Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sono Luminus Releases Lara Downes' America Again Inspired by the Langston Hughes Poem "Let America be America Again" Release Date: October 28, 2016

Watch the Album Trailer:

Music by Duke Ellington, Lou Harrison, Morton Gould, Amy Beach, George Gershwin, Angélica Negrón, Dan Visconti, Leonard Bernstein, Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, Florence Price, Aaron Copland, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and more

Preview selections from the album: | Pre-order:

“A unique blend of musicianship and showmanship” —NPR
“A balletic keyboard reverie, rendered with nuance and drama” —The Washington Post on Lara Downes

Lara Downes’ Concert Schedule:
Upcoming performances include New York, NY (Sept. 29-Oct. 2); San Francisco, CA (Oct. 25); Davis, CA (Oct. 29); Jamestown, NY (Nov. 4); Stamford, CT (Nov. 19); Colts Neck, NJ (Nov. 20); Chicago, IL (Dec. 9)

New York, NY – Pianist Lara Downes will release her next solo album, America Again, worldwide on Sono Luminus on October 28, 2016. The album’s title is taken from Langston Hughes’ poem, Let America Be America Again, written in 1938. America Again features nineteen pieces selected by Downes that explore the elusive but essential American dream, written by composers including Duke Ellington, Lou Harrison, Morton Gould, Amy Beach, George Gershwin, Angélica Negrón, Dan Visconti, Leonard Bernstein, Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, Florence Price, Aaron Copland, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and more.
Lara Downes is a 2016 Laureate of the Sphinx Organization Medals of Excellence Award, recognizing her influence as an extraordinary artist of her generation, and her role as a leader in expanding audiences for classical music. Born in San Francisco and raised in Europe, Downes' musical outlook reflects the diversity of her personal heritage and extensive travels. Her interest in connecting music to a wide and inclusive breadth of human experience mines her own mixed Jamaican-American and Jewish-Eastern European background. This exploration has led to a wide range of creative projects for Downes – from an exploration of the music of Jewish composers in exile to a centenary tribute to Billie Holiday, from an intimate portrait of the marriage of Robert and Clara Schumann to a sweeping look at the musical breakthroughs of the American 20th century, all captured with timeless relevance and a deeply personal style that the Huffington Post has called, “addicting – Downes plays with an open, honest heart.”
Downes’ 2016 album, America Again, explores music that expresses different facets of the American dream – its hope, its impossibility, and its necessity. Lara Downes conceived of the album in June 2015, in response to the Charleston, SC shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. She recorded the album in March 2016 at Sono Luminus’ studio in Boyce, VA. Downes writes of the meaning in the album, “Today, as I write these words, we are living again in troubled times. For too many Americans, circumstance and skin color still keep the promise out of reach, the dream deferred. The hard-won rights and long-sought justice for which our parents and grandparents fought are too easily slipping away. The rifts and rivalries that divide us as a nation seem to run deeper than ever. But still, we dreamers keep dreaming our dream. This music is a tribute to the generations of Americans who dream the impossible: black and white, men and women, immigrants and pioneers. It tells the story of their journeys, their loves and longings, their hardships and their hopes. American music is made of everything we are, coming from so many different people and places, expressing so many different dreams.”

Highlights from America Again include:

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Deep River, a traditional African American Spiritual famously sung by Marian Anderson on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, that tells the long story of black America's dream of freedom and equality, from the days of slavery to our own time.

George Gershwin’s I Loves you Porgy in Nina Simone’s arrangement, which Downes describes as a “moment of perfect convergence – a true American original bringing to a great American classic everything she knew about singing the Blues, about Bach (listen to the opening riff!), being a woman, being black, and about being strong and powerless, all at the same time.”
Morton Gould’s American Caprice, a mix of everything that is capricious about the American spirit, from a composer who lived the American Dream in music, starting out as a teenage piano player in Depression-era movie theaters and building a long and varied career that won him the nation's highest cultural honors. 
Angélica Negrón’s Sueno Recurrente, written in 2002, which brings together the composer’s Puerto Rican heritage with notes from the place she now calls home, Brooklyn. Downes says, “This meditative piece speaks to me of the recurring dreams of freedom, safety, hope, and happiness that call generations of immigrants to American shores.”

