Saturday, February 28, 2009

Imani Winds Plays Daniel Bernard Roumain's 'Five Chairs and One Table' March 5 & 8

"As part of the Legacy Commissioning Project, Imani Winds presents the world premiere of Daniel Bernard Roumain's Five Chairs and One Table and the New York premiere of Jason Moran's Cane as part of Carnegie Hall's Honor Festival, curated by Jessye Norman. Sunday, March 8th at 12 PM, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. Another performance, also part of Carnegie Hall's Honor! Festival, at CUNY Graduate Center, Thursday, March 5th at 1 PM. Concert is free and open to the public.”

Imani Winds

·· Valerie Coleman, Flute

·· Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Oboe

·· Mariam Adam, Clarinet

·· Jeff Scott, French Horn

·· Monica Ellis, Bassoon


Five Chairs and One Table

Imani Winds has proven itself to be more than a wind quintet—more like a force of nature.”—This Week in Philly. Since 1997, the Grammy-nominated ensemble Imani Winds has carved out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally rich programming, genre-blurring collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs. With a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group enriches the traditional wind quintet repertoire while bridging European, American, African, and Latin traditions.

'Sphinx Journeys' Premieres on WRCJ 90.9 FM & Online Sunday, March 1, 5:00 PM

[A Journey of the Harlem Quartet]
Join us this Sunday

This weekend, an exciting new initiative begins at Sphinx. We invite you to join us on a journey through the music of Black and Latino classical composers and performers. “Sphinx Journeys,” a seven-part radio series, will take our listeners on an exploration of music created by composers and performers of color. Each one-hour episode is hosted by Founder and President Aaron Dworkin—the series premieres this Sunday, March 1 on WRCJ 90.9 FM in Detroit and will be heard on Sundays at 5 p.m. Listeners around the world can listen on the web at
The first episode is “A Journey of the Harlem Quartet,” featuring the all Black and Latino professional string ensemble comprised of First Place Laureates of the national Sphinx Competition. The quartet consists of violinists Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White along with violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez and cellist Desmond Neysmith. 

Tune in to hear The Harlem Quartet playing music from At the Octoroon Balls, composed by Wynton Marsalis; Mi Menor Conga by Guido Lopez Gavilan (Ilmar’s father); and Take the A Train, by Billy Strayhorn. You can be among the first to preview the First Episode here: 

Future episodes will focus on the music of William Grant Still, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Ástor Piazzolla and many others. All programs may also be heard online, at time of broadcast, at and will eventually be available “on demand” at the same site. “Sphinx Journeys” is a co-production of WRCJ 90.9 FM and The Sphinx Organization, with funding provided by The Kresge Foundation and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. WRCJ 90.9 FM is a listener supported service of Detroit Public Schools and Detroit Public Television. Happy Listening! [Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), Aaron P. Dworkin (b. 1970) and William Grant Still (1895-1978) are profiled at]

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tania León's 'Inura' Performed by DanceBrazil at NYU's Skirball Center March 19-22

[“Singin' Sepia” Bridge 9231 (2008)]

DanceBrazil presents a program including Inura, composed by Tania León, on four consecutive days, from Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22: "DanceBrazil: World premiere of Inura featuring a contemporary fusion of Afro-Brazilian dance, live music, and Capoeira.”
“Presenting four performances of Inura at the Skirball Center with choreography by DanceBrazil guest artist Carlos Dos Santos and a commissioned score by Cuban-born composer and conductor Tania León; with Ritmos (2008), Vieira’s homage to Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art unique to his home state of Bahia, and the Samba, Brazil’s iconic popular dance.” 

Stay for a Q&A with the artists after the performance on March 20. Participants will include:
Jelon Vieira, Ritmos Choreographer & Artistic Director of DanceBrazil
Tote Gira, Ritmos Composer & Music Director for DanceBrazil
Carlos Dos Santos, Inura Choreographer
Tania León, Inura Composer
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU
566 La Guardia Place (at Washington Square South)
New York, NY 10012” 
[Tania Justina León (b. 1943) is an Afro-Cuban composer and conductor of contemporary classical music who is profiled at Born in Havana, she is Director of Music Composition at Brooklyn College, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1985. Her website is:]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Terrance McKnight, Host of 'Evening Music' on Classical Station WNYC, is Heard Online

