Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sergio Mims: Wynton Marsalis and Stewart Goodyear on WHPK-FM Chicago Tue. Aug. 27

Sergio A. Mims writes:

I'm very excited to announced that on my classical music radio show on WHPK-FM in Chicago I will playing some new and extraordinary works on the program on Tuesday, Aug. 27. 

I will be playing the new recording of Wynton Marsallis' new compositions his Violin Concerto and Fiddle Dance Suite for solo violin  recently recorded for Decca with the acclaimed violinist Nicola Benedetti and the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Cristian Macelaru.

Also on the same program will be the new Orchid Classics' recording of the phenomenal pianist Stewart Goodyear's Callaloo Suite for Piano and Orchestra with the Chineke! Orchestra conducted by Wayne Marshall along also with Goodyear's Piano Sonata. Callaloo was recently performed in June by Goodyear and the Chineke! Orchestra with Marshall conducting to great acclaim in London at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre.

Also on the program will be Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3 conducted by Leonard Bernstein. The radio show can be heard locally in the Chicago area on 88.5 FM and worldwide on the station's website at on Tuesdays 12-3 PM (U.S. Central Daylight Time) 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Principal Casting Announced for AS MUCH AS I CAN

by Sarah Hall


Stephanie Berry, Cory Gibson, Brandon Gill, Marquis Johnson, Dimitri Moïse, Vasthy Mompoint, and Dawn L. Troupe

10 Performances Only

September 12-16

At Joe’s Pub

Harley & Co. is proud to announce principal casting for As Much As I Can, a unique and powerful piece of activist, experiential theatre by Sarah Hall and directed by James Andrew Walsh. As Much As I Can will play 10 performances at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street) from September 12-16 (two shows nightly at 7:00 and 9:30 PM). Produced by Harley & Co., and supported by ViiV Healthcare, the production is designed by Harley & Co. Additional casting is to be announced.

The principal cast of As Much As I Can will feature Stephanie Berry (Gloria: A Life), Brandon Gill (Holler If Ya Hear Me), Cory Gibson (Tell it to the Judge), Dimitri Moïse (The Book of Mormon), Marquis Johnson (ART’s Burn All Night), Vasthy Mompoint (The Prom) and Dawn L Troupe (Moby Dick). The show will also feature Jason C. Brown, Christian O. Jiménez, Joel Hurt Jones, Jasmine Rush, PJ Johnnie and James Watson.
Cory Gibson, PJ Johnnie and James Watson are all original cast members who have been part of the project for three years.

As Much As I Can was created in collaboration with hundreds of gay and bisexual Black men from Jackson MS and Baltimore MD who shared their personal stories. Designed to mobilize communities to respond to the terrible fact that Black men have, and continue to be, disproportionally infected and affected by HIV, the show’s original staging was fully immersive; audience members moved from room to room with the actors. At Joe’s Pub it will be staged to reflect the production’s intent to blur the lines between theatricality and reality. Playwright Sarah Hall said, “The show is designed so that you forget it is a fiction. We want you to feel so much a part of it that it becomes impossible to separate yourself in the way we do when we observe narratives. That could only work if it was a broadly resonant story and if we gave each audience member a role to play.” As Much As I Can was previously presented in Harlem, Baltimore, Jackson MS, San Diego and Raleigh NC.

Following a day in the life of a group of friends, the play introduces the audience to a tight-knit community where the church is ever present, family is complicated, and history is hard to escape. It asks viewers to consider the power of belonging, the challenges of intimacy, and the repercussive effects of systematic prejudice.

Mark King of, a website devoted to HIV/AIDS, said,We may never come this close again to inhabiting the lives of a community often reduced to statistics and test results. The Black gay men of As Much As I Can are living and loving and leaning on each other. Their triumph and their pain are so close you can touch them, and you actually might.”

As Much As I Can is the recipient of a Cannes Lion Award, Shorty Award, two Telly Awards, a Patient's Congress Award, and a D&AD Award. It has also been shown to be an effective public health intervention in shifting people’s perception of HIV/AIDS.

