Monday, April 22, 2013

"Marti Newland performs 'Exhortation, a Negro Sermon' by Will Marion Cook 4/7/13 live in concert presented by MELODEON."

Marti Newland

Marti Newland is a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University researching singing, race and repertoire in the United States.  She performs in operas and recitals, specializing in African American art songs.

Artis Wodehouse of MELODEON:

Published on Apr 22, 2013
Soprano Marti Newland performs Exhortation, a Negro Sermon by Will Marion Cook 4/7/13 live in concert presented by MELODEON. She is accompanied by Artis Wodehouse, pianist. This video was filmed during the 3rd in a series concerts presented by MELODEON at Church of the Epiphany, NYC during 2012-13. MELODEON performs American music from the 19th and early 20th century.

Exhortation, a Negro Sermon was written by Will Marion Cook (1869-1944), one of the most important figures in pre-jazz African-American music. Born in Washington D.C. of free, educated Afro-American parents, Cook's early musical promise was such that Frederick Douglass helped organize a fundraiser to send him to study in Europe. There he studied at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik with Joseph Joachim, the famous violinist and associate of Brahms. He later studied with Dvorak when that famous European composer visited the US.

However, Cook of necessity turned to popular music as his classical career was not successful in the US. He became one of the most important early Afro-American composer of musicals and reviews featuring pre-jazz ragtime and related Afro-American vernacular styles. The popularity of his music was such that in 1912 G. Schirmer issued a collection of Three Negro Songs by Cook: Exhortation (from In Dahomey), Rain Song (from Bandanna Land), and Swing Along! (from the musical of the same name). As mentor and teacher, Cook influenced a generation of young African-American musicians, including jazz composer and performer Duke Ellington and singer/choir director Eva Jessye.

Artis Wodehouse

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