Sunday, October 16, 2016

Imani Winds in Quad Cities Arts Residency October 17-21, 2016; PASS Performance Presented by St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa Oct. 19, 6:30 PM

Imani Winds
(Photo Pierre Lidar)

Genre: wind quintet

Since 1997, the Grammy nominated quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs. Imani Winds’ commitment to education runs deep. The group participates in residencies throughout the U.S., giving master classes to thousands of students a year.

Residency Dates

October 17-21, 2016

PASS Performance

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Rogalski Center at St. Ambrose University
Presented by: St. Ambrose University
Click for more information about joining our Performing Arts Signature Series (PASS).



Organist Mickey Thomas Terry In Recital Sunday, October 23, 4 PM, Northeastern Presbyterian Church, 2112 Varnum Street, NE, Washington, DC

Mickey Thomas Terry

George Walker

Undine Smith Moore
(Women's Philharmonic Advocacy)

Robert A. Harris

Mickey Thomas Terry writes: 

On Sunday, October 23rd at 4pm, Mickey Thomas Terry will be featured in an 
organ recital at Northeastern Presbyterian Church (2112 Varnum Street, NE) in
Washington, DC. 

Among the works featured will be compositions by George Bohm, Bach, Franck, 
as well as works by African-American composers George Walker, Mark Fax, 
Thomas Kerr, Undine Moore, and Robert A. Harris. 

Comment by email:
Thanks, Bill. Best regards. George [George Walker] 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Spector Travel of Boston: Ghana February 1-14, 2017, Akwasidae, a Cultural Festival Celebrated in the Ashanti Region with Ceremonies, Markets & Slave Castles

Spector Travel has the imagination to create the trip that will empower your dreams. In Ghana we go beyond the mainstream, we are ahead of the trends.
See the Trip

Schomburg Connection: Cave Canem & the Schomburg Center will present a performance based on Max Roach’s 1961 Freedom Now Suite, Wed. Oct. 19 at 7 PM

Wednesday, October 19 at 7:00 PM

Cave Canem ’s 20th anniversary and the Schomburg Center, for our year-long exploration of the Black Power Movement, will present  an intergenerational, interdisciplinary performance based on the musical composition of jazz composer and drummer Max Roach’s 1961 Freedom Now Suite. Freedom Now! will feature Cave Canem co-founders Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady and Black Arts Movement icon Sonia Sanchez, with a special appearance by New York City-based youth poets. The evening's artistic director will be composer/performer and Cave Canem fellow Karma Mayet Johnson. Members of the  Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber will furnish the piece’s musical foundation.  Musicians and poets share the stage for the duration of the performance to deliver their own original compositions as well as excerpts of texts from Audre Lorde and Henry Dumas.   

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

@SchomburgCenter #FreedomNow

Ticket prices vary: $25 (48-Hour Sale October 13-14 only),  $30 (Schomburg Society Members), $35 (General Admission), $100 (VIP)

Purchase  here The Musicians Behind Luke Cage on Creating a ‘Timeless’ Sound and the Lack of Opportunities for Black Composers

Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth in Luke Cage
Photo: Myles Aronowitz/Netflix


October 4, 2016

By Matthew Giles

When Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad first signed on to score Netflix’s Luke Cage, they didn’t consider how the show would consume their day-to-day lives. The two are legendary — Muhammad was a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest, and the prolific Younge has an output that defies categorization.
They quickly realized all future plans needed to be shelved. It wasn’t solely that the score was overly consuming — though Younge concedes, “We had to give up our lives as artists to dedicate ourselves wholly to this score” — but more that Younge and Muhammad realized they had a chance to create a score that could define the TV series.
“We raised the bar and created something that is timeless,” professes Muhammad. Over coffee at the Cut restaurant in the recently opened Four Seasons Downtown in New York City, Vulture spoke with the two musicians about creating the score, the lack of opportunities for black composers, and setting a tone that bridges a many musical genres.

You both had worked together before Luke Cage, right?