STEPHANIE BERRY (Shawna) was last seen in Gloria: A Life at the Daryl Roth Theatre and in Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Marathon Production. She is a Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Best Lead Actress for her role in Gem of the Ocean at the Round House and she is Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Awards Nominee for Best Featured Actress for her role in Suga In Our Wounds at Manhattan Theatre Club. She appears in the new HBO movie OG and in the upcoming movie, Before You Know It. She appears in the movies: Delivery Man, Invasion, No Reservations and Finding Forrester. Recent television credits include “Luke Cage,” “The Last OG,” “Bull” and “Blue Bloods.” Recent theater credits include: Skeleton Crew at Baltimore Center Stage, Bluest Eye at the Guthrie Theatre and Seven Guitars at Yale Repertory Theatre. Stephanie Berry is the recipient of an OBIE Award for “best performance” and an AUDELCO Award for “solo performance” in her one-woman show, THE SHANEEQUA CHRONICLES: The Making of a Black Woman. She is a recipient of the TCG/Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship as a “Distinguished Artist.” She is a founding member of Blackberry Production, a documentary theater company in Harlem. The company is currently developing a piece on gentrification in Harlem.

JASON C. BROWN (Peter Arnett) recently finished a run as Dionysus in the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production of The Bacchae which will be reprised at Lincoln Center this fall, directed by Carl Cofield. He will appear as Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet at NJ Shakes (dir. Ian Belknap). He has appeared in the films Don’t Think Twice (Mike Birbiglia) and The Hungry Ghosts w/Aunjenue Ellis (Michael Imperioli). TV credits include “The Good Wife” and “Cherri Red” (pilot: Carlos Azucena). Off-Broadway: The Tempest at St Ann’s (dir. Phyllis Lloyd), The Misanthrope at NYTW (dir. Ivo Van Hove), Duchess of Malfi (w/Patrick Page) at Red Bull, Six Degrees of Separation (Queens Theatre In The Park), Rosa Parks (Richard Rodgers award) at Playwrights Horizons (dir. Daniella Topol) and more. Regional: Metamorphoses (Pioneer Theater), The Provoked Wife (ART), Much Ado About Nothing and Richard III (Nat’l Shakes Co.)

The show plays at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street) on the following schedule:
·         Thu Sep 12 at 7:00 and 9:30 PM
·         Fri Sep 13 at 7:00 and 9:30 PM
·         Sat Sep 14 at 7:00 and 9:30 PM
·         Sun Sep 15 at 7:00 and 9:30 PM
·         Mon Sep 16 at 7:00 and 9:30 PM

Sphinx Organization: Win $25,000 to make your dream project a reality!

Arts & cultural entrepreneurs,
we want to empower your innovation!

Apply to participate in Sphinx Tank: Identifying The Next Great Cultural Entrepreneur at SphinxConnect 2020.

Four entrepreneurs of color will be selected to pitch their projects live to a panel of experts for the chance to win the top $25,000 grant or $10,000 audience choice grant.

Apply now!

Applications are due by October 15, 2019.

Sphinx Tank: Feb 7 at 7:30pm ET
Westin Book Cadillac, Detroit, MI

Host & Panelist: Aaron Dworkin, Sphinx Founder
Additional panelists to be announced

Get inspired! Watch the inaugural Sphinx Tank at SphinxConnect 2019:

Sphinx Tank is made possible in part by Fund II Foundation.

