George Theophilus Walker, born 1922, is an African-American composer, the first to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. He received the Pulitzer for his work Lilacs in 1996. George Walker was presented in a debut recital in Town Hall, New York by Mr. and Mrs. Efrem Zimbalist. With his “notable” debut, as it was described by the New York Times, he became the first black instrumentalist to perform in that hall. As the winner of the Philadelphia Youth Auditions, he played the 3rd Piano Concerto of Rachmaninoff with the Philadelphia Orchestra with Eugene Ormandy conducting two weeks after his New York debut in November of 1945. He was the first black instrumentalist to appear with this orchestra. The following year, he played the 2nd Piano Concerto of Brahms with the Baltimore Symphony, Reginald Stewart conducting and the 4th Beethoven Concerto with Dean Dixon and his orchestra. In 1946 George Walker composed his String Quartet no. 1. The second movement of this work, entitled, Lyric for Strings, has become the most frequently performed orchestral work by a living American composer. In 1950, George Walker became the first black instrumentalist to be signed by a major management, the National Concert Artists. In 1954, he made an unprecedented tour of seven European countries, playing in Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England in the major cities of Stockholm, Copenhagen, The Hague, Amsterdam, Frankfurt a Main, Lausanne, Berne, Milan and London with great acclaim.https://youtu.be/tYnEXI3WyRQ – interview http://georgetwalker.com/bio.html
Margaret Allison Bonds, 1913-1972, was an American composer and pianist. One of the first black composers and performers to gain recognition in the United States, she is best remembered today for her frequent collaborations with Langston Hughes, Negro speaks of rivers – words by Langston Hughes. http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/bonds.html
Robert Nathaniel Dett, 1882-1943, was a composer, organist, pianist and music professor. While born in Canada, he spent most of his professional career in the United States. Dett published a collection of his own poems in 1911 under the title The Album of the Heart. Several of his later songs would employ the texts of the poems. http://nathanieldett.org/
Nathaniel Dett ‘The Ordering of Moses’ part 1/4 13:34 https://youtu.be/mdeSS7PWgso
Performed by The Grossmont Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale with The Martin Luther King Community Choir of San Diego, 25 Feb 2012
Ulysses Kay, 1917-1995, was an African-American composer. A nephew of the New Orleans jazz trumpeter King Oliver, Kay played jazz saxophone as a boy and later turned to piano, violin, and composition. His music is mostly neoclassical in style. Wrote scores for movies and television including The Quiet One. http://www.carlfischer.com/composer/kay-ulysses/
Henry Thacker “Harry” Burleigh, 1866-1949, a baritone, was an African-American classical composer, arranger, and professional singer. Harry Thacker Burleigh (named Henry after his father) played a significant role in the development of American art song, having composed over two hundred works in the genre. He was the first African-American composer acclaimed for his concert songs as well as for his adaptations of African-American spirituals. http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200035730/default.html
Hale Smith (June 29, 1925 – November 24, 2009) was an Americancomposer, pianist, educator, arranger, and editor. “Hale Smith Day” was declared for February 21, 2010 by the Honorable Andrew Hardwick, Mayor of the village of Freeport, at a concert given in Smith’s honor at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The congregation, located in Freeport, has a Hale Smith Day concert each February in conjunction with the Long Island Composers’ Alliance. http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/Hale-Smith-19252009/
In Memoriam – Beryl Rubinstein: II. Poème D’Automne 2:55 https://youtu.be/qxcXE7zCc-g
Beryl Rubinstein Hale smith received BM and MM at Cleveland Institute of Music where Beryl taught.
Clarence Cameron White, 1880-1960, was an African-American neoromantic composer and concert violinist. Dramatic works by the composer were his best-known, such as the incidental music for the play Tambour and the opera Ouanga. http://archives.nypl.org/scm/20793
Mary Ellen Wilson will interview a composer or performer Back From The Dead. They will tell you Stories to delight you, Stories that will shock you, Stories you will not believe from the mouths of the maestros themselves…Back from the Dead. You will be surprised by their humor and we’ll play their music too.
There are surprising African musical influences in some of Lil’s compositions from this period. Apparently she was by this time looking into the roots of jazz because a dramatic example is found in “Perdido Street Blues” which is based on an old, old traditional rhythmic pattern: a West Aftrican shuffle dance known from Congo Square (aka Congress Square) in New Orleans from before the turn of the year 1900.
Gospel music –root of R&B, Soul, and Rock, launched the careers of countless singers.
TAKE MY HAND, PRECIOUS LORD (1932):
Written by former bluesman, Thomas A. Dorsey,
set the musical and thematic tone for all gospel music.
The melody is from a 19th century hymn
Dorsey wrote over the deaths of his first wife and child.
MOVE ON UP A LITTLE HIGHER (1947):
Pastor and composer W. Herbert Brewster
first “hit,” selling 8 million copies.
I’M TOO CLOSE (1953):
Professor Alex Bradford was one of the first great “showmen” of gospel
a husky baritone to a sweet, sweet falsetto
he influenced many R&B, Soul, Rock and Pop artists.
known as the “Little Richard of gospel,” it is more accurate to call Little Richard the “Alex Bradford of Rock and Roll.”
WHOLY HOLY (1971):
Marvin Gaye co-wrote
album “What’s Going On.”
Aretha Franklin transformed it into a gospel classic
I.O. U. ME (1987):
artistic technological blurred the lines between secular and sacred.
topped the R&B and gospel charts and won numerous awards.
controversial minister and singer Donnie McClurkin,
A protégé of Andre Crouch
McClurkin wrote and performed this anthem to faith, courage, and endurance which catapulting him to fame. Oprah Winfrey brought attention (and massive sales) to the song when she proclaimed it her “favorite CD in the world.”
ORIGINS OF JAZZ
jazz starts 1895-1917 New Orleans
Creoles on west side of Canal St. Conservatory educated in Paris, sight reading and correct performance;
Newly freed Blacks on east side played blues, gospel and work songs memorization and improvisation and playing by ear.
1894 racial segregation law
1897 establishment of Storyville, red light district, prostitution was legal.
Recordings of jazz in 1917
Jelly Roll Morton was a Creole named Ferdinand LaMenthe and became a professor (main musician playing piano at the sporting houses)
Jazz inherited the rhythms of African music and the formal structure of European music.
The Unique Quartette recorded again in 1893, and one of their titles, “Mama’s Black Baby Boy”
1890 George W. Johnson became the first African American to record commercially.
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