Ali Shaheed Muhammad: Since about 2013, when he was working on the Souls of Mischief record, and he asked me to be a part of it. That formed our friendship and production partnership, but we had never spoken about scoring together, so when [showrunner] Cheo [Hodari Coker] reached out to us individually, it was easy to fall into.

For something like this, are you both in the same room working together? Are you emailing? And then how do you get the orchestra involved?

Adrian Younge: There are 13 episodes, and on each of the episodes, we have a spotting session, where we meet with the directors and the music supervisors, and we all watch the episode. Then we write notes and we leave. Ali takes these amount of cues, I take these amount of cues, we do a certain amount of cues together, and when we are done, we submit it for approval to everybody, and assuming there are no changes — there are never much changes at all — we give it Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, who is our conductor-orchestrator, and he orchestrates it for a 30-piece orchestra that we record in Raphael Saadiq’s studio. Then we record that and mix it.

There is a sense that you both realized this score would be studied by future musicians, and the idea that you had to go above and beyond expectations. Am I right in that? And did that sense come while scoring or after the fact?

AY: It was in the present. As freelance artists, you do what the hell you want to. When you are a composer for a multi-billion-dollar company like Marvel, you are an employee and you have responsibilities. When we accepted these jobs, I just thought it’d be a couple of months. We realized this is a big deal for many reasons, at that point.
One reason, we enjoyed it, and we wanted to do a good job for Cheo, who has our back. Secondly, it is something that is great for our careers. As composers, it brings us to another side where cats have done hip-hop, R&B, and now we’re getting into a big television series with a film perspective on composition, not just a regular television.
And lastly, we needed to execute because it was something that was bigger than us. We are two black composers, and black composers don’t really get the opportunities to support things of this magnitude. It is a cyclical process. If you look back to Duke Ellington, to Quincy Jones, to Isaac Hayes, these opportunities are seldom, and when black composers have been awarded these opportunities, it is something where you must make a statement. The statement we sought to make is that people of our culture should aspire to do more than just sampling or producing for someone else. Don’t just stop there. You can score film, you can have an orchestra, you can go as far as you want to.
When I say our culture, I am talking about urban culture. And that includes people that are in hip-hop. You don’t see hip-hop producers composing. We can count on one hand how many we know. It is unfortunate. But it is something that ties into the fact that you don’t see many black composers having these opportunities. We knew we wanted to set a bar, and we wanted to make something pivotal, unique, and novel for people to watch and feel.

By Fluorescent Beige (@tlw83

Friday, October 14, 2016

Girma Yifrashewa Birthday Oct. 15; Unseen Worlds & Las Cruxes Present Ethiopian Classical Music "Love and Peace" Tour Texas; Austin 10/29, San Antonio 11/5

Girma Yifrashewa
(Tadias Magazine)

Girma Yifrashewa has a website at: 
and  is featured at

Girma Yifrashewa is a classical composer and pianist who was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on October 15, 1967.  His latest CD is Love & Peace, on the Unseen Worlds label,

The "Love and Peace" Tour Texas 2016 will take Girma Yifrashewa to Central Presbyterian Church in Austin on Saturday, October 29 and to Jo Long Theater at the Carver Center in San Antonio on Saturday, November 5.   

Girma Yifrashewa:
Love & Peace
Unseen Worlds UW13 (2014)

Comment by email:
Yes, happy birthday Girma!  [Tommy McCutchon]

On An Overgrown Path: Record companies and crowdfunders are you listening? [Philippa Schuyler's orchestral music "doubtless deserves" a commercial recording]

June 1962
My Black And White World
Philippa Schuyler
(Cover Photo: Alchetron)

John McLaughlin Williams plays Philippa Schuyler's Nine Little Pieces

Published on Dec 20, 2015

Philippa Schuyler was a child prodigy fêted by Leonard Bernstein and Virgil Thomson, her music was performed by five leading American orchestras while still a teenager. She was accompanied by the New York Philharmonic at age 16, ranked alongside Aaron Copland and Marc Blitzstein, mourned with a Pontifical Requiem Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral, New York, and the rumoured subject of a Hollywood biopic. That is the executive summary for American music legend Philippa Schuyler. Read more on Philippa Schuyler here - and read John McLaughlin Williams' analysis of her Nine Little Pieces here -  

Bob Shingleton writes:

I have said it too many times before, and doubtless I will have to say it many more times   -

But together we will overcome.....



