Sunday, January 31, 2016 Symphony Of The City: Nigerian Artist Draws Songs From The Bustling Market

             "Market Symphony" is a new audio installation at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. The exhibition layers sound from a market in Lagos, Nigeria. The speakers are installed on enamelware trays which are often used in markets.
Courtesy of the National Museum of African Art       Artist Emeka Ogboh was commissioned by the museum to create a site-specific audio installation.
Adolphus Opara/Smithsonian National Museum of African Art 

National Public Radio

January 31, 2016

To people who live in big cities, the sound of honking, the whir of traffic, the howl of street vendors and the clang of construction can just be background noise.

But for Nigerian sound and video artist Emeka Ogboh, the city is his palette — his symphony of sound. And his compositions can whisk the listener to another time and place.

"There are stories in the soundscape," he says. "There are stories from the city. You can tell more about the city from just listening to the soundscape. And that's what happened. I started finding it really interesting."

Ogboh recorded hours of sounds to pull a listener through the song of the bustling Balogun open-air market in the Nigerian megacity of Lagos.

NPR's Michel Martin spoke with Ogboh and took a tour of his new exhibition, "Market Symphony," at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. It's the first time the museum has featured a sound art exhibition, and it opens later this week.             

James P. Johnson (1894-1955), Pioneer Stride Pianist, Was Born February 1; In 2015 he was inducted into Jazz at Lincoln Center's Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame

                                                                                                              Victory Stride: The Symphonic Music of James P. Johnson; The Concordia Orchestra; Marin Alsop, Conductor; Music Masters 67140 (1994)

The African American composer and pianist James Price Johnson, profiled at, was born on Feb. 1, 1894 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. 

In his liner notes for Victory Stride, Scott E. Brown points out that James P. Johnson was called the Father of Stride Piano: "James P. Johnson was an astounding musician, arguably the most important black musician in New York during the decade of the 1920s. He is best known in jazz as the Father of Stride Piano, a two-handed, solo piano style that developed out of ragtime and flourished in the Northeast, especially Harlem, during the 1920s as the first true jazz idiom. He has influenced many successive jazz musicians, including his students Fats Waller and Duke Ellington."

Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma wrote the liner notes for the CD Got the Saint-Louis Blues: Classical Music in the Jazz Age, Clarion CLR907 (2004), which includes a performance of Johnson's Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody (15:49) by pianist Paul Shaw and the VocalEssence Ensemble conducted by Philip Brunelle. Dr. De Lerma relates that Johnson's music studies with Bruto Giannini were followed by piano lessons from Eubie Blake. He continues: "Toward the end of the 1920s, Johnson began devoting time to the study of orchestration, counterpoint, and harmony."
In his liner notes, Scott Brown agrees that Johnson was intent on becoming a serious composer: "Of all his accomplishments, James P. Johnson most wanted to be remembered as a serious composer of symphonic music utilizing African-American musical themes. When the Depression ended the decade of the Charleston, James P. Johnson semi-retired from active Harlem nightlife to concentrate on symphonic composition."

Los Alamos Daily Post: Noon Brown Bag Combines Music And Poetry Feb. 3 [Music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)]

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Dr. Dominique-Rene de Lerma,

Los Alamos Pianist Rheta Moazzami.
Photo by Sherry Hardage

Dr. Doris A. Fields
University of New Mexico

on January 31, 2016 


Los Alamos Daily Post

In celebration of Black History Month, the Los Alamos Arts Council’s upcoming Brown Bag show will feature a collaboration of music and poetry.
Los Alamos Pianist Rheta Moazzami along with Poet and University of New Mexico Professor Dr. Doris Fields are performing in the noontime concert Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.
The concert is free to the public.
The pieces Moazzami will perform include one of her own compositions, “Selma,” which she wrote in honor of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march that took place in Selma, Ala. Additionally, she will perform pieces by composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor.
Fields selected poems to read that would compliment the music, Moazzami said, adding, Fields is a wonderful poet with a beautiful speaking voice. “It’s going to be a treat,” she said.
Fields’ poetry brings awareness to the human condition, Moazzami said. Fields’ poetry not only celebrates African-American culture, but has also commemorated the Japanese kept in internment camps during World War II and urged peace between Israel and Jerusalem.
Likewise, Moazzami is eager to perform music by Coleridge-Taylor, an Anglo-African classical composer whose work was famous at the turn-of-the century.
Through the poetry readings and piano music, the hope is to raise the audience’s awareness to a history that sometimes receives little attention.

