Friday, October 31, 2014

Pianist Lara Downes & Cellist Zuill Bailey Lovingly Perform Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein & Lukas Foss in ‘Some Other Time’ on Steinway & Sons

Some Other Time
Lara Downes, Piano
Zuill Bailey, Cello
Steinway & Sons 30025 (2014)

Steinway pianist Lara Downes has done it again.  We 
are still enjoying her 2013 piano solo release Exiles’ 
Cafe every time we play through our classical music 
playlist.  Now our playlist is being lengthened once 
more with the duo Steinway recording Some Other 
Time, on which Lara is joined by cellist Zuill Bailey.

The program is comprised of works of four American 
composers, Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Lukas 
Foss and Aaron Copland:  

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
1  “Dream With Me” from Peter Pan 3:01
2 “Some Other Time” from On The Town 2:17
3 “In Our Time” 3:02

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Cello Sonata, Op. 6
4 I. Allegro ma non troppo 8:41
5 II. Adagio-Presto 4:32
6 III. Allegro appassionata 6:32

Sure on this Shining Night, Op. 13, no 3 2:31 

Lukas Foss (1922-2009)
For Lenny “Variations on New York, New York” 2:12
9 Capriccio for Cello and Piano 6:17

10 Five Anniversaries for Piano: no 2, for Lukas Foss

Clarinet Sonata
11 I. Grazioso 4:26
12 II. Andantino, Vivace e leggiero 7:08

13 Seven Anniversaries for Piano: no 1, for Aaron
Copland 1:35

Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
14 Old American Songs, Set 1: “Simple Gifts” 2:43
15 Old American Songs, Set 1: “Long Time Ago”

Lara Downes begins the liner notes for Some Other
Time: American Classics for Cello and Piano

“Some Other Time,” from Leonard Bernstein’s 1944
On the Town, arrives at the close of the 
show, as three friends, sailors on a 24-hour shore 
leave in New York City, head back to their ship - off 
to war and an uncertain future.


Zuill and I chose this lovely song as the title track 
of our first recording together because it represents 
three central qualities that inspired this project: 
friendship, adventure and nostalgia.


For Zuill and me, this music also holds a nostalgia 
for another time in American music - a golden 
generation before our time, an era when concert 
music in America had a real and present place in the 
culture and in daily life, when American families 
listened to Live from the Met broadcasts on their 
kitchen radios and gathered around their TV sets to 
watch Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts at 
Carnegie Hall.  It’s not the world we grew up in, but 
it’s a world we dearly want to see...
[End of quote]

Unlike Lara Downes and Zuill Bailey, this reviewer 
experienced broadcasts of Leonard Bernstein’s Young 
People’s Concerts at an impressionable age.  They 
provided a thrilling introduction to classical music, 
laying the foundation for a lifetime of musical 
fulfillment.  Lara Downes has an uncommon ability to 
communicate the beauty and meaning of her music to 
the listener in both words and sound.  It is what we 
have come to expect of her recordings.

Disclosure: A review copy of this recording was 
provided by the record label.

Comment by email:
Thank you! So much. I'm so glad you like the record. Your words are so kind, and I so appreciate your support, always.  By the way, I was at the Sphinx Virtuosi gala the other night at Carnegie Hall. It was really a beautiful, beautiful event. The musicians were amazing and there was so much love and pride in the room.  Best, L  Lara Downes

Sphinx Organization: 'O Say Can You Hear?' October 29th sold-out performance earns rave reviews from New York Times

Photo: Brian Harkin for The New York Times

Another wonderful review came from Splash Magazine's Emily Dalton, who wrote that Sphinx Virtuosi "is a marvelous example of...diversity joined together into one body of music, rising and falling, dancing and filling the stage with its power."