America Again | Lara Downes, piano | Sono Luminus | Release Date: October 28, 2016

1. Morton Gould: American Caprice
2. Lou Harrison: New York Waltzes
3. Traditional: Shenandoah
4. Amy Beach: From Blackbird Hills
5. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River
6. Dan Visconti: Lonesome Roads
7. Ernest Bloch: At Sea
8. George Gershwin: I Loves you Porgy (arr. Nina Simone)
9. Angélica Negrón: Sueno Recurrente
10. Leonard Bernstein: Anniversary for Stephen Sondheim
11. David Sanford: Promise
12. Howard Hanson: Slumber Song
13. Scott Joplin: Gladiolus Rag
14. Irving Berlin: Blue Skies (arr. Art Tatum)
15. Florence Price: Fantasie Negre
16. Aaron Copland: Sentimental Melody
17. Duke Ellington: Melancholia
18. Roy Harris: Li'l Boy Named David
19. Harold Arlen: Over the Rainbow

About Lara Downes: American pianist Lara Downes is known for her eclectic presentations of the piano repertoire – from iconic favorites to newly-commissioned works – her performances bridge musical genres and traditions, and engage a wide range of audiences with what San Francisco Classical Voice has called “an elegant example of how accessibility and a breezy relevance can exist, organically, in a classical music concert.”
Lara Downes' training under Hans Graf and Rudolf Buchbinder led to early debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Salle Gaveau Paris. She has since won over audiences at diverse venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to Le Poisson Rouge and Classical Revolution. Recent performances include Bargemusic, San Francisco Performances, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Portland Piano International and the University of Washington World Series, among many others. Downes’ musical collaborations include partnerships with artists including cellist Zuill Bailey, the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, the Musical Art Quintet, and composers Mohammed Fairouz, David Sanford, Daniel Felsenfeld and Daniel Bernard Roumain. Her original solo performance projects have received support from prominent organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the Center for Cultural Innovation and American Public Media.
Lara Downes’ solo recordings have met tremendous critical and popular acclaim. Exiles’ Café (Steinway & Sons, 2013) topped the bestseller charts and was called “ravishing” by Fanfare magazine. Some Other Time (Steinway & Sons, 2014), a duo recording with cellist Zuill Bailey, debuted in the Billboard Top 10 and was called "luscious, moody and dreamy" by the The New York Times. Her recent chart-topping release, A Billie Holiday Songbook, has been embraced by both jazz and classical critics and listeners, called “possibly the most intriguing Holiday tribute” of this centenary year by Jazz Weekly.
Downes’ live performances and recordings are heard regularly on national radio programs with features including NPR MusicMarketplace, Performance Today, Sirius XM Symphony Hall, WNYC's New Sounds, and WFMT’s Impromptu. She is the producer and host of The Green Room, a radio show about the lives of classical musicians, distributed nationally by the WFMT Network. Her writing has been published in Listen Magazine, The Rumpus, Arts Journal and San Francisco Classical Voice. She is the founder and director of The Artist Sessions, a pop-up concert series featuring international soloists and ensembles at the forward edges of classical music. Lara Downes serves as Artist in Residence at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis where she mentors the next generation of young musicians as Director of the Mondavi Center National Young Artists Program. She is the Founder and President of the 88 KEYS Foundation, supporting arts education experiences in California public schools through instrument donations and teaching artist presentations. She is a Steinway Concert and Recording Artist.
# # #

Friday, September 23, 2016

Empire Opera: A Song for Peace, Artists United Against Hate, Saturday, October 15, 2016, 7:30 PM, Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway (at 93rd St.) New York

Join Empire Opera as host an evening of love, peace and acceptance.

Hatred, bigotry, and racism, have no place in our world,
especially our world of music.
And we as artists stand united against it.

Empire Opera has always been an organization that embraces the cultural diversity in our country.
We work with artists from all ethnic backgrounds and stand against any notion that certain groups are not welcome.

Red, Yellow, Black, White and Brown; We are All God's Children.

