Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cedille Records: Free Download of the Week: from Blues Dialogues

Blues Dialogues: Music by Black Composers
Rachel Barton Pine, Violin
Matthew Hagle, Piano
Cedille Records

Cedille Records


Ellington arr. Wendell Logan: In a Sentimental Mood

Blues Dialogues: Music By Black Composers
25% OFF this week only!

"Pine is a powerful [violinist] that is able to transcend the many moods, colors and styles required to transmit the passion within the music. Her enigmatic playing on this outstanding composition is not to be missed."

DailyMail.co.uk: 19th century portraits give glimpse into lives of the black Victorians

Daily Mail

Saved from slavery: Rare 19th century portraits give glimpse into lives of the black Victorians to escape servitude from Africa's first Anglican bishop to the US pianist who played for the Queen

By Mark Duell for MailOnline

30 April 2019

A fascinating collected of photographs of black people in Britain in Victorian times has emerged 150 years on.

Among the notable figures of the time photographed at studios in London, Liverpool and Brighton and pictured in the collection is Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who was the first African Anglican bishop in Nigeria.

He was captured aged 12 in 1821 by slave raiders in Africa, but saved by the British Navy and taken to Sierra Leone where he was taught English and became a Christian. He died in 1891 in Lagos aged 82.

Also in the photos, which come from an owner's private collection, is 'Blind Tom' Wiggins, an African-American musical prodigy born into slavery in Georgia in 1849 who went on a world tour playing the piano aged just 16.

Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther
(Copyright News Dog Media)

Blind Tom Wiggins
(Photo by Antoine Naudin in West London, 1866 Copyright News Dog Media)

Josiah Henson and Rev. John Lobb
(Copyright News Dog Media)

Art of Élan: "On Dry Ground" Thursday, May 7, 7 PM, San Diego Museum of Art

Demarre McGill and Kate Hatmaker
are Art of Élan

Final SDMA Concert of the 


On Dry Ground

 Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 
$40 member | $45 student, senior, 
military | $50 general admission
The final concert of the season 
draws inspiration from the 
thought-provoking “Homage to 
the Square: on Dry Ground” 
by Bauhaus artist Josef Albers. 
The simple, yet spiritually 
uplifting artwork reminds us 
of the inherent beauty in 
everyday shapes, colors and 
sounds, with musical works by 
J.S. Bach, François Couperin, 
Caroline Shaw, Arvo Pärt, 
Carlos Salzedo, Hans Werner 
Henze, and Francis Poulenc.

High Strung

 May 31 at 8:00 p.m. 
(Pre-show Young Professionals 
Happy Hour begins at 6:30 pm. 
Ticket sold separately.)
June 1 at 8:00 p.m.
(Pre-show VIP reception begins 
at 6:30 pm. Ticket sold 
June 2 at 7:00 p.m.

The Lyceum Theater
79 Horton Plaza, San Diego, 
CA 92101

Tickets: $15 – $45
VIP reception: $25 + ticket
Young Professionals Happy 
Hour: $15 + ticket
Malashock Dance and Art of 
Élan team up again to 
present an amazing fusion 
of dance and live 
music. The remarkable 
Malashock Dance Company 
and Kontras Quartet from 
Chicago join forces to 
offer a powerful and 
touching experience.
The depth, intensity, and 
beauty of the show will 
give audiences fresh 
insight into the special 
relationship between 
dance and music. This 
innovative program 
will include a surprise 
choreographic experiment 
you won’t want to miss.

Have You Been 

Following Us in the 


"The program devised by 
Artistic Director Kate 
Hatmaker was vintage Art 
of Élan, and it did not 
disappoint: electric 
recent works by several 
younger composers and 
a bit of early music for 
balance."- Ken Herman, 
San Diego Story

EagleTribune.com: Andover singers to celebrate...composer Florence Price

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)
(Courtesy photo)

North Andover, Massachusetts

By Terry Date

Apr 29, 2019

The true story has all the makings of a gripping tale.

An abandoned summer home in the woods. A trove of music discovered amid the debris. And, looming behind the mystery, a heroine — African American composer Florence Price.

And now, with her music getting renewed attention — long after her death in 1953 — it signals a measure of redemption.

