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 the dysfunctional drug addicted people of Catfish Row from Porgy and Bess........ just like those rioters on CNN in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Ferguson,Chicago....and Los Angeles 25 years ago