African American Composers:New Voices, New Music
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Contemporary African American composers are diverse in their respective accomplishments and collectively represent a brilliant mosaic of exceptional music.
Their compositions are rooted in and influenced by a great history of mid 20th Century African American composers who preceded them: William Grant Still, William Dawson, Ulysses Kay, Margaret Bonds, Florence Price, Undine Smith Moore among others.
Jazz and African poly rhythmic influences showcased in the short and extended symphonic works of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk are also part of the critical fabric of inspiration.
These diverse and rich influences brought to the table of American Music Schools with a pedadogical and compositional focus on post War late Neo Classicism and Twelve Tone worlds of Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez* informed the formal sources of compositional influence of many contemporary African American composers. * Agon, Requiem Canticles, Variations for Orchestra and Le Marteau sans Maitre.
This page is dedicated to showcase a sample of exceptional African American composers of the late 20th Century and present day.
The music is diversely rich and speaks with incredible poignance.
The repertoire which I have meticulously chosen and programed is done with intention of showcasing programming and commission opportunities for conductors, Artistic Administrators of Symphony Orchestras, Opera Houses and Festivals.
This page showcases outstanding New music that adds value to Creative Place Making -a concept in The Performing Arts of value added communal spaces of belonging such as at Concert Halls where multi tiered shared experiences and pride in those experiences take root and blossom akin to a Community Garden in which all are welcomed to participate, help grow, sustain and to share in the harvest.
Creative Placing Making....why is it important to the future of The Performing Arts?
What does a commitment to diversity in the music performed, the guest artists featured have to do with the events in Baltimore, Ferguson, New York , Charleston and Chicago?
Why does diversity even matter in The Classical Performing Arts?
After all, let's be real, there are no Black or Hispanic people active in Classical Music.... I have never seen a Black or Hispanic Guest Soloist in a Symphony Concert and certainly not a Black Conductor..... I mean ..... Blacks and Hispanics are only into Gangster Rap and Hip Hop.... right?
Who ever heard of a Black Composer anyway . After all, Composers of Classical Music are only White men.... Blacks really have nothing to offer outside of that troubled ex slave named Joe who sings Old Man River in Showboat or as drug dealing, drug addicted people from Porgy and Bess........ just like those rioters on CNN in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Ferguson,Chicago....and Los Angeles 25 years ago
I am honored to have represented world renowned composer, Anthony Davis during 2013 with continuing dialogue in 2016, Roy Jennings during 2015 and consultative dialogue with newer generation composers including Trevor Weston, Kerwin Young and others from 2012 through the present day
For additional music by African American Composers visit:
For Feature Editorials on obstacles African American Composers face in 2015 visit:
The Drum Major For African Americans in The Classical Performing Arts:The Late Conductor and Champion of Contemporary Black Composers' Music, PAUL FREEMAN.
Founder of The Chicago Sinfonietta, Paul Freeman was one of the most influential musicians of color in the past 40 years to advocate for and make possible important new opportunities for musicians and composers of color .
Paul Freeman ushered in an awareness and provided a critical agency for the place of African Americans in the world of Contemporary American Classical Music.
The 1970s Black Composers' Series on Columbia Records which showcased 400 years of the music of composers of The African Diaspora is one of Paul Freeman's important legacies.
Rest In Peace, Drum Major Paul Freeman.... transitioned this week July 2015
THE MUSIC OF CONTEMPORARY BLACK COMPOSERS
The music showcased here is sourced from mp3 material available on Amazon.com as well as provided to me directly by the composer
Shout For Joy for Brass, Tympani, Organ and Large Chorus by Adolphus Hailstork. This is a magnificent work that transcends languages, cultures and generations.
Shout for Joy is a grand work for Concert Halls around the world.
THE MUSIC PLAYERS- HOW TO USE
You can advance the player to listen to specific tracks by clicking on the forward tab in the music player above. Some tracks take a minute to load You can also STOP the opening music in order to play the additional Music Players, Videos below...by clicking the Stop/pause button above
Features in Music Player#1
ALVIN SINGLETON After Fallen Crumbs: Performed by The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Louis Lane.
OLLY WILSON Shango Memory For Orchestra
Shango Memory was commissioned by The New York Philharmonic for its 150th Anniversary and premiered under the baton of Kurt Masur.
Listen to the premiere recording by The Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Neemi Jarvi above
ANTHONY DAVIS X, The Life And Times of Malcolm X: An Opera in Three Acts- Critical work of Opera Theater stage premiered by NY City Opera in 1986. This masterpiece speaks with uncanny resonance for 2015 Amistad, An Opera about The Slave Ship Rebellion:Aria: The Unknown in My Realm from the World Premiere performance 1997 at Lyric Opera Chicago[This excerpt is featured in Emancipation/Civil Rights section below]
JEFFREY MUMFORD: Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra, An Expanding Distance for Multiple Voices:1 and An Evolving Romance for Flute and Piano SHAWN OKPEBHOLO
Oh Freedom performed by Baritone, Will Liverman
JONATHAN BAILEY HOLLAND Fanfares and Flourishes on An Ostinato
Premiered by The Detroit Symphony
GARY NASH: A Fraternal Prelude for Symphonic Band.
A Fraternal Prelude is a beautifully lyrical and poignant work that has standard repertoire status for Symphonic and Concert Band world wide at its core
Joel Thompson The Seven Last Words of The Unarmed
performed by The Michigan Men's Glee Club with The Sphinx Symphony Orchestra under the directionof Conductor, Eugene Rogers.