Hear her story on Wednesday, May 1, told by the Andover Choral Society’s David Fitch, three days before the group’s spring concert celebrating Price’s music.

In his talk at Christ Church in Andover, Fitch will tell how Price was under-appreciated in life, and largely forgotten in death.

All who attend the talk are invited to stay and hear the choral members rehearse for their upcoming spring concert, featuring the choral composition “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight,” to be performed three days later at North Andover High School Auditorium.

Price sets her “Lincoln Walks” choral composition to a Vachel Lindsay poem. Written in 1914, the year World War I started, the poem imagines a troubled and pacing Lincoln lamenting bloodshed and war.

The Price composition was found among the manuscripts in her abandoned house south of Chicago.

The Andover Choral Society will sing from a new arrangement for piano by the group’s conductor, Michael Driscoll.

Price was born in 1887, grew up in Arkansas, and received classical training and dual degrees at the New England Conservatory in Boston. She returned to Arkansas, but after lynchings and other racial violence escalated in the 1920s, she and her husband moved to Chicago.

NAACP: Jamestown To Jamestown: A Powerful Journey from Virginia to Ghana, Aug. 18-25

Monday, April 29, 2019

Deeply Rooted Presents July Summer Dance Intensive Performances

Josh Francique
(Ken Carl)



Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) contributes to the future of the field of dance with its annual Summer Dance Intensive, for 70+ national and international students from ages 13 to 70, June 24–July 20 at its home studio, 17 N. State Street in downtown Chicago. The Intensive culminates in performances July 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. at the Reva and David Logan Center, 915 E. 60th Street in Hyde Park.

Under the leadership of Dance Education Director Nicole Clarke-Springer, Summer Dance Intensive participants engage in a rigorous curriculum fostering learning and personal growth, along with opportunities to experience the companys repertoire through workshops and performances. The programs Pre-Professional/Professional Division for ages 16 and older and the Youth program (ages 13–15) learn technique and DRDT repertoire, this summer including DESTINY, choreographed by Terence Green, guest choreographer and artistic director of The Greene Project.

Led by Company and Artistic Team member Joshua L. Ishmon, the Emerging Choreographers Showcase (ECS), an advanced division of the Intensive that begins June 10, provides an environment for emerging choreographers and dancers to cultivate creativity, deepen technical skill and gain performance experience. Also serving as a platform for established choreographers, ECS provides an opportunity for further exploration of choreographic approach.

Mature H.O.T. (Health-conscious, Optimistic and Triumphant) Women, a year-round program that provides technical training and repertory workshops to strengthen the body, challenge the mind and nourish the spirit of women who are average age 40+, offers a summer session that is part of the Intensive.

DRDTs Summer Dance Intensive program began in 1998 as a two-week intensive under the guidance of Andrea Haynes-Johnson. In 2007, Nicole Clarke-Springer joined the staff as associate dance education director under Haynes-Johnsons tutelage and took the reins as director in 2008. The Summer Dance Intensive program cultivates emerging artists, future DRDT Emerging Artists Ensemble members and Company members. Alumni have joined the ranks of many Broadway, national and international productions including The Lion King, West Side Story and Motown: The Musical, as well as dance companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Nederlands Dans Theater and many International Association of Blacks in Dance member companies.
“Our dance education programs are a reflection of our mission to provide professional dance training in various classic and contemporary modern techniques, along with conversations of artistic exploration and choreographic workshops led by Deeply Rooted's Artistic Team, company dancers and guest artists,” said Clarke-Springer.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Summer Dance Intensive
and Emerging Choreographers Showcase performances
take place
Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 at 7 p.m. at

the Reva and David Logan Center for the Performing Arts,
915 E. 60th Street, Chicago.

A reception follows the July 20 performance.
Tickets are $25; a VIP ticket of $150
provides additional support for these programs.