The evening will be filled with classical, jazz, R&B music, and poetry.
We hope to put a smile on your face and a song in your heart!
Saturday, October 15, 2016 7:30PM
Advent Lutheran Church
2504 Broadway (at 93rd St.)
New York


Philip Weberndörfer, guitar

R&B by

Octavia Harrell, vocals
Mansa Gory, guitar
Tyree White, percussion

Waundell Saavedra,
piano and vocal works

Free admission, donations will be accepted.
More info at

Comment by email:
Hi Bill. Thanks so much yet again.  Waundell  [Waundell Saavedra]

National Society Of Black Engineers Partners With Google To Launch ‘Code Success @ NSBE’ Program

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has partnered with to launch the Code Success @ NSBE program, an initiative committed to increasing the number of black professionals in the field of computer science. The year-round engagement provides NSBE collegiate members interested in computer science, technology, software engineering and web design with opportunities to further their interest in computer science (CS), by enhancing their knowledge and skills. Elements of the Code Success @ NSBE program include: Coding Bootcamps led by expert instructors in the field, with emphasis on JavaScript, JAVA, Python and Ruby coding languages; CS Workshops at NSBE’s 2017 Annual Convention; and award competitions encouraging students to utilize the skills they have learned to develop innovative technology.
“This program shows what can happen when private industry and the nonprofit sector work together toward mutual goals,” says NSBE National Chair Matthew Nelson. “If you look at the statistics for bachelor’s degree recipients in computer science over the past six years in this country, you’ll see that the number of graduates has increased steadily, but the percentage of African Americans among those graduates has decreased. Code Success @ NSBE will help us move the needle back toward parity for African Americans in this field.”
“As a member of the Board of Corporate Affiliates, NSBE’s top-level supporters, Google has demonstrated its full commitment to increasing diversity in the high-tech sector,” says NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. “The Code Success @ NSBE program is another example of Google’s willingness to lend its talents and creativity as well as its financial resources to strategic efforts to ensure that every population is tapped to fill the burgeoning demand for tech talent.”
Justin Steele, Bay Area Giving lead and Racial Justice Grants portfolio manager for, gives credit to NSBE for his career achievements.
“As a collegiate member of the National Society of Black Engineers, I experienced, firsthand, incredible support and access to opportunity NSBE provides to black engineering students,” says Steele. “We are proud to be deepening our partnership with NSBE to provide even more support for talented black engineering students pursuing majors in the field of computer science. Google is also proud to be a part of NSBE’s Board of Corporate Affiliates and participate in conferences and events.” 
In addition to developing their technical skills, participants in Code Success @ NSBE will receive one-on-one mentoring from members of the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS). Career services support from subject matter experts and professionals from a wide range of tech industries will be available through a bimonthly webinar series exploring topics such as academic
preparation, technical resume development, interview preparation and internship opportunities, among others. Also, 18 Code Success Scholarships will be awarded: recipients will receive monthly review sessions and training focused on front-end, back-end and full-stack web development languages, in addition to the other benefits of the Code Success @ NSBE program.
“Thanks to Google for this opportunity to expand the skill sets and career prospects of NSBE collegiate members nationwide,” says Christian G. Miller, NSBE’s national programs chair. “NSBE’s programs team looks forward to implementing Code Success @ NSBE and promoting this great addition to the array of benefits available for our membership.”

With more than 31,000 members and more than 300 chapters in the U.S. and abroad, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. NSBE, founded in 1975, supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.” For more information, visit

ABOUT GOOGLE.ORG, the philanthropic arm of Google, supports nonprofits that innovate to address humanitarian issues. was created to pursue, experiment with, and build upon ideas to improve the world, and continues to take an iterative approach to philanthropy today. develops and invests in pursuits that can have measurable impact on local, regional and global issues, and rallies Google’s people in support of these efforts with a singular goal of creating a better world, faster.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in September 1998. Since then, the company has grown to more than 50,000 employees worldwide, with a wide range of popular products and platforms like Search, Maps, Ads, Gmail, Android, Chrome, and YouTube. In October 2015, Alphabet became the parent holding company of Google. 

ArCoNet is offering great opportunities for students to participate in the Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and STRING QUARTET Program, North Wales, PA

ArCoNet Orchestras and

Auditions coming up!

Are you a string player looking for unique performance opportunities? 

-ArCoNet is offering great opportunities for students to participate in the Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and STRING QUARTET Program.

-ArCoNet faculty is comprised of artist faculty with active international performing and teaching careers. The Youth Orchestra is conducted by Adriana Linares and Franklin Nino, and the Chamber Orchestra is conducted by Domenic Salerni and Adriana Linares, both from the Dali Quartet and ArCoNet Faculty.

