Saturday, April 27, 2013

Soprano Marti Newland of MELODEON Performs 'Swing Along!' by Will Marion Cook, with Artis Wodehouse, Pianist

Artis Wodehouse of MELODEON:

Swing Along! by Will Marion Cook

Published on Apr 22, 2013
Soprano Marti Newland performs Swing Along! 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 of concerts presented by MELODEON at Church of the Epiphany, NYC during 2012-13. MELODEON performs American music from the 19th and early 20th century.

Swing Along! 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 composers 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,

Audio and video by Whitney Slaten.

Comment by email:
Dear Mr. Zick, Your important and meaningful work with AfriClassical's blog continues to amaze me. Thank you for featuring "Swing Along" and for for the notice about it!  On we go.  Warmly,  Marti Newland

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