On An Overgrown Path

Friday, October 14, 2016

In 2011 I collaborated with John McLaughlin Williams on a two part feature about the composer and pianist Philippa Schuyler, who is seen above on the cover of a 1962 edition of Sepia magazine. The first Overgrown Path article Philippa Schuyler - genius or genetic experiment? told her life story, while in A Philippa Schuyler Moment her Nine Little Pieces for piano were analysed by John using a recording he very generously made especially for the blog - listen via YouTube below. 

Philippa Schuyler was the scion of an interracial marriage. Her father, George Schuyler, was a renowned and controversial black journalist, and her mother, Josephine Cogdell, was a blond, blue-eyed Texan heiress. Philippa rose to prominence as both a composer and pianist, and her compositions were performed by the Chicago and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras and the New York Philharmonic. But in the early 1960s her career stalled and she died in 1967 at the age of 36 when the US military helicopter in which she was a passenger inexplicably crashed in Vietnam. As a result of our articles the BBC broadcast a radio programme about Philippa titled The Colour of Genius in which John participated and which used his piano recordings.

In the five years that have passed since the two Overgrown Path features and the BBC programme appeared great strides have been made towards giving women musicians the equality that is rightly due to them. But that equality has brought a new inequality, with women musicians of colour still not being given their fair share of opportunities and critical attention. It is no credit to classical music that the appointment of a few white women to prestigious positions in a repressive music establishment has been hailed as the end of decades of institutionalised, deep-rooted and continuing discrimination.

Recently John McLaughlin Williams revisited our collaboration on Facebook, and this prompted a response from the black American composer and conductor Kevin Scott which is published below. In 2011 I wrote that the apparently insurmountable problem to assessing Philippa Schuyler's merit as a musician is that there are no commercial recordings of her as pianist or composer, and there are no published scores of her orchestral works. Kevin Scott's assessment of her orchestral music is an important step towards making the commercial recording which will finally bring her music to the audience it doubtless deserves. The Overgrown Path articles about Philippa continue to attract a very large readership, and they are one of the projects that I am most proud of. If Kevin's advocacy results in a recording, I will at last be able to carry out my oft-repeated threat to retire the blog with my work done. Here is Kevin Scott's commentary on Philippa Schuyler's music. Record companies and crowdfunders are you listening? 

I am one of the few musicians who has reviewed most of Philippa Duke Schuyler's orchestral music. Suffice it to say, it would fill one CD comfortably. What is the music like? In her brief lifespan she composed a significant number of works, all of which were heard during her lifetime. All of the compositions, save Manhattan Nocturne, reside in the Arthur Schomburg branch of the New York Public Library in Harlem. The works are:

Three Short Pieces (ca. 1939 - one movement for brass, one for strings and one for chamber orchestra)

Manhattan Nocturne (1942; orchestrated from her piano piece - the score resides at Syracuse University)

Rumpelstiltskin (Scherzo for Orchestra)(1944)

Sleepy Hollow Sketches (Two pieces for Orchestra)(1946)

The Nile Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra (Two versions: first version a one-movement concert piece, date unknown and never performed, second version an expanded four-movement concerto premiered in Egypt around 1965)

The CD could feature both versions of the Nile Fantasy (1st version ca. 15 minutes, 2nd version ca. 22-25 minutes) in addition to all the other works whose total time is approximately 33-35 minutes.

With the exception of her setting of excerpts from T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom for recitant and piano (Similar to Strauss' Enoch Arden), all works between 1946 and the mid-1960s are unfinished and in such a state that they can't be reconstructed (Example - her setting of T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock for chorus and orchestra barely lasts some thirteen to twenty measures in full score, unless complete sketches abound in another box of her music either at NYPL Schomburg or Syracuse University).

