Friday, June 5, 2020

The African Concert Series London - Online Edition 2020

The African Concert Series London - Online Edition 2020

As a follow up to last year’s highly successful concert series of African music at the October Gallery and at The Africa Centre, award-winning pianist Rebeca Omordia has now organised a week of similar concerts for Lockdown on the African Series Facebook page. This will feature performances by well-known and established artists from Nigeria, the UK, Morocco and America performing classical music from Africa.

The series will begin with Nigerian/Ghanaian composer and pianist Fred Onovwerosuoke and his wife flautist Wendy Hymes playing African Art music direct from St Lous USA; followed by Nigeria’s leading tenor Jo Oparamanuike, accompanied by Babatunde Sosan, the third in his family to be organist at Christ Church, Lagos, who will stream from Nigeria; then comes South African virtuoso bass player Leon Bosch playing music featured on his CD The South African Double Bass; Glen Inanga streaming Nigerian piano music from the Cayman Islands; acclaimed Moroccan pianist Marouan Benabdallah playing piano music from the Arab world streaming from Hungary; and finally from London, Rebeca Omordia herself concluding the series, playing Nigerian music from her highly acclaimed CD EKELE.

The complete African Concert Series, Online Edition 2020 is as follows:

22 June - African Art Music for Flute, Wendy Hymes flute, Fred Onovwerosuoke, piano
23 June - African Art Song, Jo Oparamanuike, tenor, Babatunde Sosan, piano
24 June - The South African Double Bass, Leon Bosch, double bass
25 June - Nigerian Odyssey: Piano Music from Nigeria, Glen Inanga piano 
26 June - Woodwind Quintets by African Composers, IMI Chamber Players 
27 June - Arabesque: Piano Music from the Arab World, Marouan Benabdallah, piano 
28 June - Organ Recital, Babatunde Sosan,organ
29 June - EKELE: Piano Music by African Composers, Rebeca Omordia, piano 

The music will be streamed live or pre-recorded especially for this programme and it will be broadcast live on The African Concert Series Facebook page on the scheduled dates at 6pm (GMT+1) London time. 

With thanks and best wishes,

Eni Fashanu

Fourchiefs Media Classical

NOBLE supports National Gun Violence Awareness Day

NOBLE members and supporters,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found firearm injuries are the leading cause of death in American children and teens. The issue of gun violence has a complicated history that is deeply rooted in our national identity, but we must take this issue seriously and treat it as the public health and public safety crisis that it has become. Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as "Wear Orange Day." The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) proudly supports National Gun Violence Awareness Day, not only as a day of advocacy but also one of remembrance for the lives lost due to senseless acts of gun violence.

This weekend thousands from across the country will gather in support of common sense gun violence solutions and rallying efforts showcasing the toll gun violence has taken on the lives of children, families and communities.

Data from the CDC shows that on an average day, 96 Americans are killed with guns. On an average day, seven children and teens (ages 19 or under) are killed with guns in the U.S. It's time to face the reality of gun violence in America. This cannot be our new normal. NOBLE encourages everyone to participate in Gun Violence Awareness Day and wear orange on Friday, June 5th.

John Malveaux: June 5-Zoom conversation/discussion on racial disparity and inequity in Opera moderated by J'Nai Bridges-available on Facebook

Lift Every Voice
A Conversation Hosted By J'Nai Bridges
Live On LA Opera's Facebook
June 5, 12PM PT

John Malveaux of writes:

June 5, 2020-Zoom conversation/discussion on racial disparity and inequity in Opera moderated by J'Nai Bridges-available on Facebook 

John Malveaux: Roderick Cox hosts Zoom conference with Conductors of African Descent: Thomas Wilkins, Michael Morgan and Jonathon Heyward June 5,2020

Roderick Cox

John Malveaux of writes:

June 5, 2020 Zoom conference/discussion with 4 classical conductors of African descent moderated by Maestro Roderick Cox and available on Facebook  

Thursday, June 4, 2020

League Communications: Newly Confirmed Speakers: Valerie Coleman, Marin Alsop, and Esa-Pekka Salonen

June Schedule and Speakers Announced!