The Sphinx Organization would like to thank Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall Co-presenters Bloomberg and the Sander and Norma K. Buchman Fund, as well The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the GM Foundation, Dr. William H. Carson, The Linda and Isaac Stern Charitable Foundation, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation for their additional support. Additionally, Sphinx thanks The Joyce Foundation for its generous support through the Joyce Awards and The Victor Herbert Foundation in memory of Lois C. Schwartz., which enabled the creation of Jessie Montgomery's new work Banner! and its performances throughout the
2014 national Sphinx Virtuosi Tour.

Comment by email:
Thanks so much for sharing and for your wonderful support, Bill! Hope you are having a great weekend! :)  Therese Goussy, Manager of Communications, The Sphinx Organization

AOP & Adelphi University Present Baritone Jorell Williams & Stage Director Damien Norfleet in 'Independence Eve' 7:30 PM Nov. 13 & 8 PM Nov. 15

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Inverne Price Music Consultancy: A New Kind of Training Orchestra for Postgraduate Musicians - Longy School of Music of Bard College


October 29, 2014

Longy School of Music of Bard College forms an
orchestra that will 
face 21st century challenges
and opportunities head on 

Longy School of Music of Bard College today announced
the formation of a unique training orchestra that
provides a Master of Music degree, newly approved by
the State of New York and is designed to prepare them
for the mounting challenges facing today’s orchestra
players. The training orchestra, recruited from the finest 

 postgraduate musicians, will offer advanced orchestral
and leadership training and grant a Master of Music
degree in Curatorial, Critical and Performance Studies.
All applicants accepted into the three-year degree
program will receive a fellowship, which includes the full
expense of tuition as well as an annual stipend. 

Applications are now being accepted. The orchestra will
begin performing during the 2015-16 academic year.

The orchestra, yet to be named, will be based in New 

York City and will have a roster of conductors that
James Conlon, Music Director of the Los
Angeles Opera; JoAnn Falletta,
Music Director of 
the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Adam Fischer,
Music Director of the
Austro-Hungarian Haydn 
Orchestra and the Hungarian Radio Symphony
and James Bagwell, Principal Guest
Conductor of
The American Symphony Orchestra.
Bard College President Leon Botstein
, Music
Director of The American Symphony Orchestra, will
assume artistic leadership. The faculty will consist of
professors and teachers from Bard College and Longy 

School of Music as well as eminent guest instructors.

Application Inquiries617.876.0956 x1796

John Malveaux: 'History Begins In Africa' by Mary Acosta (2010) Available Used in Paperback on for $484.95

History Begins In Africa, 399 pages
Mary Acosta, Author, Illustrator
Kathleen E. Turner, Editor
Perfect Paperback
Birds Nest Publishing (December 6, 2010)
Used Copy from $484.95

John Malveaux of 

John Malveaux

An ancient inscription reveals a lost African Empire. 5,000 years ago, an Ethiopian emperor conquered NE Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region. He pushed an Arab expansion back across the Red Sea. The Botorrita III inscription with his proclamation is in a museum at Zaragoza in Spain. A second inscription mentions the ancient Greeks for the first time, fighting as allies of the Egyptians against the Libyans. Both inscriptions are translated here for the first time.

John Malveaux: South African Bass-Baritone Musa Ngqungwana Wins Standard Bank Young Artist Award 2015; YouTube Video Played During Acceptance

South Africa's brightest young stars are acknowledged by the National Arts Festival through the Standard Bank Young Artist Awards. Please see video played during acceptance of award for bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana by one of his patrons. See
John Malveaux

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marlon Daniel: Charleston Today: 'But only now—and thanks only to the Colour of Music—are we hearing these exquisite works performed live in Charleston.'

Marlon Daniel
(Charleston Today)

Sterling Elliott
(Charleston Today)

Nkeiru Okoye(Charleston Today)

Maestro Marlon Daniel sends another review:

The Flight of a New Festival

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peter Ingle


The best bit of magic, however, may have come at the start of our evening in a brief work entitled “Voices Shouting Out,” which is a wistful, percussive wonder composed by Nkeiru Okoye in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. The voices in this case are orchestral instruments whose “shouting out” creates a bold imagery reminiscent of Aaron Copeland, with similar themes of nationalistic pride, honor, and grandeur. It is not surprising that such a deeply expressive piece was sketched out in the course of an evening and performed only six weeks later. The reflective, celebratory mood of this short work is sure to see its popularity continue to rise.