Sphinx Organization

Monday, July 29, 2019

A Classical Social Justice Concert? That's Right: 800 Years of Feminist History in 80 Minutes

Women Warriors: The Voices of Change World Premier  
Orchestra Moderne NYC Presents Groundbreaking Social Justice Performance with 17 World Premiers 

June 26, 2019, New York, NY - Well timed with the recent decline in women’s and minorities’ rights        nationwide, a new symphonic experience showcases an original documentary covering 800 years of          feminist history and the development of women's civil and human rights in 80 minutes. ​Orchestra        Moderne NYC presents ​Women Warriors: The Voices of Change, a dynamic, multimedia social justice        concert that premiers at​ Lincoln Center on Friday, September 20, 2019​. While concertgoers watch the    powerful footage, they will hear live music written by eight female Hollywood composers performed on        stage, inspiring hope and courage for women and young girls. On the heels of Orchestra Moderne’s        success with​ Journey to America: From Repression to Freedom, the game-changing ensemble is bringing    young people to concert halls through shows that connect audiences with relevant topics that impact    their daily lives. 
Groundbreaking ​Women Warriors: The Voices of Change is made possible by Orchestra Moderne’s        nonprofit, Music Resonates, Inc., which supports female composers, an underrepresented group in      media. ​Women Warriors honors the strength and heroism of Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Nadia        Murad, Malala Yousafzai and many others who have risked their lives for the freedom of speech, social      justice, and equality. The documentary includes 12 chapters that feature activists tackling various issues,  such as civil rights, climate change, human trafficking, women’s rights in Iran, child marriage, the AIDS/HIV crisis and LGBTQ rights. Each chapter pairs with vibrant, symphonic music and special        performances, creating a riveting live-to-screen experience. 

Amy Andersson, Founder and Conductor, Orchestra Moderne NYC said, “Orchestra Moderne NYC was        founded to offer audiences of all ages symphonic concerts that are socially relevant and engaging.        Women Warriors: The Voices of Change features a record-setting number of female composers for a      single concert and 17 world premiering works. I hope this concert is a model of how symphony              orchestras can connect to their communities through musical and social advocacy. Creating programs        that motivate and inspire young people to reflect on the world around them is my dream.”

Highlights include: ● Masih Alinejad​, an Iranian-American journalist and author of ​The Wind in My Hair, My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran, is the featured guest speaker. ● Sonita Alizadeh​, an Afghan rapper/songwriter and human rights activist, performs her famous song, ‘Daughters for Sale,’ which describes her own experience as a child bride for sale.  ● 15-year-old singer/songwriter, ​Isolde Fair​, known for her song ‘To All the Little Girls,’ inspired by Hillary Clinton’s famous concession speech, performs a solo in honor of three activists who survived the Parkland shooting. ● Nathalie Bonin​, award-winning composer, and violinist performs ​Penka Kouneva’s “Earth,” which honors Israeli and Palestinian women building peace.

Women Warriors: The Voices of Change will premier at ​8 pm on Friday, September 20, at Alice Tully          Hall, Lincoln Center​. ​Hollywood composers featured include ​Lolita Ritmanis​, ​Penka Kouneva​, ​Starr            Parodi​, ​Miriam Cutler​, ​Mandy Hoffman​, ​Anne-Kathrin Dern​,​ Nathalie Bonin​, and​ Sharon Farber​.​ Tickets        start at $40 and can be purchased ​here​: 

Watch the trailer ​here​:

About Orchestra Moderne NYC 
The critically acclaimed Orchestra Moderne NYC is a dynamic ensemble, founded in early 2017 by            internationally known conductor Amy Andersson. Comprised of New York’s top musicians, this            game-changing orchestra creates musical experiences that celebrate humanity and connect to  important social issues. Lauded as a “first-rate classical ensemble” in New York City by ​ZEALnyc​, the  ensemble promotes inclusive opportunities for all composers and performers, including women and      minorities. Through premiering compositions in film, television, concert and video game genres,            Orchestra Moderne NYC resonates with young, diverse audiences and reconnects music lovers to the  thrill of hearing live orchestral music that is relevant and relatable. Learn more at    ​ and follow on ​Facebook​.