David Bukszpan is Publicist for WNYC Radio. He tells Africlassical of a New York classical music broadcast on weekday evenings which is streamed on the Internet: “Terrance McKnight is the host of 'Evening Music,' a classical music program that airs from 7pm-11pm on WNYC, the nation’s largest public radio station. The program also streams live at, so many listeners outside of New York tune in.” The program highlights for Feb. 24 began: “Songs of Separation: We hear William Grant Still's powerful setting of five related works by African American poets in 'Songs of Separation.'"
“As the host of the weeknight edition of Evening Music, Terrance McKnight brings to the position wide and varied musical experience that includes performance, teaching and radio broadcast. McKnight joins WNYC from Georgia Public Broadcasting, where he was creator, producer and host of Studio GPB for five years, a show which grew in popularity and influence during his tenure. The program featured a wide array of musical artists through interviews, live studios sessions, and commercial recordings, and guests included John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Marin Alsop, Marcus Roberts and Michael Eric Dyson. Due to its popularity, the program expanded from one night per week to five. While at GPB, he also initiated and hosted the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Broadcast series, which featured live performances and interviews with conductors, guest soloists and orchestra members.

In addition to his radio work, McKnight was also a member of the Morehouse College faculty, where he taught music appreciation and applied piano since 1998. An accomplished pianist, McKnight got his start in public radio as the first resident of NPR's Classical Music Diversity Initiative Program, for which he worked at NPR's Performance Today. In 1997, McKnight performed the world premiere of 'Broke Baroque,' at the National Black Music Caucus 25th Anniversary Celebration in Atlanta as part of a musical tribute to T.J. Anderson. McKnight holds a B.A. from Morehouse, where he toured with the College Glee Club as an accompanist and soloist, and an M.A. in Music from Georgia State University, where he performed with the 20th Century Chamber Ensemble.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuskegee University Golden Voices Choir Opens Spring Tour in Chattanooga Feb. 26

“The Tuskegee University Golden Voices Choir is kicking off its Spring 2009 Tour on Feb. 26 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The world-renowned ensemble is continuing a tradition of excellence and exposure to the masses. Music has played a significant role in the life of Tuskegee University since its inception. Founder and first president Booker T. Washington encouraged his instructors to teach the folk songs/spirituals to their students so that they might appreciate the beauty and resilience represented by them.”

Under the leadership of the renowned composer and educator William Levi Dawson, the Tuskegee Choir rose to international prominence with appearances at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the White House (1932), Constitution Hall (1946), and a host of popular television shows.” “The Spring 2009 Tour program includes works by Joseph Haydn, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Ticheli, Maurice Duruflé, Ulysses Kay, Adolphus Hailstork and William L. Dawson.”

The tour’s schedule is as follows:
Thursday, February 26: First Baptist Church Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Friday, February 27: Imani Baptist Church, Lexington, Ky.
Saturday, February 28: Shiloh Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio
Sunday, March 1: Antioch Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio
Monday, March 2: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Detroit
Tuesday, March 3: First Congregational Church, Battle Creek, Mich.
Wednesday, March 4: Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago, Ill.
Thursday, March 5: Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Ind.
Friday, March 6: New Sardis Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn.”

Monday, February 23, 2009

R. Nathaniel Dett Chorale: 'Voices of the Diaspora...Dett to Africa' Feb. 25 & 28

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale
Monday, February 23, 2009 
“Tonight I went to the first rehearsal for the 10th anniversary reunion concert of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale. Singing at the centre of a choir of forty big-voiced musicians with a wall of basses reverberating behind me was truly wondrous. As the sound swelled up in a wave around and through me, a tumult of emotions filled my heart to overflowing. It was such a joy to sing with so many who not only excel at their craft, but were on the same jubilant high as me, deeply engaged, delighted to be making music together. If you are in Toronto, and you are free on Wednesday or Saturday of this week, c'mon down to the Glenn Gould Studio at CBC for our concert. You won't be disappointed. For the rest of you, CBC will be taping our Saturday show (or part of it) for future broadcast. Ariel Fielding, NDC alumna”

What: Voices of the Diaspora...Dett to Africa
Where: Glenn Gould Studio
When: Wednesday and Saturday nights, February 25 and 28 @ 8PM
Tickets: Contact the Roy Thomson Hall box office, 416-593-9918
“It’s a Dett reunion as NDC alumni return to join current Chorale members for a program of favorite R. Nathaniel Dett compositions and a number of contemporary Afrocentric choral premieres including Africa by Brian Tate (commissioned for the National Youth Choir and containing a combination of Ghanaian and Latin sacred texts). Posted by Michelle Lynne Goodfellow” [R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) is profiled at, along with a Works List and Bibliography compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin]

Guitarist Pat Bianculli: 'Machado is a wonderful composer'

A list of selected CDs on the Celso Machado page at includes: “Imagens do Nordeste; (Excerpts): Catgut Flambo; Harris Becker, Pasquale Bianculli, guitar; Msr 21699 (1999).” Guitarist Pat Bianculli of Brooklyn has left a message in the Guest Book at “Thank you for including on your page for the composer/guitarist, Celso Machado, a reference to our recording of Imagens do Nordeste. It is an honor to have our performance noted on your pages. Machado is a wonderful composer.” 