Of course, “Voices Shouting Out” has been around for well over a decade, just as Edmund Thornton Jenkins’ Rhapsody has been around for almost a century. But only now—and thanks only to the Colour of Music—are we hearing these exquisite works performed live in Charleston. Let’s just hope that we don’t also become too small for this unprecedented festival that has only recently taken flight, but which is sure to soar to great heights in the years ahead.

Harlem Chamber Players: Voodoo: A Harlem Renaissance Opera Indiegogo Campaign Update: First Week Raised 44% of Goal

Indiegogo Campaign
Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater, and The Harlem Chamber Players are joining forces to present a semi-staged concert production of the Harlem Renaissance opera Voodoo by Harry Lawrence Freeman.

This will be the first performance since its 1928 premiere!

A contemporary of Scott Joplin, Harry Lawrence Freeman was well-known in the Harlem community and gained acceptance in classical music circles in the 1920s - 1940s. He won numerous awards, and his operas were performed on Broadway and at Carnegie Hall. Despite these achievements, most of his operas remain unpublished, and there are no professional recordings of his music. Your support will help us create history by bringing Freeman's long-lost music back to the public.

How You Can Help
Our minimum goal is to raise $20,000 to present this project with a full chamber orchestra, choir and 7 lead singers. Any amount you feel comfortable giving, whether it be $10, $25, $50, $100 or more, will be a huge help in making this historic production a reality. Your contribution is tax-deductible. You may also help by telling your friends about our campaign!

After one week, we raised $8,710 or 44% of our goal.

For those of you who would rather send a check than deal with using your credit card online, please send your tax-deductible contribution to:

The Harlem Chamber Players, Inc.
191 Claremont Avenue #25
New York, NY 10027

Be sure to indicate that your contribution is specifically for Voodoo and please write your name, email and mailing address legibly.


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter     

Comment by email:
A worthy tax write-off.  Kindly alert friends. Dominique-René de Lerma

John Malveaux: Violinist Sanford Allen and Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama perform String Duo No. 2 in B-flat major, K. 424, W. A. Mozart, YouTube (18:53)

The renowned violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama,, was born in 1976 and has long been featured at 

John Malveaux of 

Violinist Sanford Allen and violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama perform Wolfgang Amadeus Moazart (1756-1791) Duo No.2 for violin and viola in B-flat major, K. 424
1. Adagio-Allegro
2. Andante cantabile
3. Andante grazioso-Theme and variations

John Malveaux

Rosemarie Cook-Glover, Treasurer, Southeast Symphony Association: 'Your comment regarding the lack of African American composers is well taken.'

Long time friends John Malveaux and soprano Amber Mercomes reconnecting after the concert

On October 27, 2014 AfriClassical posted:

Near the end of his review, John Malveaux argued:

It is the opinion of this ONE, “Back on Broadway” could have been equally entertaining by including a song or two from Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake’s SHUFFLE ALONG or another musical written by an African American.

Rosemarie Cook-Glover is the Treasurer of the Southeast Symphony Association, and has commented:

Sorry I missed seeing you.  Glad you were there.  Your comment regarding the lack of African American composers is well taken.  I will mention this at our next Board meeting.  Rosemarie