Comment by email:
Greetings: Here is the set of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor music Mrs. Moazzami will perform: “Three Fours”: Valse Suite, Opus 71  by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.  I hope this is helpful. Thank you. PEACE, Doris  [Dr. Doris A. Fields]

Rebeca Omordia & Jiaxin Lloyd Webber Showcase John Ireland's Dramatic & Beautiful Cello Sonata Sun. 14 Feb. 2016, 11 AM, Blackheath Halls, London, U.K.

The Nigerian Romanian pianist Rebeca Omordia has a website at  She writes of recitals with cellist Jiaxin Lloyd Webber on 14 February 2016 at 11:00 AM and 28 April 2016 at 1:00 PM:

Duo recitals with Jiaxin Lloyd Webber, cello, wife of renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.  Programme to include Sonatas for cello and piano by Sergei Rachmaninov and John Ireland.

Please see poster attached for dates. 

Very best wishes,


Retweetedby Rebeca Omordia (@RebecaOmordia) 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Nkeiru Okoye: Come see my new comic opera, “We’ve Got Our Eye On You” March 1 and 5, 2016 at SUNY New Paltz

Nkeiru Okoye, Ph.D.

Nkeiru Okoye writes:

Come see my new comic opera, “We’ve Got Our Eye On You  March 1 and 5, 2016 at SUNY New Paltz.

We’ve Got Our Eye on You is a musical comedy/operetta in four scenes set in Ancient Greece, with story and music by Nkeiru Okoye, and libretto by David Cote

80 minutes

Mock-historical comedy; battle-of-the-sexes farce; and social commentary that challenges today’s ‘hooking up’ culture. 

This work is intended for audiences from middle school aged students to adults: some of its humor may not be understood by, or appropriate for, younger children.  

Plot Synopsis

Loosely inspired by Greek myth, and set in ancient times, We’ve Got Our Eye on You delivers a humorous but uplifting message about giving in to desire prematurely. Think Monty Python-esque Gilbert & Sullivan, with a touch of Broadway.  Mayhem ensues when Pythia, Oracle from Delphi, visits the Graeae (mythological sisters who share one eye), and prophesies that a man bearing the mark of Zeus will be “known” to all three. Pythia departs and encounters Perseus, who plans to charm the Graeae into revealing the whereabouts of Medusa, as soon as he can find their cave.  He scoffs at Pythia’s prophecy, since he is madly in love with Andromeda, and could never fall for an eyeless woman. Perseus disguises himself, covering the mark of Zeus, as the sight of his physique may be too much for the ladies’ eyeball. In the end, the oracle’s prophecy comes true, causing personal reflection, and general fun and amusement for all.

We’ve Got Our Eye on You also has a social message: It challenges today’s “hookup” phenomenon that is especially pervasive amongst teens and college students.  Organizations seeking to reach and open dialogue with this audience through arts will appreciate its message, which is delivered through witty comedy, family-friendly songs and euphemistic language.

Comment by email:
Hi Bill, Than you so much.  You are a treasure!  Nkeiru [Nkeiru Okoye]

Tom Quick: Black History Month, Black Women in Music, Part II on FM 98.5 Live Streamed on, Monday, February 8, 2016, 9-11 PM ET

I, too; Icy Simpson, soprano [R]; Dr. Artina McCain, piano [L]; Longhorn Music LHM2012001

Althea Waites: Celebration, 
Music of American Composers,
Seven Traceries, William Grant Still 
Kuumba Music (2012)

Black Women in Music for February 8/2016.

Black History Month Part II on FM 98.5

Marcus Eley:  Clarinet.       Night Fancy.     Dorothy Rudd Moore.
Lucerne DeSa:  Piano.

Eliesha Nelson:  Viola.       Sonata for Viola & Piano.   George Walker.
James Howsmin:  Piano

The Women’s Philharmonic:    Symphony No. 3 in C Minor.  Florence Price.
Conductor.   Apo Hsu.