Tickets will be available for purchase beginning June 1.
For information about the 2019 Summer Dance Intensive programs,

In addition to the Intensive’s July 19 and 20 final performances at the Logan Center, the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Youth Ensemble performs as part of Night Out in the Parks, a program of the Chicago Park District, July 13 at Hamilton Park, July 23 at Palmer Park and this fall on October 17 at Pullman Park.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
Premiering in 1996, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) is rooted in traditions of modern, contemporary and African dance, as well as storytelling, in universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. Collaborating with nationally renowned choreographers across the spectrum of modern, ballet and African dance, DRDT presents work that reflects eclectic voices in contemporary life.
Deeply Rooted’s programs are partially supported by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Arts Work Fund and Smart Growth program of the Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks Program, Ginger Farley Charitable Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, International Association of Blacks in Dance, Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley Jr. Family Foundation, Reva and David Logan Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the Deeply Rooted Family of Friends. Special thanks to Ballet Chicago, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Park District, Reva and David Logan Center and St. Benedict the African Church for their partnership and support.

Sergio Mims: Eleanor Alberga String Quartets to be released by Navona Records in June

Eleanor Alberga
String Quartets 1, 2 & 3
Ensemble Arcadiana
Navona Records

Sergio Mims writes:

Navona Records has announced that it will release the first recording of British composer Eleanor Alberga's three String Quartets in June.

Jamaican-born British composer Eleanor Alberga stuns listeners with her spellbinding Navona Records debut: ALBERGA STRING QUARTETS 1, 2 AND 3, a carefully thought out yet naturally flowing example of Alberga’s creative genius, performed by the unmatched Maggini Quartet. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Alberga decided at the age of five to be a concert pianist, though five years later she was already composing works for the piano. In 1970 she won the biennial Royal Schools of Music Scholarship for the West Indies which she took up at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying piano and singing. But a budding career as a solo pianist – she was was among the 3 finalists in the International Piano Concerto Competition in Dudley, UK in 1974 – was augmented by composition with her arrival at The London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1978. Under the inspirational leadership of its Artistic Director Robert Cohan, she became one of the very few pianists with the deepest understanding of modern dance and her company class improvisations became the stuff of legend. These in turn led to works commissioned and conceived for dance from the company, most notably the piano quintet CLOUDS (1984). Alberga later became the company’s Musical Director, conducting, composing and playing on all LCDT’s many tours.     

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: Am I Arrogant?

Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, Am I Arrogant?  Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session!

Comment by email:
Thanks so much Bill and hope all is well! [Aaron P. Dworkin]

Sunday, April 28, 2019

ArchNews.com: Girma Yifrashewa to Score Exhibition in Beth Sholom Synagogue

Girma Yifrashewa
Photo Credit: Victor Jeffreys II

April 25, 2019

David Hartt will be the first artist to intervene in the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Beth Sholom Synagogue, located just outside of Philadelphia, when he installs his multimedia work into the National Historic Landmark this September. Using music, video, sculpture, and other materials, David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier) will interrogate the histories and presents of Black and Jewish diasporas in the United States and across the world.

At the center of the exhibition is the 19th-century American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Born to a Jewish father and Creole mother, Gottschalk left his native New Orleans for Paris to study music at just age 13. Blending European classical musical training with American traditions and Afro-Caribbean song, Gottschalk’s hybrid music predated ragtime and jazz by over half a century, and though relatively little known now, is foundational to music history both in the Americas and globally.


Ethiopian pianist Girma Yifrashewa—who, like Gottschalk, trained in Europe and blends multiple global sonic traditions—will be scoring the exhibition with compositions by Gottschalk that will be played throughout in order to, according to a release from the synagogue’s preservation foundation, “transform the space and invite audiences to linger in the immersive environment.” There will be additional musical performances by other artists throughout the exhibition’s run.

Hartt’s installation will be up from September 11 to December 19, 2019.

Comment by email:
Hi Bill,
Happy to hear from you and many thanks for the information. Yes I am happy I did Gottschalk’s beautiful piano music.

Hope to come and perform these beautiful works by Gottschalk for the great exhibition at Beth Sholom. 
Best wishes Bill.

Girma [Girma Yifrashewa] 

Telegraph.co.uk: Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is signed with top record label

Isata Kanneh-Mason

By Phoebe Southworth

27 April 2019

The sister of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal wedding cellist has called for more diversity in the "elitist" classical music industry, as she is signed with a top record label.

Isata Kanneh-Mason, 22, told The Telegraph that the culture was holding back women and ethnic minority musicians when music should be "non-discriminatory".