Celso Machado is an Afro-Brazilian composer, guitarist, lyricist and singer who was born in Ribeiro Preto, Brazil on January 27, 1953. He has a website of his own, The works he writes and performs are played by guitarists in both classical and world music genres. At age seven Celso began performing in street bands. He first performed in Canada in 1986; he moved there three years later. Celso's many CDs consist of music composed by himself and others. On Nov. 24, 2008 AfriClassical reported: “'Jogo da Vida' Makes Celso Machado World Solo Artist in 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards”.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Composer & Author Regina Harris Baiocchi Thanks AfriClassical

AfriClassical recently posted “Two World Premieres of Regina Harris Baiocchi at ETHS 125th Anniversary Feb. 24”. Today we received this message of thanks: “Dear Bill: Many, many thanks for all you do to make AfriClassical alive and available to the world. Your hard work means so much to me and posterity. All the best... Peace, Regina”;
“Regina has written music for symphony orchestra, libretto and one-act opera, hand drum concerto, ballet, chamber music, liturgical and secular music; vocal and instrumental. Commercial recordings include her piano etudes, 'Equipoise by Intersection' on the Kaleidoscope CD; a work song, 'Legends' (the Legend of John Henry, from her ballet) recorded by baritone, Robert Sims; and Kidstuff, a CD of her compositions for children.” 

New Haven Register: 'Special NHSO concert program honors the lessons of the Amistad' Feb. 26

(New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 22--NEW HAVEN -- William Boughton was walking around New Haven familiarizing himself with the city as the newly named 10th music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in 2007, when he came across the Amistad monument near the Green. It was his first exposure to the Amistad story of the Sierra Leone slaves whose case for freedom was heard in New Haven, but it touched him to the point that he knew he had to include some remembrance of its story in the programs he was beginning to create for the nation's fourth oldest symphony.” 

“The results of that moment become reality Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Woolsey Hall when Boughton leads the symphony, with guest artist French violin virtuoso Philippe Graffin and the Amistad Academy String Ensemble in a concert called Amistad Remembrance, an homage both to the event and Black History Month.” “The program is rich in African-American heritage: Duke Ellington's 'Suite from The River,' an undulating piece that replicates the coursing of a river, is 'very exciting and very unusual for the orchestra,' says Boughton, 'because it includes so many different elements of African-American music.' Graffin will be featured in Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto in G Minor, a piece with a stretch of a local connection, as it was originally written for violinist Mort Powell, a favorite of the Stoeckels of Yale Norfolk Chamber Music Festival fame.” “The Amistad Academy String Ensemble has been rehearsing in workshops with Boughton since November, and Boughton has nothing but praise for them and their school.” [Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) and Duke Ellington (1899-1974) are profiled at]

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The '31st Annual Classical Roots Honors Composer William Grant Still' Mar. 6-8

[William Grant Still (1895-1978); (Photo is the sole property of William Grant Still Music, and is used with permission.)]

By Nicole Rupersburg – February 19, 2009
Composer William Grant Still will be recognized posthumously as the 2009 Honoree for his contributions to the world of classical music as part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) 31st annual Classical Roots Concerts taking place Fri., Mar. 6 at 8 p.m.; Sat., Mar. 7 at 8:30 p.m.; and Sun., Mar. 8 at 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall. The 2009 concerts will be conducted by the DSO’s Resident Conductor Thomas Wilkins, who was the 2008 Honoree, and will feature guest artists Janice Chandler-Eteme (soprano), Jevetta Steele (mezzo-soprano), Kevin Deas (baritone), Taylor Gardner (child soprano) and the combined Rackham Symphony Choir and Brazeal Dennard Chorale directed by Suzanne Mallare Acton. The program begins with “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which has opened every Classical Roots concert since its inception in 1978, and continues with a cappella selections by the Brazeal Dennard chorale directed by Augustus Hill, Still’s Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American Symphony) and Dear Mrs. Parks by past Honoree Hannibal Lokumbe

The DSO will be recording Dear Mrs. Parks during the concerts for release at an undetermined date by Naxos. Additionally, Lokumbe will be in residence for the entire week during which he plans to speak at local schools, including a Mar. 4 visit to Detroit School of Arts where he will hold cross-departmental discussions with music students and children in other courses of study. Judith Anne Still, William Grant Still’s daughter, will accept the special recognition award on his behalf at the Saturday concert. In addition, Ms. Still will give a lecture in The Music Box at the Max M. Fisher Music Center on Thu., Mar. 5 at 6 p.m. about her father’s life and works co-sponsored by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is also found]

Southeast Missouri Symphony Plays William Grant Still's 'Afro-American Symphony' March 3

[Afro-American Symphony; William Grant Still; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Kruger, conductor; Bridge 9086 (1999)]
Southeast News
Lincoln Concert
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 18, 2009 – The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will present a concert next month entitled “Lincoln Portrait” to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln born Feb. 12, 1809. The concert will include music by significant American composers and will feature a performance of Aaron Copland’s evocative “Lincoln Portrait,” with Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder as special guest narrator. The concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 3 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall in the Cultural Arts Center located at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus.