About Amy Andersson 
Amy Andersson is the founder and music director of Orchestra Moderne NYC. Ms. Andersson is on a          mission to bring young audiences into concert halls with culturally and socially relevant programs. She    has led more than 90 orchestras worldwide in more than 22 countries. She has appeared on the​Late        Show with Stephen Colbert, ​CBS Morning News, and​CBS Evening ​ News, has been ​ featured in the Wall    Street Journal ​ and covered in many more national and international media outlets​.  
Ms. Andersson is dedicated to working with young musicians and composers, has toured internationally  with youth orchestras, and has taught at universities in the U.S. and abroad. She has given masterclasses  for the Alliance for Women Film Composers and most recently, accepted the position of Adjunct              Lecturer at Brooklyn College/Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, where she teaches conducting to    media scoring composers. Learn more at ​ and follow on ​Twitter and Instagram​. 

About Music Resonates, Inc. 
Music Resonates, Inc., a New York State registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, puts a spotlight on women and      minority composers by featuring them in socially relevant concerts performed by Orchestra Moderne    NYC. Its mission includes invigorating young audiences to bring them into the concert halls, developing programs with partners that educate and mentor youth around the country, and performing concerts with a social echo that resonates with all ages.   

NOBLE Women's Symposium Invitation Aug. 13 Hyatt Regency New Orleans

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: Be Passionate!

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, Be Passionate!  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, July 28, 2019 National Black Theatre Festival Turns 30

Acclaimed tap dancer DeWitt Fleming, Jr. flies high in the role of legendary jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton. The North Carolina Black Repertory Company's production of George C. Wolfe's Tony award-winning musical "Jelly's Last Jam" opens the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival on Monday at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem. Photo courtesy of North Carolina Black Repertory Company.

by David Ford

Jul 26, 2019

American historian John Henrik Clarke once said, “Slavery ended and left its false images of black people intact.” Since 1979, the North Carolina Black Repertory Company — the first of its kind in this state — has been deconstructing those images through the power of theatre. This season marks the 30th anniversary of NC Black Rep’s world-renowned National Black Theatre Festival, with over 130 performances, workshops, films, and more in venues throughout Winston-Salem.

It all begins Monday night with the musical Jelly’s Last Jam, telling the fascinating story of jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton. The Tony award-winning show features dance, the music of New Orleans, and a deep exploration of the complexities of African-American life.

On Monday, a kick-off event for the new season was held in a West End neighborhood home in Winston-Salem. Roughly 40 actors, musicians, dancers, directors and supporters gathered in the living room there to raise a glass to NC Black Rep, and sample live performances from their upcoming show, Jelly’s Last Jam by George C. Wolfe.

The musical is set in the 1920s and 30s featuring the early jazz sounds and tap dance popularized during that era.
Pianist and music director Tyrone Jackson is based in Atlanta. He says Jelly Roll Morton’s stride piano style may sound easy, but it’s anything but.

“So, what you have to do is cover the melody, which is important, right, but you also have to carry the feel which is going on with the bass, and you also have to get the changes in,” says Jackson. “So, your left hand is going to carry the bass and the harmonic changes as well and let your melody and your embellishment come from the right hand.”

NC Black Rep Artistic Director Jackie Alexander is originally from New Orleans, and the musical holds a special place in his heart. It was the first show he ever saw on Broadway. He later directed the city’s first production of the show at the famed La Petit Theatre during that venue’s 100th anniversary season. 
“There’s a line in one of the songs, ‘We are the rhythm that colors your soul,’ and I kind of feel like that’s the festival when it comes to black theatre,” says Alexander. “We are the rhythm that colors the soul of black theatre.”

Alexander anticipates more than 60,000 NBTF attendees this year flocking to Winston-Salem for theatre performances like Jelly’s Last Jam which begins the Festival this year.


Jelly’s Last Jam, the story of the self-proclaimed inventor of jazz, opens the National Black Theatre Festival’s 30th year on July 29th. It’ll run through August 3rd.