-ArCoNet students enjoy performing with a community of players including international students from Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. Some of our students have moved onto careers in music performance, education and arts administration at prestigious schools such as the Curtis Institute of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Indiana University, and others. 

By joining ArCoNet Orchestras, you are part of a great music community with the following opportunities:

  • Side by side collaborations, coachings and master classes from musicians from the Dali Quartet, ArCoNet Faculty, the Lancaster Symphony, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Curtis Institute of Music, and the Annapolis Symphony. 
  • Guest conductors from the Oberlin Conservatory, Lynn Conservatory, Indiana University and Shennandoah Conservatory.  
  • Community Outreach and In-School Educational Concert Opportunities. 
  • Performance collaborations with the Free Library of Philadelphia, Harmony for Peace Foundation, ACLAMO, Casa de Venezuela, among others.
  • Collaborative performances at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center, Irvine Auditorium, Zoellner Center for the Arts, and more!

-Youth Orchestra: (suggested ages 12 and up)
Mondays from 7-9pm

-Chamber Orchestra (suggested ages 15 and up):
Tuesdays from 7-9pm

-Quartet rehearsals and coachings: upon group and coaches availability (suggested ages 12 and up)

Orchestras and Quartet assignments and admissions are primarely based on level of performance, and musical experience.

Rehearsals location: North Penn Church of Christ,
300 N. North Wales Rd. North Wales, PA 19454


-Fall Session: October through December
-Winter Session: February through June
-Optional Summer Session: During Dali Quartet International Music Festival (late July-August)


-October through May (coachings, master classes, recitals and rehearsals TBD by coaches availabilty)


-Holiday Concert on Sunday December 11th at 6pm the Montgomery County Community College.

-Spring International Festival Concert in April at the North Penn High School. 

-Spring Concert in June at the North Penn Church of Christ.

-Community Outreach at the local and Philadelphia Libraries, nursing homes and schools.

*The ArCoNet Orchestras also participate in the Dali Quartet International Music Festival in the Summer.

2017 Summer Tours, Festivals and trips are TBD. 

-In Septemeber, by appointment only.
Contact Director Adriana Linares at

Audition Information under:
Orchestra Programs

Comment by email:
Thanks so much.   Adriana Linares [The CD] "offers a wonderful overview of R. Nathaniel Dett's captivating solo piano compositions, magnificently performed by Clipper Erickson"

Pianist Clipper Erickson forwards this Black Grooves review by Brenda Nelson-Strauss:

Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) was one of the most important and highly regarded Black composers of the early twentieth century. At that time, only a few had achieved widespread success in the classical music genre, most notably the British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Though born on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, Dett’s father was a U.S. citizen and during his youth the family relocated to the New York side of Niagara, thus he is usually considered to be an American composer. The Oberlin educated Dett was also a noted concert pianist, choral conductor and educator.
My Cup Runneth Over: The Complete Piano Works of R. Nathaniel Dett gathers together, for the first time on CD, Dett’s solo piano compositions, brilliantly performed by Clipper Erickson (an alum of The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Indiana University). Like his mentor and teacher, British pianist John Ogdon (who taught at IU’s Jacobs School of Music in the late 1970s), Erickson has championed 20th and 21st-century music and American composers, in particular.  He was introduced to Dett’s music by Dr. Donald Dumpson, currently on the faculty of Rider University, who like Dett is also a noted keyboardist, choral conductor, composer and arranger. Thankfully, their relationship inspired this recording project, which recently garnered an Editor’s Choice citation from Gramophone UK—now let’s hope it receives wider recognition in the U.S.

My Cup Runneth Over features Dett’s neo-Romantic piano suites which were widely performed by artists such as Percy Grainger and Fanny Bloomfield-Zeisler. The CD opens with the earliest suite, Magnolia, composed in 1912. As one might guess from the title, the five movements call forth images of the Old South with names such as “The Deserted Cabin” and “Mammy,” though the final movement, “The Place Where the Rainbow Ends” was based on a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. In the Bottoms, composed the following year, is another five movement suite based on “scenes peculiar to Negro life in the river bottoms of the Southern sections of North America” (quoted from Dett’s own notes). Included is one of his most popular works, the folk-song based “Juba Dance,” played by Erickson with great clarity and verve.[i]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Grand Haven Tribune: A Night with Aaron Dworkin: Where music meets social justice [Grand Haven High School, Thursday, October 6, 7 PM]