"Seven Pillars of Wisdom", on the other hand, can be orchestrated, although the music serves more as an atmospheric accompaniment to Lawrence's prose, as one critic likened the music to Bartok, so anyone who attempts to orchestrate Schuyler's setting would have to take many things into consideration. One of the works that fascinated Philippa the pianist was Charles Tomlinson Griffes' thorny, expressionistic piano sonata which may play a significant role in her later compositions, both finished and incomplete.

It was my goal back in the 1980s, and again around the late 1990s or early part of this century, to record the entire corpus of Schuyler's completed orchestral works. I had tried to interest Naxos to include her in their American Classics series, and almost had a deal to record the music in Belarus which fell through. To date I have not returned to this music, so when John McLaughlin Williams took an interest in it, I informed him of what the music is like and figured, since his connections are far more solid than mine are at present, that he could get a hold of the music and record it himself. I should note that I believe Schuyler's executrix is no longer with us, and that John or myself should contact Kathy Talalay, who has seen all of Schuyler's music at Schomburg.
Comments by email:
[See additional comments at]

1) Bob, it's a wonderful post! Thank you for saying it again and again. We will all have to say it many times more, I'm afraid.

For the last month I've been conducting a community orchestra in a town about 25 miles away. It's all volunteer with no professional musicians, though some have had more training than others. I've thought of you and your blog while preparing them for their season's opening concert. Why, you may ask? The program:

George Frederick McKay: From a Moonlit Ceremony
Max Bruch: Double Concerto for Violin & Viola
Alexander Glazunov: Symphony No.5

Of course they did not know McKay and Glazunov. The orchestra loves both pieces, particularly the Glazunov, and have thrown themselves fully into realizing them as best they can. That brings me to the words inextricably associated with you and OAOP: we must give permission to like the unfamiliar. When we do, the quotient of joy and love in the world increases measurably.

There is no wonder like the wonder of discovery. 

Thank you - 
JMW  [John McLaughlin Williams]

2) Now THIS is a great surprise! This sounds great and big congrats, John!

The program is wonderful, and to see the Glazunov 5th on the program...marvelous! I should get my butt moving and do the second symphony (I haven't decided what to do with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia next, but maybe I should talk to them about the Glazunov Second...). When I did the Hanson Fifth with them last month the musicians were pleasantly surprised, having never heard this particular work before because they were expecting another "Romantic" symphony and this is far from it! Now if I can get a gig with an orchestra and do it in concert...

Anyway, let's see what happens with Schuyler. This is a project that is way overdue!

Thank you both!

Kevin  [Kevin Scott]

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Music Institute of Chicago and Dance Chicago Present “DUKE IT OUT!” NUTCRACKER December 10 at Nichols Concert Hall 10 AM & 2 PM

Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
is featured at
(Photo: Maurice)

The Music Institute of Chicago collaborates with Dance Chicago to present a family concert, “Duke It Out!,” Saturday, December 10 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston.

This adaptation of The Nutcracker, curated by Dance Chicago, pairs the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite, performed by Axiom Brass and Music Institute Ensemble-in-Residence Quintet Attacca. Featured ensembles include Forum Jazz Dance Theatre, Moscow Ballet’s children’s cast, The Kate Jablonski Statement, Tapman Productions, Visceral Dance Chicago, Wheatland Dance Theater, and other companies and choreographers participating in Dance Chicago 2016.
Quintet Attacca
Founded in 1999, Quintet Attacca is one of Chicago's most dynamic chamber music ensembles. Grand Prize Winner and Wind Division Gold Medal Winner of the 2002 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (one of only two wind quintets to ever win the Grand Prize), the quintet spent 2006–09 as the Chicago Chamber Musicians' Professional Development Program Ensemble and continues as CCM’s Outreach and Education Ensemble. Quintet Attacca is also proud to be in residence at the Music Institute of Chicago, offering performances, family programming, chamber music coaching, and individual lessons.
Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago is dedicated to transforming lives through music education. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). Each year, the Music Institute’s teachers reach thousands of students of all ages and levels of experience. Music Institute locations include Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest, and Downers Grove. In addition, the Music Institute is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools through its Arts Link program. The Music Institute offers lessons and classes, and concerts through its Community Music School, Academy, and Nichols Concert Hall.
The Music Institute’s 2016–17 Faculty and Guest Artist Series at Nichols Concert Hall continues with a concert featuring the Music Institute’s Academy Orchestra and organ soloist John W. W. Sherer March 3 at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and March 4 at Nichols Concert Hall; pianist Sergei Babayan in an all-Bach program May 5; and Chopin International Competition medalist and Academy piano alumna Kate Liu May 20.
“Duke It Out!” takes place Saturday, December 10 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets are $7 general admission, available at or 847.905.1500 ext. 108. All programming is subject to change. For more information, visit