NOBLE Announces New Deputy Director - Keenon James

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) Announces New Deputy Director

[Alexandria, VA] Vera Bumpers, President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), announced today that Keenon James has joined NOBLE as its new Deputy Director. 
"We are pleased to welcome Keenon James to the NOBLE family where he will be working closely with our Executive Director, Dwayne Crawford, and our leadership team. Mr. James has over a decade of experience in public policy development, criminal justice research and legislative advocacy. We are confident that the skills he brings to his new role will help NOBLE continue to expand its presence and influence in the law enforcement community," said President Vera Bumpers. 
Mr. James joined NOBLE from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Previously, he worked for The Pew Charitable Trusts and the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association. Mr. James is a graduate of North Carolina Central University. 

About the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 
Since 1976, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) has served as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action. NOBLE represents over 3,000 members internationally, who are primarily African-American chief executive officers of law enforcement agencies at federal, state, county and municipal levels, other law enforcement administrators, and criminal justice practitioners. For more information, visit

Dr. François S. Clemmons: Mr. George Shirley conducting master classes!!!

Dr. François Scarborough Clemmons

Dr. François S. Clemmons writes of the George Shirley master classes:

Dear Bill, What a wonderful gift: Mr. George Shirley conducting master classes!!! Young folks have so much to learn and he’s surely one of the great teachers of our era!!!! While I lived in Manhattan (and sang all over the world) and attended the Metropolitan Opera Studio some 50 years ago he served as my inspiration and mentor. I grew to love him and his entire family! George taught me that true mentoring is much more than showing  up for a voice lesson for 1 hour a week! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful tribute and gift. Your readers deserve to know about the ‘Best Among Us!’ Sincerely,  Dr. Francois S. Clemmons, DivaMan & Officer Clemmons, Dr. George Shirley’s Oldest Son!

Saturday, July 27, 2019 Harlem Quartet — ‘a face that diversifies classical music’

Harlem Quartet’s mission is to address “the under-representation of people of color in classical music.”

Read more here:

The Kansas City Star

Harlem Quartet — ‘a face that diversifies classical music’ — is coming to JCCC

The Detroit-based Sphinx Organization has been bringing social justice to classical music since 1997.

As part of its mission of “addressing the under-representation of people of color in classical music,” Sphinx founded the Harlem Quartet in 2006. The ensemble is still going strong and will bring its unique mix of European classical, jazz and Latin music to the Polsky Theatre at the Carlsen Center on July 31.

Violinist Melissa White, one of two founding members still in the quartet, recalled how the group began.

“Sphinx had gotten grants and funding from Target, and through these grants they were going to present music in public schools in and around the greater New York City area,” White said. “Sphinx thought it would be a great idea to form a group for the project, and so the quartet was created from former first prize winners of Sphinx’s yearly national competition. We went around to every school in Harlem playing classical music. It was a fun project, but we had no idea that one day it would turn out to be a full-time job.”

The New York City-area project has now become what White calls “an adventurous career” that has taken the Harlem Quartet around the world. But White’s personal musical journey goes back to when she was only 4 years old and saw Itzhak Perlman on “Sesame Street.”

“When the show was over, I asked my mom for a violin so I could play, and she didn’t say yes, but she didn’t say no,” White said. “She figured whatever came up on ‘Sesame Street’ the next day I would probably ask for that, too. But it didn’t change. For the next two years I only asked for a violin, Christmas, Easter, birthday. Finally, when I was 6 years old, I got a violin.”

And she’s been playing ever since. White has received performance degrees from both the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music and has studied with legendary violinists like Jaime Laredo and Miriam Fried. She’s also performed as soloist with some of America’s greatest orchestras, like the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops.

Luckily for local music lovers, the next stop for White and her colleagues is the Carlsen Center.


7 p.m. July 31. Polsky Theatre, Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park. $10-$25. 913-469-4445 or

Read more here:

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Comment by email:
Thanks for this, Bill! Looking forward to returning to Overland Park.

