The Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago, tweets:
Read this blog post about Ed Bland by Rahni Kennedy, then come check out the CBMR's collection of his work! http://htl.li/Zh0Ho
Blog of the Hamon Arts Library
(Image Courtesy of Marry Batten)
Several years ago when I was brainstorming for a doctoral performance project, I knew that I wanted to deal with something that had to deal with African-American composers. This was because through all my studies I found that black composers were seldom represented in the classroom and on the performance stage. After some initial research I came across the works of Ed Bland mostly because it seemed he had many compositions for clarinet (my instrument). After acquiring his album Urban Classical, I became fascinated by the music I was listening to and decided to focus my research on him.
The musical compositions of Ed Bland provide great insight into the history of African-American composers in the second half of the 20th century. With a formal career expanding over a half-century, composing in both the traditional classical style and commercial style, Ed Bland’s music synthesizes of wide variety of stylistic elements which include Western influences, African-American rooted genres (jazz, blues, and gospel), and West African drumming. This adaptation of world music into classical composition exemplifies a recent trend of American composers.