This performance was filmed during February 2017 Sphinx Music Gala, Detroit Symphony Hall, Detroit, Michigan
Also featured in Music Player#1 are
Symphonic works by Adolphus Hailstork, Billy Childs, Jeffrey Mumford, George Walker,
Ulysess Kay, Julius Williams and Kerwin Young
The Art Songs of H Leslie Adams, Richard Thompson,
Mark Lomax II and Shawn Okpebholo
Chamber music for Clarinet&Piano, Flute& Piano, Bassoon&Piano, Cello&Piano, Violin& Piano,Saxophone &Piano and Music for Percussion
by Dorothy Rudd Moore, T J Anderson, Chad Hughes, David T Baker, Alvin Baptiste, Mark Lomax II, Anthony Green, Tania Leon
Choral Music by James Newton, Tania Leon and Trevor Weston[featured below]
Piano Music by African Composer, Joshua Ozogiwe , Noted Spirituals arranger, Margaret Bonds Additional Piano Music by Adolphus Hailstork, Trevor Weston ,George Walker featured in Music Players below
Celebrating African American Art Songs and Poets
And The Negro Spiritual @150 Years
A Cycle of Cycles
August 26th , 2017 4:00 pm
The Church of The Masters, New York, New York
A Concert of the Music of Composers Roy Jennings, Valerie Capers, John Carter and Richard Thompson set to the verse of
African American poets, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes
This concert will also showcase The Negro Spiritual in contemporary arrangements
Celebrating George Walker
1996 Pulitzer Prize Winner
on the occasion of his 95th birthday, June 27th, 2017
George Walker, An American Outsider approaches his 95th Birthday
June 27th 2017
Serenades and Symphonies
The Southeast Symphony,
GEORGE WALKER - Tangents
BYRON ADAMS - Serenade for 9 instruments
CHANDA DANCY - Centrifuge (world premiere)
JOHN ADAMS - Chamber Symphony
Shatto Chapel at First
Congregational Church of LA
540 S. Commonwealth Ave, LA, CA 90020
May 18, 2017
George Walker @ October 2013 Colours of Music Festival, Charleston, South Carolina
Photographs by Bill Doggett/ Bill Doggett Productions
Row 1: George Walker meets renowned Spirituals Arranger/Conductor, Roland Carter. Row 2: With Charleston Festival Sponsors
Row 3: Festival Conductor, Marlon Daniel and friend of George Walker, in standing ovation
RENEE BAKER, THE CHICAGO MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT:
The African American Art Song Alliance
20th Anniversary Conference
February 10th 2017
University of California, Irvine,
Claire Trevor School of Performing Arts, Winifred Recital Hall
Premiered May 2016 at Composers of Color Collective, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Music as an Inter generational Story Teller
The People Could Fly
for Narrator, Solo Violin and String Orchestra
Innovations in Blended Genres:Third Stream and Classical Form
Bill Banfield: Im Dizzy Over Miles from Symphony #6-Four Songs for Five American Voices is an exquisite example of this genre
*Listen for Banfield's masterful use of James Brown's iconic We're Gonna Have a Funky Good Time mid way. Miles Davis embraced James Brown fusion in his last albums in the first track in the Music Player below
R Jess Brown Jr: Symphony of Souls Versions 1 and 2 + Away Before Dark- two late Miles Davis/Joe Zawinul evoking masterpieces of Third Stream's 1970s Variation...called Jazz Fusion
Away Before Dark in many ways evokes Miles Davis' score for the landmark 1958 Francois Truffaut film: Elevator To The Gallows
The Tixier Brothers
Tony Tixier, Piano, Scott Tixier, Violin
Black Youth Composers
XAVIER FOLEY:Solo #1 A tour de force by the 25 year old Philadelphia Curtis Institute student and 2014 Sphinx Music Competition First Place winner.
*To view, click the stop/pause button at top of page Music Player*
Contemporary Black Women Composers
RENEE BAKER AND THE CHICAGO MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT
The exquisite Art Songs of H Leslie Adams, Richard Thompson, Valerie Capers and George Walker
The Contemporary Piano Recital
A sample of compositions of George Walker, Trevor Weston, Adolphus Hailstork, Maragret Bonds
Spirituals and Songs of Praise in New Editions
2017 marks The 150th Anniversary of the 1867 publication by Abolitionist musiciologists of
Slave Songs Of The United States
Below are new settings of "Slave Songs" now known as Spirituals
EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION:The Journey to Freedom
Honoring The Abolition Movement's FREDERICK DOUGLASS
HARRIET TUBMAN and SOJOURNER TRUTH, listen below to two outstanding works for the theater and opera stage that capture the intensity of SLAVERY and The Middle Passage, Anthony Davis' AMISTAD and THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and MALCOLM X, Anthony Davis' X, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MALCOLM X
2013-2018 are critical years of rememberance during which there will be much reflection on and new calls to #advancethedream of Martin Luther King as well as Malcolm' X's clairvoyance about strategies of redress in critical issues of social justice and Black community self empowerment.
ENTER: Anthony Davis' landmark opera of 1986: X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X
Listen to Malcolm's Aria , We Are A Nation and Malcolm X's iconic remarks about JFK and Dallas November 22nd, 1963 and Martin Luther King's iconic call to action: If You Cant Walk....speech
Want to hear MORE of X by Anthony Davis:visit my SoundCloud
THE CHALLENGE OF RACE AND BLACKNESS
AS A CLASSICAL MUSICIAN
February 2017 SphinxConnect, Detroit Michigan
A Project of Sphinx Music Corporation
Music from Africa for Organ and Piano and The Diasporic Legacy in Cuba/Haiti/Brazil
@2017 BILL DOGGETT PRODUCTIONS LLC