Black Metropolis Research Consortium: Gospel Music & The Great Migration, Chicago, Sat. Oct. 29, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM CT, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Chicago

Black Metropolis Research Consortium writes:

Join us for a conversation between musicians, scholars, and gospel music enthusiasts about the role of gospel music, as creative capital and expression, in the making of the "Black Metropolis."
The conversation will cover the development of the "gospel blues" tradition, specifically with the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses (NCGCC) within the black community from 1916 to the present. The convening will also act as a solicitation for NCGCC-related collections to be deposited at the Center for Black Music Research.
The panel includes: Dr. Lou Della Evans-Reid, Rev. B. Herbert Martin, Robert "Bob" Marovich, Johair Jabir, Bobbi Wilsyn, and Ethan Michaeli.
Refreshments will be served.
Co-sponsored by BMRC, the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, University of Illinois at Chicago African American Studies College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Black Music Research Columbia College Chicago.           

Abe Cáceres, PhD, Director of World House Music, seeks donors to sponsor keys of first grand piano for Tumaini University Makumira, Tanzania, East Africa

Abe Cáceres, PhD, Director of World House Music,  

Only 5 more keys need to be sponsored to send the first concert grand piano ever to reach Tanzania!
Brothers and Sisters,

If you could see me now – I’m jumping up and down as I type on the computer!  WE ARE INTO SINGLE DIGITS!

Last week World House Music received an anonymous gift sponsoring a key in honor of Rev. Elias Kitoi Nasari who is transitioning from his pastoral ministry at Racine Lutheran Church Redeemer, to his new position as Bishop of the Diocese of Meru, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Although he will be missed here, we pray that the Holy Spirit will guide Rev. Elias’ leadership of the church in his home country.

World House Music is also grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Ron and Pat Henning are sponsoring 5 keys “in honor of the Stubbs Family (Randy, Carol, and children, Megan, Marissa, Nathan), Seth Olesululu in Tanzania, Allison Boccia Williams (former organist, music director and world drum leader of Bethany Lutheran Church, Crystal Lake, IL), and Dr. Abe, all people who make this world more musical.”

WHM is also grateful to Joyce and Tim Palmer and family for their gift of $150 in support of this project.

Thanks to generous spirit of each of the donors, and an additional anonymous gift we have now reached 63% of our goal of $35,000.  That goal represents $25,000 for the purchase and shipping of a piano, and $10,000 for scholarships.

I like to put it this way. Tanzania is twice the size of the state of California.  Can you can imagine the entire west coast of the USA without a concert grand piano?  That is the situation in Tanzania.  In contrast, there is a concert grand piano in nearly every high school here in Milwaukee County.  Thanks to all of you who have supported this project, the situation in Tanzania is about to change!

If you haven't been following this project, and would like to know more about it, or would like to make a tax deductible contribution of any amount, please visit

Thanks and Peblejah!

Abe Cáceres, Ph.D., Director
World House Music
PO Box 170441
Milwaukee, WI 53217-8036

"World House Music, a 501(c)3 organization, shares the joy and hope of peacemaking across cultural and religious boundaries through the magic of music and dance."

Comment by email:
My Brother Dr.  Bill,  Thanks so much for this post!  Peblejah!  - Abe [Abe Cáceres, PhD]