Thursday, October 29, 2009

Newsmakers at William Grant Still Tribute Conference Nov. 19-22 in Natchez, Mississippi

[William Grant Still: Symphonies Nos. 4, 'Autochthonous' & 5, 'Western Hemisphere'; 'Poem'; Fort Smith Symphony; John Jeter, conductor; Naxos 8.559603 (2009); Cover painting ”Crossing America in an express train, United States” (1859) by Nathaniel Currier and James Merrit Ives, The Art Archive]
Newsmakers to Appear
Several of the artists who will perform at the William Grant Still Tribute Conference and in the concert have been in the news lately, and the public will be able to meet them. Aaron Dworkin, President and Founder of the Sphinx Organization, has been recognized by Newsweek as one of the 15 people who are making a difference in America. Dworkin will be delivering the keynote address on Friday, November 20. Conductor John McLaughlin Williams is the first African-American to win a Grammy Award. Williams will be a featured soloist on the violin during the concert and he will be giving a presentation during the conference. Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin, poet laureate, was talked about on CBS for his discovery of a lost speech by Martin Luther King. Dr. Grant D. Venerable II is academic vice-president at Lincoln University and is becoming known for his innovative strategy for revitalizing the Black universities and colleges.

Other recognized authorities presenting in this Natchez conference are John Jeter, Music Director of the Fort Smith Symphony, who is the conductor on the latest blockbuster CD by Naxos which contains the last two symphonies by William Grant Still, David Abner Smith who is largely responsible for the renovation of the African-American Museum in Woodville, and James Barnett, of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, who is conducting important research that involves Mississippi oral history. At the Conference, Barnett is hoping to speak to any who have historical information, especially regarding African-American cultural traditions.
[William Grant Still (1895 -1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is also found]

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