Friday, February 23, 2018

Transcultural Visions: Harmonies From Classical Melodies, Journey Through African Classical Music in London, England March 3rd and 18th

Harmonies from classical melodies
Journey Through African Classical Music
Transculturalvisions ( presents Harmonies from Classical Melodies, inspired by the rich heritage of African classical music, featuring the Singing Cultures Choir accompanied by dynamic pianist Kevin Satizabal, acclaimed soprano Victoria Oruwari, and renowned flautist Rowland Sutherland.
There are two London dates for Harmonies from Classical Melodies. Saturday 3rd March 2018, 6.45pm, St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2HR; and Sunday 18th March 2018, 6.45pm, Carmelite Church, 41 Kensington Church St, W8 4BB Tickets £10.00 adults; £5.00 children
Established in 2014, Transculturalvisions delivers creative projects inspired by the cultural experiences and heritage of Britain’s diverse communities.
Harmonies from Classical Melodies is inspired by the music of African composers featuring the Singing Cultures Choir performing notable works by Fela Sowande and Ayo Bankole, African folksongs and new works created by the choristers, led by British-Nigerian soprano and choral director, Victoria Oruwari. There will be a narrative performance capturing the journey of the choir. The programme also features celebrated flautist Rowland Sutherland performing solo flute pieces by contemporary African composers Justinian Tamusuza (Uganda) and Bongani Ndodana-Breen (South Africa).
Bilkis Malek, founding Director of Transculturalvisions says, “Harmonies from Classical Melodies is the culmination of the second chapter of the Singing Cultures journey. Last time choristers were inspired by African Classical Music to feel ‘anything is possible’. This time they have delved deeper into the challenges for building that ‘better world’ imagined by African composers. The result is thought provoking melodies honest about the challenges for ‘humankind’ but which also leave you with a real sense of ‘hope’.”
Harmonies from Classical Melodies will be at two prestigious London venues, St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2HR; and Carmelite Church, 41 Kensington Church St, W8 4BB.
Full details, including ticket information can be found at:

Chicago Sinfonietta: "Hear Me Roar" A Celebration of Women in Classical Music 3 PM March 11 at Wentz Concert Hall and 7:30 PM March 12 at Symphony Center

Celebrate the unique voices of women at this not-to-be-missed event!

March 11, 2018 | 3:00PM
Wentz Concert Hall

March 12, 2018 | 7:30PM
Symphony Center

This celebration of women features an all-female program of composers under the baton of the beloved conductor Mei-Ann Chen leading the esteemed orchestra in the premiere of two new commissioned works from our Project W initiative. 
Mei-Ann Chen
 Dances in the Canebrakes
Higdon Dance Card**
Esmail #metoo*
Symphony in F sharp minor, Op. 41**
* World premiere
** Chicago premiere
Part of Chicago Sinfonietta's Project W:Commissions by Women Composers                         

Eric Conway: The Theatre Morgan Production Entitled "Everybody" by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Very Thoughtful Play About Life and Death

Eric Conway writes:

Hello Everybody!

I just attended another fine Theatre Morgan production entitled EVERYBODY by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.  This is a very thoughtful play about Life and Death exploring questions such as:  
1) What happens after our time on this earth?
2) Is there a God? 
3) How should I live my life on this earth?  

Quite interestedly, the nine actors in this ninety minute play, do not play traditional characters, but ideas or abstractions.  The play begins with a character who gives an entertaining soliloquy-like request to silence our cellphones, who within a matter of moments plays the character of God!  God quickly meets her helper Death whose job it is to identify the roles of the nine actors. In true experimental theatre fashion, all actors previously learned all roles and via the process of picking out of hat on stage during the show,  learned their roles to be played on real-time.  In theory, every night, out of possible 120 possibilities, could be another character, with the exception of God and Death who will be constant.  After their roles are selected, the play is on.

The primary role’s name is Everybody, who really could represent any one of us.  As actors' names are picked out of a hat, this somewhat depicts the random nature of the timing of the end of our lives.   Death meets Everybody and tells her that her time is up.  Everybody, not being ready negotiates and asks if someone could come with her to this thing called death.  After trying to cajole characters like Friendship, Cousinship, Stuff, to go with her, at the end of the day, no one wants to or is able to go with her.

Quite symbolically, the only character that was willing to go along for the ride to Death with Everybody was the character Love.  In the end, although we might want to have someone with us during the process, Everybody dies alone.

Again, this is a great play about life and death — which is more about life, as we all still do not definitively know about the hereafter.

I strongly encourage you to attend this very entertaining play.  You will leave the theatre reexamining your meaning of your life.  Again, Theatre at its finest asks us all to re-examine ourselves.

Guest director Thembi Duncan does a masterful job in assisting our Morgan students in this production.  Our Theatre Morgan students also convincingly played their abstract roles.