The program will open with the festive “American Celebration Overture” by the 20th century American composer, Bill Holcombe. Holcombe’s compositional credits include film scores, original compositions and many arrangements for concert band, orchestra and jazz band. This concert also will include a performance of a work by the iconic American composer, Charles Ives, “Unanswered Question,” and the magnificent “Afro-American Symphony” by the important African American composer, William Grant Still. [Full Post] [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is also found]

Friday, February 20, 2009

South Bend Tribune: “Concert designed to 'Lift Every voice'”

Tribune Staff Writer
“SOUTH BEND — Marvin V. Curtis points to an argument he once got into as one of the reasons he created Feb. 21’s 'Lift Every Voice: Celebrating the African-American Spirit' concert at Indiana University South Bend.” “The dean of IUSB’s Raclin School of the Arts and conductor of the South Bend Symphonic Choir since August, Curtis made education and entertainment his twin goals in designing the program for 'Lift Every Voice.'” “'The bulk of the work will be by African-American composers to show the versatility of the kinds of works black composers compose,' he says. 'People think we compose in one genre, and we don’t. The guest artists are performing, for the most part, works that are in the European classical style of music.'

'No. 1, we are present in American music,' Curtis says about what he hopes the audience learns at Saturday’s concert. 'No. 2, these are people you need to know about. There’s a history there. … When I was in college, we didn’t study black composers. They’re not in the history books. We don’t talk about them. This is a way of talking about a group of people, males and females, who have contributed much to society who are often ignored.' The program includes works by such black composers as William Grant Still, Margaret Bonds, Richard Smallwood, Noble Sissie, Hall Johnson and Moses Hogan. The Symphonic Choir, for example, will perform the Latin choral work 'Ave Maria' by R. Nathaniel Dett, a composer, pianist and educator who, inspired by Antonin Dvorák’s use of folk melodies, combined the spiritual with classical music’s Romantic style in the early 20th century.” [Full Post] [Margaret A. Bonds (1913-1972), R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) and William Grant Still (1895-1978) are profiled at]

'Music by Composers of the African Diaspora' by William Chapman Nyaho Feb 26 & 28

A program entitled “Music by Composers of the African Diaspora” will be presented by the
Ghanaian-American Pianist William Chapman Nyaho at (1) Phelps Stokes Auditorium, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, Thursday, Feb. 26 at 8:00 p.m. (2) Cedarhurst Chamber Music Series, Mt. Vernon, Illinois, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. The writes “Ghanaian-American concert pianist Nyaho brings his unique cultural background and extraordinarily eclectic sense of music to his concert recitals in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.”  Dr. William Chapman Nyaho tells AfriClassical:
“The program starts off with Beethoven op. 31 no. 3 then music by Price, Lamothe, Onovwerosuoke, El Dabh, Ndodana and Bonds.” [Margaret Allison Bonds, Ludovic Lamothe, William Chapman Nyaho and Florence B. Price are profiled at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two World Premieres of Regina Harris Baiocchi at ETHS 125th Anniversary Feb. 24

[Regina Harris Baiocchi]

Regina Harris Baiocchi sends this news to AfriClassical: "Please note that the world premiere of my two commissions will be next Tuesday, 24 February, 7:00 PM. Music: ETHS Fanfare and Nyimbo Mbili Katika Kiswahili kwa Chorus & Orchestra (Two Swahili Poems). Venue: Evanston Township High School Auditorium, 1600 Dodge." 

School Notes
Feb. 29, 2009
Evanston Township High School
As part of the high school's 125th anniversary celebration, the ETHS Alumni Association board commissioned a special musical work by Regina Harris Baiocchi to be played at the music festival: 'ETHS Fanfare' and 'Two Swahili Poems: Nilisikia sauti kubwa and Haba na haba.' Baiocchi -- a Chicago composer, poet, author and artist -- has written instrumental and vocal music for opera, libretti, ballet and concertos. Her compositions have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, as well as numerous other orchestras and ensembles throughout the United States and Europe.