Valerie Coleman

The final two weeks of the League of American Orchestras' extended online Conference will include a performance and keynote address by flutist and composer Valerie Coleman; electives examining what it will take to re-open and re-engage audiences in the concert hall; and artistic sessions with panels featuring Marin Alsop and Esa-Pekka Salonen. 
Contact Rachelle Schlosser ( to receive links for the online Conference, running through June 12.

All sessions below at 1:00pm Eastern/10:00am Pacific, unless otherwise noted.

Week 5

Week 6

John Malveaux: June 4 conference on Zoom, 'Future of Sport and Mass Gatherings' referenced Racism and Civil Rights situation

Ido Aharoni

John Malveaux of writes:

June 4, 2020, I witnessed via zoom conferencing, 'Future of Sport and Mass Gatherings post-COVID19' moderated by Ido Aharoni:  Global Ambassador, Maccabi World Union, from Jerusalem.
The expert panel discussed possible scenarios for the resumption of global sporting activities.
  1. Donna Orender: Former president of WNBA, CEO of Orender Unlimited, Senior Vice President of PGA, Maccabi USA Officer, Maccabi alumna.
  2. Larry Scott: Commissioner, PAC 12 Collegiate Conference, Maccabi Alumnus
  3. Brett Yormark: Former CEO of NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, Co-CEO of Roc Nation
  4. Tony Ervin: Four-time Olympic medalist, Olympic Champion Swimmer. Maccabi alumnus  
The opening comment of Donna Orender referenced a concurrent 2nd pandemic of Racism and the opening comment of Tony Ervin referenced a current Civil Rights boiling point. However, the conference did not speak to current protests for murder of George Floyd as a factor during current COVID19 and post-COVID19 projections.

Referencing the current downtown of artists represented by ROC NATION, Brett Yormark mentioned how effective pop artist Alicia Keys has been expanding her narrative and fan base. He also mentioned the effectiveness of basketball player Kyrie Erving especially in connection with his charity activities. See and pic of Ido Aharoni The Sheku Effect: A Classical Music Star Rises

Sheku Kanneh-Mason practices before playing for a group of schoolchildren in Baltimore in January.Credit...Greg Kahn for The New York Times

The New York Times

  • BALTIMORE — On a Friday evening a few months ago, when it was entirely normal to be in a packed concert hall, Sheku Kanneh-Mason finished playing Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

  • The British cellist had torn through the classic piece, which unfolds in a 20-minute whoosh.

    “It just kind of starts,” he had said at lunch that afternoon. There are no gaps between the concerto’s sections, so no breaks for awkward throat clearing. No big solo cadenza stops the momentum. Mr. Kanneh-Mason’s playing is more poised than fiery: levelheaded, though not exactly cool. But the enameled sunniness of his tone — milky yet bright — took on dashing spirit in the headlong sprint to the end.

    Mr. Kanneh-Mason, who turned 21 on April 4, walked offstage to a loud ovation, then stood with his cello for a few seconds before heading back on for an encore. When he emerged, the audience greeted him with a roar. Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Symphony’s longtime conductor, smiled as she watched from backstage.

    “It’s good,” she said. “We need another star.”

    But if Mr. Kanneh-Mason continues to rise through first-name recognizability — it’s “SHAY-koo” — ticket-selling power and millions of Spotify streams, he will be more than just another star who can anchor galas and assure capacity crowds. He will be what the classical music world has long lacked: a black headliner. Orchestras have a stunningly low number of black and Latino members, and the numbers are even grimmer when it comes to concerto and recital soloists.

    “The arena is still devoid of stars of color,” said Afa S. Dworkin, the president of the Sphinx Organization, a nonprofit devoted to diversifying classical music.

    If Mr. Kanneh-Mason becomes a figure as well-known as Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang or Joshua Bell, his celebrity will have had its roots in a fairly standard, if impressive, achievement: He won a prestigious competition, the BBC Young Musician of the Year, in 2016.