Icy Simpson:  Soprano.             Three Dream Portraits.     Margaret Bonds.
Artina McCain:  Piano.

Althea Waites:   Piano.            Seven Traceries.  William Grant Still.

Maria-Josee Lord:                    Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray. Can/Con

Ensemble Vocal Epiphanie:     He’s Got The Whole World in his Hands.  Can/Con.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins:  Violin.    Ethnic Variations on a Theme of Paganini.
Craig Ketter:  Piano.

Marie-Josee Lord:  Soprano.   Mary had a Baby.   Can.Con

Ensemble Vocal Epiphanie:     Ain’t got time to Die.  Can.Con

Jean-Willy Kunz:  Organ          Ma Maria.  Trad.   Can/Con

Marcus Eley.                           Introduction & Allegro. Undine Smith Moore.
Lucerne DeSa:  Piano.

Comment by email:
Thank you for sharing.  All the Best.  Marcus Eley

Newnan Times-Herald: Friends of Wadsworth Concert announces March 12 event [including Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama]

Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama
has a website at
and is featured at
The Newnan Times-Herald
Newnan, Georgia
Maggie Bowers
Jan. 29, 2016

Tickets will be on sale beginning today for the annual 2016 Friends of Wadsworth Concert: The Legacy Continues, which will take place March 12 at the Charles Wadsworth Auditorium located at 25 Jefferson Street in downtown Newnan.
The evening of song and chamber music will feature rising stars of the classical music world, with Newnan’s own Courteney Budd returning to the Wadsworth as artistic director and host.
Musicians Nokuthula Ngwenyama on viola, Wendy Sutter on cello, Laura Ward on piano, and returning is a familiar face to Newnan audiences, Chee-Yun on violin will perform at 7:30 p.m. Budd, herself an accomplished soprano, will also be joined by internationally-known baritone Randall Scarlata.
Nokuthula Ngwenyama, also known as “Thula,” for short, is a resident of Phoenix, AZ, not far from her native California. Ngwenyama gained international attention after winning the Primrose International Viola Competition and the Young Con- cert Artists International Auditions at age 17. Plaudits followed her debut recitals in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center and in New York at the 92nd Street ‘Y,’ and in 1998 Ngwenyama received the presti- gious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Featured as a “Face to Watch” in the Los Angeles Times, Ngwenyama’s perfor- mances as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician garner great attention. Gramophone proclaimed her playing as providing “solidly shaped music of bold, mesmerizing character,” and the Washington Post described her as playing “with dazzling technique in the virtuoso fast movements and deep expressiveness in the slow movements.”
Recent highlights include an appearance with the Sinfonieta Cracovia performing Pendericki’s Viola Concerto and multiple domestic performances, including appearances at the Kimmel Center in Philadel- phia and on the People’s Concert Series in New York with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. She also completed a recording project of the three Bach Gamba Sonatas with keyboardist Eckart Sellheim. Ngwenyama has performed throughout the United States and across four continents.

Friday, January 29, 2016

John Malveaux: On Jan. 28, 2016 I attended the LA Opera 2016-17 Season Preview. African American cast included Tenor Frederick Ballentine in Macbeth

Frederick Ballentine

John Malveaux of 

On January 28. 2016, as guest of Kathy Crandall (immediate past president of Los Angeles Opera), I attended the LA Opera 2016-17 Season the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Featured African American cast for the forthcoming season include Soprano J'nai Bridges as Nefertiti in Philip Glass's  AKHNATEN, Bass Morris Robinson as Osmin in Mozart's THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO, Tenor Issachah Savage as Narraboth in Richard Strauss's SALOME, and Tenor Russell Thomas as Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini's TOSCA. In addition to discussion/explanation of the 2016-17 season, the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists illustrated the next season in live performances of arias. Tenor Frederick Ballentine as Macduff sang "Ah la paterna mano" from MACBETH. See attachment for picture of Ballentine after the program.