John Malveaux of 

The Southeast Symphony opened their 67th season in the beautiful and historic First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. The program “Back on Broadway” was enthusiastically appreciated by an ethnically diverse audience. Maestro Anthony Parnther recruited Jennifer Lindsay, Babatunde Akinboboye, Lattrice Lawrence, Amber Mercomes, David Saul Lee, Bradley Baker, and Byron B. Jones to sing selections from WEST SIDE STORY, PORGY AND BESS, DREAMGIRLS, CHICAGO, THE WIZ, LES MISERABLES, and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Each soloist was engaging and generously applauded.  Several soloists received standing ovations. At program end, Maestro Parnther responded to insistent applause with an encore, SOUND OF MUSIC-Climb Every Mountain-with each soloist sharing at least one vocal line.
I also enjoyed the program but with a lament. As best I know, not one of the songs performed was written or composed by a person of African descent. Before attending the concert, I read a Los Angeles Times article ‘History in the making’.  “In the newly released book 'Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art,' more than 300 full-color pages employ the potent language of art and design to broadcast the ways in which black people were perceived by society and how they coped with it creatively (more than 35,000 posters and photos from more than 30 countries). Education is a remedy for the lack of awareness about history and contributions not embraced by mainstream media. “Back on Broadway” did not educate, enlighten, or heighten awareness of neglected or little known achievements by persons of African descent.
It is the opinion of this ONE, “Back on Broadway” could have been equally entertaining by including a song or two from Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake’s SHUFFLE ALONG or another musical written by an African American. SHUFFLE ALONG premiered in 1921 as the first hit musical on Broadway written by and about African Americans. The musical also introduced hit songs such as "I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Love Will Find a Way."  
Southeast Symphony Association is the oldest African American founded orchestra in the United States 
John Malveaux

Comments by email:

1) Several years ago, I attended Jelly's Last Jam at the Los Angeles Music Center. Jelly's Last Jam appeared on Broadway in 1992. Composers Jelly Roll Morton and Luther Henderson have deep Los Angeles connections. Morton is buried in Los Angeles. I am not sure about Henderson but I have met his son in Los Angeles.'s_Last_Jam  [John Malveaux]

2) Sorry I missed seeing you.  Glad you were there.  Your comment regarding the lack of African American composers is well taken.  I will mention this at our next Board meeting.  Rosemarie  [Rosemarie Cook-Glover, Treasurer, Southeast Symphony Association] 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

John Malveaux: RIP Sam Greenlee - Author Of 'The Spook Who Sat By The Door' Dies At 83

Sam Greenlee
(Photo Credit: vagabond)

John Malveaux of 

John Malveaux

Shadow and Act

Tambay A. Obenson

May 19, 2014

Long time readers of S&A will already be familiar with the below video clip of a very frank Sam Greenlee (author of The Spook Who Sat By The Door) dishing on the state of what we call "black cinema."

As some of you know by now, I post this once a year, usually right around Oscar time; and I'm posting it again today, for those who haven't seen it, as well as a reminder for those who already have; but also because Greenlee has sadly passed away.

Ebony magazine is reporting that the author and activist died in his home in Chicago, earlier today, according to Pemon Remi, longtime mentee of Greenlee's and Director of Educational Services and Public Programs at Chicago's DuSable Museum.

Patrick D. McCoy: In addition to leading the Community Symposium Series at The 2014 Colour of Music Festival, I have been providing extended media coverage  October 21, 2014  Patrick D. McCoy

Music director Marlon Daniel conducts the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra in their first rehearsal last night. The festival officially begins Wednesday, October 22. Please visit
Photo taken by the author

Patrick D. McCoy writes:

Dear Bill,
In addition to leading the Community Symposium Series at The 2014 Colour of Music Festival, I have been providing extended media coverage to include broadcasting concerts and some of the lectures on my online radio show.  Below, you will find a series of links that provided further insight into this wonderful festival.
More writings and broadcast are forthcoming, but I wanted you and your followers to be aware of my presence at the festival.  Lee Pringle and Marlon Daniel are absolutely amazing!  This festival deserves worldwide recognition!
Patrick D. McCoy
Minister of Music, Organist and Choirmaster
Trinity Church              e-mail:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Marlon Daniel: Charleston Post and Courier Reviews Colour of Music Festival

Colour of Music Festival music director Marlon Daniel

Review: Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi play every season, twice
October 23, 2014