Aaron P. Dworkin

• Today at 3:00 PM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — Aaron Dworkin, dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, will speak and perform in Grand Haven on Thursday, Oct. 6.
This event will illustrate how music, poetry and the art of humanity are strong bonds that unite us all. It will be held at Grand Haven High School’s Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m.
An artist, author, musician and poet, Dworkin will lead the audience on a journey through moving poetry and stirring orchestral music.
“We are fortunate to have so much talent and inspiration connecting us all through music,” said Melissa Meyers, GHHS orchestra director.
Dworkin is the founder and former president of the Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization that focuses on youth development and diversity in classical music.
Dworkin will be accompanied by the GHHS Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Meyers and featured guests Solee Lee-Clark, adjunct professor, Muskegon Community College; Pablo Mahave-Veglia, professor, Grand Valley State University Music Department; Rodney Page, music educator and performer; and Bill Ryan, composer.

Comment by email:
Thanks so much Bill... cool!  Aaron  [Aaron P. Dworkin]

Yale University: “Destined to Be Known: The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at 75,” at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Sept. 23–Dec. 10

From James Weldon Johnson's "The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man," jacket illustration by Aaron Douglas, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1927. 

September 21, 2016

Beinecke celebrates archive of African American arts and letters

New Haven, Conn.— African American literary and artistic achievements are showcased in a new exhibition, “Destined to Be Known: The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at 75,” at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The exhibition runs Sept. 23–Dec. 10 in the library, 121 Wall St. It is free and open to the public.
The exhibition marks the anniversary of the James Weldon Johnson (JWJ) Memorial Collection, founded in 1941 by Carl Van Vechten both as a memorial to Johnson, an architect of the Harlem Renaissance, and as a celebration of the broad accomplishments of African American writers and artists over time. Today, the JWJ Collection is a key archive of African American history and culture.
“The JWJ collection is one of the premier collections of its kind anywhere in the world, and one of the most actively consulted of Yale’s extensive collections,” said Nancy Kuhl, curator of poetry in the Yale Collection of American Literature (YCAL) and a co-organizer of the exhibition. “Scholars have used it for more than half a century to document, discover, and disseminate important aspects of national and global culture and to create new scholarship to educate present and future generations. We are especially delighted by how frequently the collection is used for classroom teaching and learning and for research by Yale faculty and students.”
When Johnson was killed in a car accident in 1938, just weeks after his 67th birthday, there was tremendous demand for a memorial to his memory. Though plans were made for a statue in Manhattan, the memorial committee, under the leadership of Johnson’s friend Van Vechten, decided instead to found a collection of African American arts and letters at Yale in his honor.
Grace Nail Johnson contributed her husband’s papers, leading the way for gifts of papers from W. E. B. Du Bois, Walter White and Poppy Cannon White, Dorothy Peterson, Chester Himes, and Langston Hughes. The collection holds the papers of Richard Wright and Jean Toomer, as well as manuscripts or correspondence of such writers as Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman.
The JWJ Collection also contains extensive visual material. Van Vechten photographed hundreds of his friends including all the persons mentioned above as well as Alvin Ailey, Marian Anderson, Pearl Bailey, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Eartha Kitt, Arthur Mitchell, Paul Robeson, Margaret Walker, and Ethel Waters, among many others. These photographs, together with those collected by Hughes and Wright, comprise an important visual record of artists, writers, actors, musicians, and politicians active in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s.

Sculpture by Richmond Barthé, Augusta Savage, and Leslie Bolling; drawings by Mary Bell; a portrait head of Ethel Waters by Antonio Salemme, as well as commemorative medals and prints are among the many works of art in the collection. The Randolph Linsly Simpson Collection, acquired in the 1990s, of photographs of and by African Americans contains nearly 3,000 photographs of African Americans and spans the history of photography, from daguerreotypes and cabinet cards to photographic postcards and snapshots.