Best wishes,

d more here:

John Malveaux: YOLA National Festival Symphony Orchestra, Disney Concert Hall

John Malveaux of 

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) Festival is a 13-day orchestra festival that brings together young musicians from El Sistema-inspired programs nationwide, providing them with world music instruction and mentorship. The program, including travel, lodging, and all instruction, is entirely free for participants. July 26, 2019, I attended the FREE YOLA National Festival Symphony Orchestra concert at Disney Concert Hall. See pic 1-program.  Audience response first reached a significant standing ovation after Roderick Cox conducted Florence Price Symphony No. 1 Allegro ma non troppo and accelerated  during the final three pieces conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. During the garden reception following the concert, I met Mr. and Mrs. Liburd from Atlanta whose daughter Danielle Liburd (from the Atlanta Music Project) is a member of YOLA National Festival Symphony Orchestra. See pic 2-Mr. & Mrs.  Liburd with Leni Boorstin, Senior Advisor, External Affairs, LA Philharmonic Association. See pic 3 Cellist Danielle Liburd (right) with her little sister. Danielle is looking forward to a performance in Scotland later this year and she plans to attend Georgia State University.

Sergio Mims: Classical music is overwhelmingly white and male.

 Chineke! performing Three Songs from Ethiopia Boy by Roderick Williams at the PRS Foundation New Music Biennial, Southbank Centre, earlier this month. Photograph: Victor Frankowski 

Sergio A. Mims writes:

Musician and Chineke! Orchestra founder Chi-chi Nwanoku has written an article for the British newspaper The Guardian about the urgent need for diversity in symphony orchestras.

Fri 26 Jul 2019

Classical music is overwhelmingly white and male. My orchestra shows that can change

Chi-chi Nwanoku 

This year’s Proms include too few female and BME composers and musicians. I founded Chineke! to help redress the balance 

Across the cultural landscape, the light of truth is working its way through the past. Historical inaccuracies, unattributed contributions and long-lost gems – all victims of male whitewashing – are being restored and reinstated.

Hidden Figures, an Oscar-nominated film of 2016, shows the incredible contribution of three pioneering black women. Rosalind Franklin’s work, which enabled James Watson and Francis Crick to uncover DNA and claim a Nobel prize, has only recently been fully recognised, many years after her death. From art to science and beyond, the work of historically marginalised groups is being gloriously shared. Except within classical music, that is. And to compound matters, the errors of the past are being repeated today.

It’s Proms season – a chance for the classical music world to show that it’s moving with the times – and just as relevant today as it has always been. But it is yet another missed opportunity. I welcomed the BBC’s declaration last year that there would be a 50/50 gender balance in all new commissions of contemporary composers by 2020. I wholeheartedly agree with David Pickard, director of BBC Proms, when he says the target is “a crucial statement for gender equality by the arts industry”, and I am actively working with him to effect more change. But more must be done.

This year’s season includes work by 29 female composers, out of a total of 160. If we add ethnicity into the mix, the numbers become even more stark: of the BBC’s 13 new commissions for the season, only one is by a black female composer and one by a black male composer (at least they’ve got gender equality).

My pride at both of these composers - Errollyn Wallen and Daniel Kidane – having previously been commissioned by the organisation I founded, Chineke!, is overshadowed by my frustration with the continued male white dominance in the world that I love. The Proms run for eight weeks, with two or three concerts a day, but you’ll have to listen carefully for music composed by anyone other than a white male – in total there will be less than four hours of it, and less than 20 minutes from black and minority ethnic composers, throughout the whole season.

Sadly, it comes as no surprise to me that our cultural landscape in this section of the arts still looks and sounds the way it does. I’ve enjoyed many conversations and been involved in many conferences concerning the lack of diversity in the classical music world. There is talk of gender balance and a more complete balance of ethnicities; people in leading positions also say they want a more equal balance of ethnicities and gender in their organisations – be they orchestras or administration. I have heard all the talk but action seems rare and slow.