Charleston Spiritual Ensemble presents Jews & Blacks: Parallels of Our Past Sunday, February 28, 2016, 5 PM at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, 90 Hasell Street

David A. Richardson

January 28, 2016 Charleston SC—The Charleston Spiritual Ensemble, a 35-member vocal group focusing on traditional African-American spirituals, joins members of the Charleston Gospel Choir in honor of African-American History Month on Sunday, February 28, 2016 with a unique musical performance entitled Jews & Blacks: Parallels of Our Past. The event will take place at 5:00pm at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE), 90 Hasell Street, downtown Charleston.
Music Director David A. Richardson will lead the group in a moving tribute to the history of Black-Jewish encounters in America over the past five decades, in particular the role of the organized Jewish community in the civil rights movement and their natural alliance in the battle for civil rights. This communal relationship supported both Black and Jewish agendas to combat hatred and discrimination through social action and make common cause toward greater rights for all minorities.
Spirituals and other songs including sacred and folk songs were commonly performed during the height of the civil rights movement. This music expressed how strife was soothed by call and response singing that was the norm on southern plantations throughout the South during slavery. The performance’s selections will be accompanied by historical footnotes from Dr. Karen A. Chandler of the College of Charleston.
Charleston Spiritual Ensemble President and event producer Lee Pringle says, “This concert is autobiographical as my parents greatly benefitted from the kindness of the Jewish community when they migrated to Harlem and later to Spring Valley, New York in the early 1960s from the Jim Crow South. The manner in which Jews treated our family was never forgotten.” Pringle later join a group of progressive Jews and Blacks, The African-American Jewish Connection (AAJC), which was among the first organized groups to call for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina State House in 1991.   

David A. Richardson, Director says, “The Spiritual was and is a powerful method to protest peacefully. Fifty years after landmark civil rights advances it’s still important to remind adults and teach our children about our parallel past. Music is a wonderful way to chronicle history and I am honored to be a part of this important event.”

Free Symposium Wednesday, February 24: Jews and Blacks Parallels of Our Past
A free colloquium featuring Charleston-area Jewish and Black leaders will take place in advance of the performance Wednesday, February 24 at 6:00pm at the Charleston County Main Library Auditorium. 

Learn more about the relationship of the Jewish and Black communities in the historical context both nationally as part of the civil rights movement and locally in the Charleston community. The event will feature remarks by Marty Perlmutter, Director of Jewish Studies and Dr. Bernard Powers, Professor of African-American Studies at the College of Charleston, Eileen Chepenick, former Executive Director of the Charleston Chapter of Operation Understanding and others. Free and open to the public

Performance Tickets/Information
Sunday, February 28, 2016 • 5:00pm
Jews & Blacks: Parallels of Our Past
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, 90 Hasell Street, downtown Charleston
General Admission tickets: $20 adults; children or students $10 with ID
Online:; by phone: (866) 811-4111; at door: (cash/check only) up to one hour before performance

About the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble
Now in its eighth year, the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble is a 35-member vocal group based in Charleston focusing on African-American spirituals and sacred and black classical contributions to musical music. The Ensemble’s core musical offering honors the devout musical tradition that African-Americans formed as slaves after arriving in this country and in particular its relevant history in South Carolina. The spiritual has shaped and inspired the evolution of classically trained African-American composers and arrangers.

About Music Director David A. Richardson
A recipient of the prestigious Charleston Southern University Horton School of Music Senior Excellence Award for his exceptional work in the area of Choral Music Education, Mr. Richardson is a noted baritone soloist who has garnered the admiration of the choral community throughout the Carolinas. He serves as Music Director of the Charleston Gospel Choir, now in its 15th season, and the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble. As a professional vocalist, he toured the United Kingdom, Scotland, Austria, and Prague, where he performed with the CSU concert choir to much acclaim.

An accomplished pianist, Mr. Richardson has served as Music Director for several regional productions and has accompanied choral programs and honor choirs at all levels, including three seasons with the University Children’s Choir. Mr. Richardson serves as Director of the Vocal Music Arts program at Rollings Middle School of the Art and is the former Director of Choral Activities at Fort Dorchester High School and Band Director and Music Specialist in the Berkeley County School District.