Lee Pringle

Review: Colour of Music Festival presents exciting Porgy and Bess Suite
October 25, 2014

The Colour of Music Festival concluded Sunday with a blockbuster performance of the Verdi Requiem. Adam Parker/Staff
October 26, 2014

Marlon Daniel sends: 

Complete Reviews Colour of Music Festival,
Charleston Post and Courier

Dominique-René de Lerma: The Identification Of Our Subjects

James DePreist (1936-2013)

H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932)

Aaron P. Dworkin (b. 1970)

George Walker (b. 1922)

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

Dominique-René de Lerma

From the start, we have never come openly to grips with our own definition of the people whose lives and works we are discussing, leaving this rather much in the hands of American sociology -- and in some instances falling back on the one-drop theory of racists.  Were it not for them, we might have been at a loss.  If our topic were those of Italian ancestry, how sociologically relevant would it be to look at the music of John Corigliano, Gian Carlo Menotti, Walter Piston (Pistone), Paul Creston (Giuseppe Guttoveggio) or Dean Martin (Dino Paul Crocetti)?   Certainly Italian Americans have faced prejudice from the anglophile radicals, but not slavery, not Jim Crow. 
So we have called our subjects by various terms.  One need not be reminded of the "n" word, but there was "negro," and that gradually secured uppercasing when not the Spanish adjective for Black, which has satisfied the National Association of Negro Musicians for almost a century. As for "Black," this was accepted by W. E. B. Dubois, James Brown, and Leontyne Price.   Then there was "colored," which has always been satisfactory with the NAACP (and perhaps now starting to include Hispanics -- thanks again to the Anglophile ultraconservatives -- if not also other "persons of color").  Within recent times the acceptable "Afro-American" was modified into "African-American."  All matters of pigmentation or continental roots, but not implicitly culture?
Some years ago, speaking on a non-HBCU campus, my Q&A session elicited a comment from the departmental chair: "Why do we need to label this music?  Why can we not just accept it only as music?"  My response was because this defines a distinct culture -- that John Coltrane was not just a musician "who happened to be Black" or Romare Bearden only accidently of color (and maybe even the misfortune thereof?).  The liberal-minded cultural integrationist at this event, by the way, was Italian, and I would hate to think of Puccini apart from the rich Italian heritage of which he was so gloriously a part.
Quite recently, this web site attracted an observation from an enthusiast who nonetheless had other sentiments.  The individual suggested not using "African American," with the thought that not all Black people were from Africa -- a somewhat disconcerting comment which for now will be a matter of semantics, rather than history.  Quite so. Many had intermediate ports of call in the sunny Caribbean, but their ancestors retained their original identity proudly, generation after generation, no matter how many slave women were forced to bear mixed-race children.  That one-drop idea again. 
But can we fall back on skin color?  Pigmentation is irrelevant in the study of culture, and maybe even race.  In his 1948 autobiography, A man called White, Walter Francis White (Assistant Secretary of the NAACP) wrote "I am a Negro.  My skin is white, my eyes are blue, my hair is blond."  Should we then allow self-identification?  Then what about those who pass, despite the grandmother?
Is it then a matter of culture?  Would that reject William Dawson, who used violins in his Negro folk symphony (virtually a heresy, according to some students with a pre-conceived and ill-informed philosophy on Negritude), or Ulysses Kay, whose music rarely exhibits what others define as authentic?  Can we then accept George Gershwin, who was not a premature Israel nationalist?  Or Heitor Villa-Lobos, whose Brazilian music naturally exhibits that of his people?
If we aim for scientific accuracy, DNA tests would uncover  more than grain in the haystacks, but this would be a foolish waste of time for Olly Wilson, Aretha Franklin, or B. B. King.
Let us now confess that we rely on two sources: self-identity and social definition.  The former is a matter of pride, the second almost always a sign of stigma.  Both of these provide our points of departure, whatever term is applied to the people, and both justify our dedication.

Dominique-René de Lerma