The pianist, who has played since the age of five, is a postgraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music and has performed across the world including in New York, Paris and Canada.

Her brother Sheku was the first black winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2016 and captured the nation's heart as the cellist at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding ceremony last year.

Isata's debut album, released this summer, will feature a collection of pieces by Clara Schumann to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the legendary composer's birth.

Clara was the wife of German composer Robert Schumann and remained in his shadow until a revival of her work began in the 1970s.
Isata told The Telegraph: "My sole aim with classical music is to get it out there to as many people as possible regardless of gender or colour because music is universal and therefore non-discriminatory. I think it should be open to everyone.

"Supporting women of colour in classical music is something that is important to my entire family. Because we always had each other we never felt that we were alone in classical music.

"But of course, looking out into the wider world of classical music, we are a minority. So we always hope to get more people of colour involved in classical music."

Isata, who is the eldest of five sisters, added: "If more young women get involved in classical music because of the album then that's amazing."

She also criticised the worrying lack of music funding in state schools, which has taken a 21 per cent cut in the last five years, according to research by the British Phonographic Industry.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has previously spoken out on the subject, saying it is "appalling" that music education is being "neglected".

He added: “What the government should be grasping is that every penny you spend on music – not to turn people into musicians, but music as an empowering force – comes back to you in tenfold."

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who plays Ike Turner in the Tina Turner musical, has also criticised the lack of diversity in the West End after research showed most ethnic minority performers are in just a handful of shows.

Isata said: "Classical music is very expensive and it's shame that because of that it has become slightly elitist.

"Growing up, I've seen the sacrifices my parents had to make for the cost of instruments, music and lessons. Because of that, a lot of people aren't able to get into classical music because they don't have the money or the opportunity.

"I think it needs to be brought back into state schools because it's gradually being stamped out. I think that's a really important step that needs to be taken to get people more involved.

"Music has changed mine and my family's lives an unbelievable amount. I don't know where we'd all be without it."

She said of her brother's Royal Wedding performance: "We were at home together watching Sheku on the TV playing at Harry and Meghan's wedding and we were really proud of him.

"We're really proud of him in everything he does and that was really special."

Isata was a finalist in the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition and completed her undergraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music as an Elton John scholar.

She even performed with the iconic singer songwriter in Los Angeles in 2013.

The pianist has now been signed by leading record label Decca Classics.

Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Petite Suite de Concert May 4

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

American Dreams

May 4, 2019

7:30 PM

Pablo Center at the Confluence

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Petite Suite de Concert

Saturday, April 27, 2019

PeninsulaDailyNews.com: William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony April 28, Chimacum

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

Peninsula Daily News

Friday, April 26, 2019

Chimacum [Washington]  

The Port Townsend Community Orchestra will present its April concert, “Forgotten Heroes,” at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The concert will be in the auditorium at Chimacum High School, 91 West Valley Road.

Admission will be free, but donations will be welcomed.

The concert will feature great works that for various reasons are not performed as much as they once were, organizers said.

They include the Overture in C by Fanny Mendelssohn, William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony and a music suite from the movie “The Sea Hawk” by Erich Korngold. 


Still was an early 20th century African-American composer.

He got practical experience arranging for Paul Whiteman, W.C. Handy and Artie Shaw.

He broke several barriers by being the first African-American to conduct an American symphony orchestra and have his symphony performed by a major orchestra.

His works include symphonies, operas, ballet and movie scores. His work was performed around the world. His Symphony No.1, the Afro-American Symphony, combines classical symphonic form with blues progressions and African rhythms. 

ClickOnDetroit.com: Fractured History: A solo exhibition by Aaron Dworkin May 6 - June 4

Ann Arbor Art Center

Aaron P. Dworkin

All About Ann Arbor

April 26, 2019

Created by social entrepreneur, author, performing artist and Sphinx Organization founder Aaron Dworkin, "Fractured History" explores themes of music, diversity, relationships, friendships, love and separation.

The mixed-media exhibition blends musical instruments, music, visual art, digital elements, images of powerful historical figures and color to capture multisensory artistic expression.

An interdisciplinary artist and musician, Dworkin, in his artist's statement, said that his own personal history and story, as well as his experiences, have shaped his art and music throughout his journey.