    But that victory set the stage for a once-in-a-lifetime launch. After appearing at a charity event attended by Prince Harry, he was selected to play at Harry’s 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle. It was watched on television by an audience of nearly 2 billion — including many young people of color who have swiftly taken Mr. Kanneh-Mason as a model.

    IMI: Creative Collaborations: our collective work towards a more equitable society

    Fred Onovwerosuoke writes:

    In the wake of the current civil unrest our message Intercultural Music Initiative (IMI) was expressed through the artistic collaboration with the leading black principals from some of America's major orchestras and music conservatories. For me, it was an absolute honor to write this arrangement to an illustrious African American Hymn. So my gratitude really is to  Nashville's Symphony Orchestra's Titus Underwood (Principal Oboe) for inviting me to participate in this historic production. You may view and share the Facebook video at


    Wednesday, June 3, 2020

    NAACP: A Moment of Silence. A Lifetime of Change

    8 minutes and 46 seconds. That’s how long three police officers stood guard as Officer Derek Chauvin suffocated George Floyd to death. 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

    Tomorrow, the NAACP and our partners in civil rights and social justice are calling for a National Day of Mourning in recognition of George Floyd’s funeral. And at 3:45 PM ET, the NAACP is asking for everyone to take a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

    From the very moment we became aware of his killing, the NAACP, the Black community, and our allies around the world have used every second possible to demand justice for George Floyd. Today, after 9 straight days of protests, all four officers involved in his death have now been charged for murder. We commend this decision by the Attorney General of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, but we know that justice for George Floyd is far from being achieved.

    Take action now to demand a fair and unbiased trial to bring justice for George Floyd.

    What the officers who have now been charged, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the world at large must now reckon with is something that we have always known: Black lives are not disposable. George Floyd did not deserve to die in the manner that he did, and while we’ve taken to the streets to protest that injustice, tomorrow we must honor the dignity and the value of his Black life and grieve.

    Our road to justice is just beginning. I implore you to stay informed, stay agitated, and stay dedicated to fighting for the respect of the Black life.

    In Solidarity,

    Derrick Johnson
    President and CEO

    Climate Power 2020: Dr. Ayana Johnson: ‘I’m A Black Climate Expert. Racism Derails Our Efforts to Save the Planet.’

    “So, to white people who care about maintaining a habitable planet, I need you to become actively anti-racist. I need you to understand that our racial inequality crisis is intertwined with our climate crisis. If we don’t work on both, we will succeed at neither. I need you to step up. Please. Because I am exhausted.”
    Washington, D.C. - Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, founder and CEO of Ocean Collectiv and Climate Power 2020 advisory board member, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post calling for the climate movement to recognize the connection between systemic racism and the climate crisis. With extreme weather disasters and pollution disproportionately impacting communities of color, Dr. Johnson laid out the need for the climate movement to put environmental justice at the core of its fight against climate change.

    Key sections below:

    Toni Morrison said it best, in a 1975 speech: “The very serious function of racism … is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.” As a marine biologist and policy nerd, building community around climate solutions is my life’s work. But I’m also a black person in the United States of America. I work on one existential crisis, but these days I can’t concentrate because of another.


    People of color disproportionately bear climate impacts, from storms to heat waves to pollution. Fossil-fueled power plants and refineries are disproportionately located in black neighborhoods, leading to poor air quality and putting people at higher risk for coronavirus.


    But this other intersection of race and climate doesn’t get talked about nearly enough: Black Americans who are already committed to working on climate solutions still have to live in America, brutalized by institutions of the state, constantly pummeled with images, words and actions showing just us how many of our fellow citizens do not, in fact, believe that black lives matter. Climate work is hard and heartbreaking as it is. Many people don’t feel the urgency, or balk at the initial cost of transitioning our energy infrastructure, without considering the cost of inaction. Many fail to grasp how dependent humanity is on intact ecosystems. When you throw racism and bigotry in the mix, it becomes something near impossible.

    Look, I would love to ignore racism and focus all my attention on climate. But I can’t. Because I am human. And I’m black. And ignoring racism won’t make it go away.