Mr. Richardson is the Director of Vocal Music for the annual Charleston Southern University Music Camp and the Oconee County Choral Festival. In addition, Mr. Richardson has conducted performances with orchestra including Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Martini’s Domine Adjuvandum Me Festina, and Telemann’s Jehovam Omnes Gentes with chamber orchestra and is an accomplished organist and pianist. Mr. Richardson earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education with voice emphasis from Charleston Southern University. He is currently a candidate for the Master of Music Education degree at Kent State University.

Comment by email:
Yes! What specific songs/pieces will be performed during the program?  Thanks
John Malveaux

Mount Sinai Health System Celebrates Black History Month With Pianist Prof. Felipe A. Hall Thursday, February 11, 2016, 3 PM, Guggenheim Pavilion


Bamboulette/Vignette from the Bamboula 
Legacy Suite
Historic Presentation Bamboula Legacy 
3000 BC to 1500 BC Nigeria
Felipe Hall

Rain Dance, October Winds
Ayo Bankole (1935-1976)/

Two pieces from “Le Chant e
Le Conte de BaRonga”
· “At the Dawn of Day” (Loko
Ku ti Ga)
· “The Stones are Very Hard”
(Maribye Ma Nonoha Ngopfu)
Historic Presentation Le Chant e
Le Conte de BaRonga/African
American Folk/Slave Songs/
Spiritual/Hymns, etc.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

From “In the Bottoms Suite”
· Prelude, Morning (barcarolle),
Juba Dance
Historic Slave Songs spiritual,
Minstrels/to Ragtime and the Swing
Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943)

Ragtime: Rags. Marches. Grand 
Waltz, Cakewalk, Slow Drag
Scott Joplin (c.1867-1917), 
Marshal and others

Finale: “Fandangle, Dirge, Jazz”
Mary Lou Williams, Joplin, Hall

Cleveland Opera Theater: "Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line To Freedom" Jan. 29-Feb. 7; Opens Christ Temple Apostolic Church, Oberlin 7 PM Jan. 29

Nkeiru Okoye, Ph.D.

An exciting new operatic work that tells of how a young girl born in slavery, becomes Harriet Tubman, the legendary Underground Railroad conductor.

Experience this heartwarming tale of two sisters vowing that nothing but death will separate them, despite the slavery threatening to tear them apart. The music is richly textured, drawing from the musical traditions of opera, gospel, American spirituals, ragtime and minstrel songs.

Based on recent Tubman biographies, the story is narrated and told in the context of Tubman’s tight-knit family of lively characters. Harriet Tubman carries the universal themes of sisterhood, courage, sacrifice and doing what is necessary to keep a family together.

This touring co-production with the Oberlin Opera Theater is the Midwest premiere of the opera following the New York City World Premiere production in February 2014.  The production features internationally renowned artists including Oberlin alumna Nkeiru Okoye - librettist and composer of the opera, Julius Williams, conductor, and Jonathon Field, stage director.

Singing actors from the Oberlin Opera Theater perform along side professional artists including Brian Keith Johnson, baritone of strong regional renown (and regular Cleveland Opera Theater company member) portraying the role of John Tubman, Cleveland-based actress Debra Rose in the role of Rittia Ross, and Oberlin alumnus David Hughey, tenor portraying the roles of Ben Ross and William Still - Mr. Hughey made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning revival of the Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess, he later joined the Broadway First National Tour in the role of Jake, and was recently featured on the soundtrack to the Oscar Award winning feature film, 12 Years A Slave.

When I crossed that line to freedom is presented as part of Cleveland Opera Theater's New Opera Works {NOW}.  NOW features productions of new and recently composed opera, and workshops and readings of other new works in development  More about NOW

Production Tour Dates and Locations
Friday, January 29, 7:00pm Christ Temple Apostolic Church 370 West Lincoln Street Oberlin, Ohio 44074
Sunday, January 31, 2:00pm Mt. Zion Baptist Church 81 Locust Street Oberlin, Ohio 44074
Friday, February 5, 7:00pm St. Paul A.M.E. Church  4118 Brookside Blvd. Cleveland, Ohio 44135
Saturday, February 6, 6:30pm Finney Chapel 70 N. Professor St. Oberlin, Ohio 44074
Sunday, February 7, 2:00pm  First Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio 44118 
A pre-show introduction to the opera will be offered at the First Baptist Church Location only
Pre-Show intro 1:15 - 1:45pm in the Spahr Center on-site at First Baptist Church.
These are non-ticketed performances with FREE admission.
Free On-Site Parking is available at each location
You may make a tax-deductible donation to Cleveland Opera Theaterto support this co-production and future New Opera Works (NOW) Productions
Comments by email:

1) Hi Bill,  Thank you so much for advertising this and keeping your amazing blog of events.  It is wonderful! Best wishes and thank you again, Nkeiru [Nkeiru Okoye]
2) Congratulations-worthy and highly needed production. Sankofa John Malveux

Ritz Chamber Players Atlanta Series: Ray Charles Center for the Performing Arts, Morehouse College, Saturday, January 30, 2016, 7:30 PM

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sergio A. Mims: Classical Music Magazine: Following its debut performance at [Southbank] Centre in September 2015, Chineke! will become an associate orchestra

Chineke! Orchestra Inaugural Concert, 13 September 2015

Sergio A. Mims writes:

The Southbank Centre today announced their 2016-2017 season and that Chi-chi Nwanoku's orchestra Chineke! will next season become an associate orchestra of the Centre. And also that the Junior Chineke! Orchestra (made up of the most talented teens and pre-teens you've ever seen) will perform again at the Centre next season

Classical Music Magazine

28 January 2016

Following its debut performance at the Centre in September 2015, Chineke! will become an associate orchestra. The ensemble will be part of the 2016 Africa Utopia festival, and the Chineke! Junior Orchestra will perform a Passenger Seats event in the Clore Ballroom.

Join Cristina Pato and Nicholas Villalobos at SphinxCon: Ignite to Action! Ends with 19th Annual Sphinx Competition Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 2 PM

SphinxCon wraps up with the 19th Annual Sphinx Competition on Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 2pm. Held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, the Sphinx Competition features some of the top Black and Latino string musicians competing for a $50,000 cash prize.
Tickets are just $15! You can purchase them through the DSO box office at or by phone at 313-576-5111. 

John Malveaux: Public Radio East: Biopic About Nat Turner Is A Success At Sundance Film Festival

John Malveaux of 

Birth of a Nation (Nat Turner slave revolt) by first time film maker is thunderous at Sundance

Originally published on January 28, 2016 6:05 pm

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

The Sundance Film Festival in Utah started out as a venue for low-budget works by independent filmmakers looking for distribution. When major studios bought those films, the purchase price was usually modest. That's still true, but it is changing. And this week, the model was broken. Fox Searchlight paid an astounding $17.5 million for a biopic about Nat Turner, who led a legendary slave rebellion in the early 1800s in Virginia. The film is called "The Birth Of A Nation," directed, written, produced and starring Nate Parker. Justin Chang is the chief film critic for Variety, and he was at that premiere at Sundance. Good morning.

JUSTIN CHANG: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So OK, this film comes at a time when controversy over a lack of diversity in the film industry is swirling through Hollywood. It sounds like this has become the most talked about film at the festival this year.

CHANG: It certainly has. I think it is very much a movie of the moment. It sort of crystallizes a lot of things, the lack of diversity in the ranks of the industry, which, you know, as we've seen with the Oscars' so-white controversy. And it's also, I think - you know, the title of the film is "The Birth Of A Nation," which is very consciously a reference and sort of a rebuke to D.W. Griffith's 1915 epic of the same title, which is, of course, still notorious for its racist imagery, its heroic portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan. "The Birth Of A Nation," Nate Parker's film, is intended as a corrective to that. It is a story of American slavery told from the perspective of the African-American slaves who endured it.

MONTAGNE: Well, you know, talking about - back to the money here in the 21st century, put that $17.5 million in perspective for us. How does it stack up against other films at the Sundance?

CHANG: So $17.5 million for "The Birth Of A Nation" is pretty huge, and I think it is a response and a reflection of the tremendous reception that the film received. People were on their feet. People don't always give the director and the cast and crew a standing ovation, but the response to this film was thunderous.          

David France: Support our Orchestra in the 'hood

David France
by Reginald Chapman (@RVAtriggertrick