Everybody only runs this weekend, over this Sunday, February 25, 2018.  Please attend if you are able.


Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

John Malveaux: Fundamental to the genius of Quincy Jones, but seldom mentioned, is his study of classical music composing with Nadia Boulanger in France

Quincy Jones

Nadia Boulanger

John Malveaux of 

The current controversy about QUINCY JONES comments in an interview bring to mind that Q is the GREATEST producer of ALL TIME in multiple genres. Fundamental to his genius, but seldom mentioned, is his study of classical music composing with Nadia Boulanger in France. I recall Q once told me that he traveled 9 months a year and YOU GOT TO GO TO KNOW.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sergio Mims: The world catches up to iconoclastic composer Julius Eastman [Concert 2 PM Sunday, Feb. 25, Preston Bradley Hall]

Julius Eastman in 1974, during a rehearsal of the S.E.M. Ensemble at SUNY Buffalo  (Chris Rusiniak)

Sergio A. Mims writes:

This Sunday in Chicago there will be a special concert devoted to works by the composer Julius Eastman whose  musical compositions and legacy have recently found a new resurgence.

The concert will take place at 2 PM, Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington in downtown Chicago and is free for all-ages

This week the Chicago Reader had an extensive article about Eastman, his life and work and the concert:

John Malveaux: 10 Contemporary Black Composers You Should Know

John Malveaux of 

Ryan Ballard shared the following article with MusicUNTOLD 


In honor of Black History Month, we are celebrating black excellence by highlighting some of the very best black artists producing and creating work today. This week we are highlighting ten contemporary black composers you should know...

South Shore Opera Company of Chicago: 4 PM Sunday, February 25: Celebrate Black History in a winter concert of Spirituals, Art Songs, and Opera Arias [Free]

Sunday, February 25 Celebrate Black History in a winter concert of Spirituals, Art Songs, and Opera Arias.  South Shore Opera Company of Chicago present esteemed artists Robert Sims, baritone; Vince Wallace, bass-baritone; Cameo Humes, tenor; and Luciano Laurentiu, piano.  Free and unticketed at South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive, Sunday, February 25, 4 pm. For more information at or call 773-667-0241.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Harriman-Jewell Series: Kathleen Battle in 'Underground Railroad' at Kauffman Center, Friday, March 2 at 7:30 PM, Kansas City, Missouri

Kathleen Battle

Harriman-Jewell Series


soprano with choir and piano
Underground Railroad—A Spiritual Journey

Friday, March 2
7 p.m. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts,
1601 Broadway Blvd., 
Kansas City MO

Soprano Kathleen Battle, one of the great divas of our time, was previously presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series in 1989, 1990, and 1999. For her long-awaited return to the Series, Battle will be joined by 29 singers she selected as her choir and pianist Joel A. Martin for a moving program of traditional spirituals, with narration drawn from the writings of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.
Kathleen Battle also performed Underground Railroad—A Spiritual Journey at the Kennedy Center last month to the delight of audience members and reviewer Anne Midgette for The Washington Post. "It all added up to a long, packed and thoroughly enjoyable evening; the capacity audience in the Concert Hall certainly got its money’s worth. Rather than witnessing a memorial to a soprano’s storied past, we got something vital and compelling and very much in the present," Midgette reported.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sergio Mims: Florence Price Violin concertos on WHPK-FM and livestreamed on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 12-3 PM US Central Time

Florence Price Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
Albany Records

Sergio A. Mims writes:

I am excited to tell you that I will be broadcasting on my classical music radio show on WHPK-FM Chicago Tuesday Feb. 27 Albany Records' new recording of Florence Price's Violin Concertos No 1 and 2 performed by violinist  Er-Gene Kahng with Ryan Cockerham conducting the Janacek Philharmonic  

Along with the Price works will be Leonard Bernstein's Serenade (after Plato's Symposium) and his Divertimento with Marin Alsop conducting the Bournesmouth Symphony Orchestra as part of my year long Bernstein 100 Centenary celebration

My show can be heard locally in Chicago on 88.5FM from 12-3PM (U.S. Central time) every Tuesday and live stream on



John Malveaux: Feb 18, 2018 recognition to 2017 MusicUNTOLD Composer of Year Michael Abels for soundtrack of GET OUT movie at Michelle Obama Library

John Malveaux and Michael Abels

John Malveaux of 

Feb 18, 2018 recognition to 2017 MusicUNTOLD Composer of Year Michael Abels for soundtrack of GET OUT movie at Michelle Obama Library included interview of Michael Abels by MusicUNTOLD president John Malveaux. Michael Abels wearing stole presented by MusicUNTOLD representing presence of ancestors. Photographer Ethel James Powers