“My path in life as a social entrepreneur, author, artist, and professor originated in music. I am a classically trained violinist, and throughout my journey, my art has depicted as well as been influenced by and expressed through that lens,” the statement reads.

“My mixed media work with physical musical instruments shares stories of birth, separation, life, friendship, and love. I work with stringed instruments, highlighting their individual parts as elements of human emotion and character, from bow hair embracing a tailpiece, violin pegs dissecting the wood beneath the chinrest and using colors to capture the significance of certain life events. My digital explorations incorporate the theme of musical instruments and warp the process into an alternate dimension of history, with the aim of bringing to light important historical figures of color.”

Wallace Cheatham to perform his "Toccata on Acts 2:1--4" for organ at NANM in July

Wallace Cheatham

Wallace Cheatham writes:

I will be in performance at the National Association of Negro Musicians centennial convention in July. I will be performing my "Toccata on Acts 2:1--4" for organ  during the convention's opening session at Rockefeller Chapel.
Wallace Cheatham

Eric Conway: Theatre Morgan presents Anne & Emmett - A MUST SEE!!!

Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Last night,  I had the pleasure of attending the opening-night performance of the superb production of Anne & Emmett written by Janet Langhart Cohen and directed by Reggie Phoenix.

This is the imagined story of Anne Frank and Emmett Till meeting in a place called “memory”.  At first, one might think these two important characters in our world history are rather disparate, but the similarities of their lives and demises are abundant.   Both characters were killed as teenagers.  Both were pre-judged while alive based on their religion or race, rather than the content of their character.  Both posthumously became icons of both the Holocaust in Western Europe and racial hatred in America, respectively.   The play also suggests that "we must never forget our past!”  As long as these characters remain in our memory, they will never be lost.

Everything  about this production I believe was excellent.  This was newly-hired Theatre faculty member Reggie Phoenix’s first Theatre Morgan straight play, who gave excellent direction to the cast.  The lighting and set worked together to support the production, as principals came in and out of the light brilliantly for the audience to focus on their dialogue. Although not a musical, the peripheral music helped to support the action on the stage. Each and every one of the actors totally embodied their respective characters convincingly.

After an enthusiastic ovation for the performers at the end of the show, a post-performance dialogue was held onstage, where the audience and cast were given an opportunity to reflect on what was just heard and share their comments or ask questions regarding the performance to the four principal actors on hand.  Because the main characters were both Jewish and Black, we had a very diverse audience.  Throughout the play, one could feel the Jewish members empathize with the character of Anne Frank and Black audience members empathize with the character of Emmett Till.  Simultaneously, many Jewish member were learning more about the abominations of Emmett Till and many Blacks were learning more about the atrocities of the Holocaust era.  The story of Anne Frank is more widely-known since her father published her diaries which is often required reading in high school curricula (I read it in tenth grade).  The story of Emmett Till was certainly in the forefront of this nation’s consciousness during the civil rights era, however, as we have gotten farther away from that horrid killing, Emmett’s death is not remembered or taught in schools as it should.

I am strongly encouraging everyone to attend this play - Anne & Emmett.    We discovered during the post-performance discussion that many millennials are only vaguely familiar with the story of Emmett Till, IF, they know anything about him at all.  Many millennials surprisingly, are taught less and less about the Holocaust in schools, and certainly are not always required to read Anne Frank’s diaries nowadays.

This play must be seen by absolutely everyone, but especially if you are Jewish or Black!  We are all so comfortable with our lives, that we often forget how we have gotten to this point.  This play will remind you of our respective heritages.  I wish this could be a convocation for all of the Morgan campus to see!   The subject matter for me is personal, because when I was in college, I backpacked through Europe with a friend, Michael Epstein, and we visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam - an experience that changed my life in many ways!

Performances go through Saturday, May 4, 2019, (see flyer attached with the specific times).  The show is held in Turpin-Lamb Theatre in the Murphy Fine Arts Center.  Also see some photos of the performance with a copy of the playbill.  In fact, tonight, April 27 at 7:30, the playwright will be on hand to lead in a post-performance discussion!  

Please try to make your way to this production if you are able.  It is only about ninety minutes in length, without intermission.  Good theatre makes one reflect.  This is certainly good theatre!