The choreographer Wayne McGregor compounds the problem in his recent compilation album. The release, Collaborations, was billed by its label as “a collection of music from the biggest names in modern classical and electronic music” – and yet, with dismaying familiarity, only two women are featured in the album’s 15 tracks.

I founded Chineke! in 2015, establishing Europe’s first majority BME orchestra, with the central mission of championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music. I felt something must be done after 35 years of performing on the international concert platform, and becoming too used to being the only black person on stage. In just a few years, we have been able to provide career opportunities for the BME community and to become a catalyst for change by increasing the representation on BME musicians in British and European orchestras.

Friday, July 26, 2019 "Jasmine Muhammad is the soloist" for "songs by Florence Price"

Florence B. Smith (1887-1953)

Jasmine Muhammad, Soprano

ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S at Temple Emanu-El (July 30, 7 p.m.). The free Naumburg Orchestral Concerts are always worth a visit, and this one is particularly so for a performance of songs by Florence Price, whose music is starting to receive a welcome renaissance. Jasmine Muhammad is the soloist. Also on the bill are Anna Clyne’s “Prince of Clouds,” Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.”

8/20 Rachel Barton Pine: Music by African American Composers at Jordan Winery Event

Rachel Barton Pine
(Credit Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)

long-time winemaker Rob Davis, the exclusive event 

celebrates the release of Jordan’s first vintage of 

Cabernet Sauvignon aged entirely in French oak.

Against the backdrop of panoramic views of the city’s skyline, Pine will present an ambitious classical tour of American music-making throughout history including works by African-American composers, Noel da Costa, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and Daniel Bernard Roumain. Guests will taste the historic 2015 vintage from a wine barrel “hive” designed by Dwayne MacEwen, proprietor of the award-winning architecture and interior design firm DMAC Architecture P.C., and local Chicago artist Randy Davidson of Restoration Creative.

The program will begin with a beloved Bach Partita and European dance music of the early American settlers, and will lead the audience through classical music influenced by blues, spirituals, and even hip hop before concluding with Vieuxtemps’ thrillingly virtuosic variations on ‘Yankee Doodle.’

In constructing this program, one of Pine’s goals was to give the audience the proper context to appreciate the massive contribution of Black musicians to what we understand as American music. Throughout the concert program, the music early settlers brought from Europe transforms into a uniquely American style due to the influence of African-American music-making.

The prominent inclusion of works by Black composers is part of a broader series of initiatives spearheaded by Pine to place Black classical composers and much of their previously overlooked music into today’s cultural consciousness.

The evening benefits The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation which supports talented young string players and expands awareness of and appreciation for classical music. Last year Pine and The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation's Music by Black Composers initiative launched a free online directory of music by living Black classical composers. 

Currently, the Foundation, in collaboration the Orchestral Music by Black Composers (OMBC) project founded by scholar-harpist Dr. Ashley Jackson and conductor James Blachly, is working to complete its online database of all composers of African descent, living and deceased. 

Also in October of last year The RBP Foundation Music by Black Composers initative released three landmark projects: MBC Violin Volume I, the first in a series of pedagogical books of sheet music exclusively by Black classical composers featuring 22 works for violin from 1767 to 2014;The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Coloring Book of Black Composers featuring 40 prominent Black composers throughout history,  and an illustrated timeline poster of 300+ Black classical composers from around the world.

During the August 20th evening an array of Gibsons Italia’s signature dishes will be served from salmon crudo and crabmeat avocado parfait to bruschetta and meatballs—paired with tastes of the Jordan Cuvee by Champagne AR Lenoble, 2017 Jordan Chardonnay, 2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in magnum, 2015 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and two very rare big bottles, including the 18-liter 2015 Jordan Melchior. The Melchior holds 24 standard 750mL bottles in one, and it will be served alongside two artisanal products made with historic 2015 vintage: a cow’s milk cheese made by local Caputo Cheese Company and a salame buio from Sonoma County’s Journeyman Meat Co.