Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Almanac: Concerts showcase music of African American composers [Zenobia Powell Perry, Margaret Bonds, Florence Price, Jacqueline Hairston, Dolores White, Etc.]

Keyboard collaboration in the name of art is represented here by the hands of retired judge and pianist LaDoris Cordell and Menlo Park pianist Josephine Gandolfi, who with Deanne Tucker founded the African American Composer Initiative. Photo by Laurie Naiman

The Almanac

Sun. Jan. 22, 2017

by Renee Batti / Almanac

The January tradition of musicians and composers coming together for two rousing concerts benefiting Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto lives on: The African American Composer Initiative concerts are set for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28 and 29, at the school.

Among the performers taking the stage at "Let the Knowing Speak: A Celebration of Music by African American Composers" will be the Initiative founders: Menlo Park pianist Josephine Gandolfi, pianist/vocalist (and former judge) LaDoris Cordell, and pianist/vocalist Deanne Tucker.

The concerts feature "music drawn from the traditions of spirituals, jazz, blues, opera and concert music," Ms. Gandolfi writes in a press release. Composers represented include Zenobia Powell Perry, Margaret Bonds, Florence Price, Jacqueline Hairston, Dolores White, Dizzie Gillespie and Bobby Timmons.
Three new compositions will be premiered: "Tapestry," a jazz tribute to Langston Hughes by Valerie Capers; "Disco-cioso," a trio for the Picasso Ensemble by John Robinson; and "Let God Bring Tomorrow," a musical memorial to those killed last year in a nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, written by Joshua McGhee.
Modern dancers of Eastside Prep, under the direction of Morgan Mallory, will perform a dance sequence from Zenobia Powell Perry's opera, "Tawawa House," based on the history of a resort hotel in Ohio that became a stop on the Underground Railroad, and was later converted to a school for black youth, eventually becoming Wilberforce University.
The program also includes spirituals for soprano and tenor from that opera; "Troubled Water," by Margaret Bonds, for cello solo and piano; and Dolores White's setting of poetry by Maya Angelou for tenor, soprano and piano.


Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for seniors and $5 for students.
Click here to buy tickets online through Brown Paper Tickets.
Go to the AACI website, or call (650) 688-0850, for more information.                           

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