Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Harlem Chamber Players announce "Pity These Ashes: Tulsa 1921-2021," a Juneteenth streamed concert

TThe Harlem Chamber Players 


Pity These Ashes: Tulsa 1921-2021

a Juneteenth streamed concert 

commemorating the 100th 

anniversary of the Tulsa Race 

Massacre, in partnership with 

The Greene Space at WQXR 

and WNYC, Harlem Stage, and  

the Harlem School of the Arts

The digital event will feature the world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s Tulsa 1921 (Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust), as well as compositions by Jessie Montgomery, Alice Coltrane, and
Trevor Weston.

The performance will include soloists mezzo-soprano 

J’Nai Bridges, violinist Jessica (Lady Jess) 

McJunkins, WQXR host and author Terrance 

McKnight, harpist Ashley Jackson, and 

conductor Amadi Azikiwe leading 

the Harlem Chamber Players.

(New York, NY) - May 3, 2021 - The Harlem Chamber Players announce Pity These Ashes: Tulsa 1921-2021, an online concert program on Juneteenth, to be held on June 19, 2021 at 7:00 PM, in partnership with The Greene Space at WQXR and WNYC, Harlem Stage, and the Harlem School of the Arts

The program will feature the world premiere of TULSA 1921 (Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust) by Dr. Adolphus Hailstork, commissioned in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, with a libretto by Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin. The concert will also include performances of Starburst by Jessie Montgomery, Prema by Alice Coltrane, and The People Could Fly by Trevor Weston.

The event will be filmed and broadcast from The Greene Space at WQXR and WNYC and will feature mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, WQXR host and author Terrance McKnight, violinist Jessica (Lady Jess) McJunkins, conductor Amadi Azikiwe, harpist Ashley Jackson, as well as musicians from The Harlem Chamber Players. 

Liz Player, founder of the Harlem Chamber Players, said of the program: “Our wish for this program is to use music to confront our painful past that has been buried from us for too long. These brilliant works by Black composers - underrepresented in the classical music canon - tell a story of endurance and resilience, and we hope it helps people to move forward and heal.”

Pat Cruz, Harlem Stage Artistic Director and CEO, added: "The intersection of art and social justice is at the very foundation of Harlem Stage. We are so pleased to partner on this critical work that shines a light on truth and injustice, and showcases the immense, diverse talent of artists of color."


JESSIE MONTGOMERY Starburst for String Orchestra

ALICE COLTRANE Prema for Solo Harp and Strings

ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK TULSA 1921 (Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust) for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (World Premiere) with libretto by Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin

TREVOR WESTON The People Could Fly for Narrator, Solo Violin, and String Orchestra


Amadi Azikiwe, Conductor 
J’Nai Bridges, Mezzo-Soprano 

Terrance McKnight, Narrator 
Jessica (Lady Jess) McJunkins, Violin
Ashley Jackson, Harp

About The Harlem Chamber Players

The Harlem Chamber Players is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. In addition, The Harlem Chamber Players seek to build an audience for classical music in general through community and educational outreach, as well as through collaborations with Harlem's other arts organizations, schools and cultural institutions, while creating opportunities for classically trained musicians of color.

About The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space

The Greene Space is the street-level broadcast studio and performance venue of WNYC and WQXR, channeling the collective genius in New York City to create forward-looking live art, theater, and journalism that sparks change. It brings audiences to the intersection of art and politics by leading courageous conversations and curating performances of intense beauty that are deeply rooted locally but relevant to audiences globally. 

About Harlem Stage

Harlem Stage is the performing arts center that bridges Harlem’s cultural legacy to contemporary artists of color and dares to provide the artistic freedom that gives birth to new ideas. For nearly 40 years, Harlem Stage has stood at the intersection of art and social justice with a singular mission to perpetuate and celebrate the unique and diverse artistic legacy of Harlem and the indelible impression it has made on American culture. We provide opportunity, commissioning and support for artists of color, make performances easily accessible to all audiences and introduce children to the rich diversity, excitement, and inspiration of the performing arts.

About Harlem School of the Arts, the Herb Alpert Center

New York City’s premier community arts institution, the Harlem School of the Arts at the Herb Alpert Center stands uniquely apart as the sole provider of arts education in four disciplines: music, dance, theatre, and art & design, all within our award-winning 37,000 square foot facility. The School’s reputation for artistic rigor and excellence attracts students of diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds from the five New York City boroughs as well as Westchester County and the tri-state area, which includes Connecticut and New Jersey. HSA’s alumni and faculty are counted among the most talented leaders in the arts.  
For over 50-years HSA has enriched the lives of tens of thousands of people through world-class training in the arts. HSA offers its students the freedom to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves in an environment that teaches discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives, empowering them to become creative thinkers and innovative leaders of tomorrow.

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