musicians on this album included some of the highest-caliber sidemen of the time, most notably Richard Davis, the master bassist of Van Morrison’s Astral weeks fame (not to mention a jazz musician in his own right), the guitars of Eric Gale and Hugh McCracken, and the astonishingly subtle Burnard Purdie on drums. The album is a rich and complex exploration of Eastern-inspired psychedelic rock and folk centered on the incredibly complex texts and vocals of Bobby Callender. When reading the lyric sheet, it is most astonishing how such elaborate poetic evocations were somehow made to fit popular song forms. Sure, at these highly conscious times of the late ’60s it was not uncommon for deeply poetic, socially conscious, or hallucinogenic themes to appear in the lyrics of pop music, yet this is album is absolutely brilliant for being one of the most ostentatious animations of the written word, yet absolutely vital and musical throughout. Fans of Scott Walker’s solo material, Colin Blundstone, and Duncan Browne should give this album a few hours — if not a week — of their attention.” – All Music Guide
About Robert Callender
Robert Callender is a pioneering figure in the world of popular music, recognized for his groundbreaking fusion of jazz, R&B, pop, and Indian raga. Born and raised in New York City, Callender embarked on an artistic journey that would lead him to explore and incorporate Eastern philosophy, mysticism, and the countercultural ethos of the 1960s into his work.
Callender emerged onto the music scene in the 1960s. Known at the time as Bobby Callender, the singer and songwriter had a pop hit in Little Star (1963). His sound and his philosophy matured throughout the decade. His two seminal prog-rock albums, “Rainbow” (1968) and “The Way” (1971), showcased his artistic freedom and innovative approach to composition, captivating listeners with his unique blend of Eastern and Western musical elements. These works, featuring notable musicians like Collin Walcott and offering a mix of structured rhythms, improvisational jazz, and raga, were reflections of Callender’s spiritual journey and exploration of alternative lifestyles.
The albums were conceptual masterpieces, presenting short esoteric tales through a combination of music and spoken word. Callender’s compositions painted a psychedelic tapestry of sound, pushing the boundaries of genre and experimenting with new sonic possibilities. His work was seen as a direct response to the social and cultural upheaval of his time, making him a beacon of the psychedelic music scene.
Despite their initial obscurity, “Rainbow” and “The Way” have since become cult classics, appreciated by connoisseurs of avant-garde music for their depth, complexity, and timeless relevance. Today, Robert Callender continues to inspire, his musical legacy serving as a testament to the transformative power of music and its ability to transcend cultural boundaries.
Please bring a bottle of wine or non-alcoholic beverage to share.
Half-price tickets are available for students, teachers, frontline workers, veterans, and seniors.