The collection, like the Beinecke overall, has a robust ongoing acquisitions program. Recent additions include: the archives of educator, suffragette, and anti-lynching activist Ellen Barksdale-Brown; the literary archive of playwright and director Lloyd Richards; a collection of approximately 100 letters by James Baldwin; and the foundation records of the African American poetry institution, Cave Canem, and the personal literary archives of its two poet-founders, Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady. The collection continues to grow beyond traditional print material with acquisitions in black tourism, beauty culture, and film ephemera.
The exhibition at the Beinecke has two components. One case highlights the life and work of Johnson himself, focusing on his roles as civil rights activist, lyricist, man of letters, poet and writer, and diplomat. Also the author of solemn lyrics and popular love songs, Johnson led a multi-faceted life and his career was one of constant reinvention. Among his many accomplishments, he was a field secretary and later executive secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the first African American executive of the group. Johnson opened NAACP offices throughout the United States and became the nation’s most outspoken critic of the practice of lynching.
A second case offers selected highlights from other artists, writers, and cultural leaders in the JWJ Collection, including Hughes, Hurston, Wright, Hannah Crafts, Margaret Bonds, William Pickens, Roy DeCarava, Austin Reed, John Charles Brownell, Frederick Douglass, Michael Montfort, Madam C.J. Walker, and Yusef Komunyakaa. This section of the exhibition also includes a 1900 manuscript by Johnson of his “National Hymn (Lift Every Voice and Sing).”
Melissa Barton, curator of prose and drama in YCAL and a co-organizer of the exhibition, notes that the show and the JWJ Memorial Collection embody Johnson’s own oft-quoted words in “The Book of American Negro Poetry”: “The final measure of the greatness of all peoples is the amount and standard of the literature and art they have produced. The world does not know that a people is great until that people produces great literature and art. No people that has produced great literature and art has ever been looked upon by the world as distinctly inferior.”
“’Destined to Be Known’ provides a window into the JWJ collection,” said Barton, “with selections we hope serve as invitations to students, scholars, and the public to explore the collection further online and through scholarly research in person at the Beinecke. This collection is a resource for all and we trust it will become even better known and more consulted in the future as we look forward to its growth and development over the next 75 years.”
Barton points out that the anniversary and exhibition come at an important time in the nation and on campus.
“Johnson and his contemporaries understood that Black lives matter and dedicated their efforts to deepening the recognition of African American arts and culture among their community, throughout the nation, and around the world. The JWJ Collection is a living legacy and resource on matters that remain vital in our time,” she said. “We are particularly delighted this exhibition comes as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture opens on the Mall in Washington, D.C., bringing with it a brilliant and much-needed national focus on ‘a people’s journey and a nation’s story’ that were at the heart of Johnson’s life work.”
“James Weldon Johnson stands among the nation’s most important civil rights activists and creative forces,” said Cornell William Brooks ’90 J.D., national president and CEO of the NAACP. “The Beinecke Library’s JWJ Collection is an essential resource to understand the nation, its challenges, progress, and opportunities. I encourage everyone who can to visit the Beinecke in person to see ‘Destined to Be Known’ and encourage all to visit the library’s online resources.”
In conjunction with the exhibition, there are a number of special events, all open to the public, sponsored by the Beinecke and other partners, including:
·      Thursday, Sept. 29, 4-6 p.m. — An opening reception for the exhibition featuring readings and performances of Johnson’s work by Yale students, faculty, and alumni at the Beinecke Library.
·      Friday, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m. — Tap dancer Savion Glover and his quartet in performance, co-sponsored by the Ellington Jazz Series at the Yale School of Music. Sprague Memorial Hall, 470 College St. Tickets start at $25; $14 for students.
·      Monday, Oct. 10, 4 p.m. — Poetry reading by Elizabeth Alexander, co-sponsored by Mondays at the Beinecke. Beinecke Library.
·      Friday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. — The Langston Hughes Project with Ron McCurdy Quartet and Kenyon Adams, co-sponsored by the Ellington Jazz Series at the Yale School of Music. Tickets start at $20; $10 for students. Sprague Memorial Hall.
·      Thursday, Nov. 3, 4 p.m. — James Weldon Johnson Memorial Lecture by Robin D.G. Kelley, University of California Los Angeles, co-sponsored by the Department of African American Studies. Beinecke Library.
·      Wednesday, Nov. 30, 4 p.m. — Poetry reading by Fred Moten, co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the Department of African American Studies, and the School of Art. Beinecke Library.
·     Thursday, Dec. 1, 4:30-6 p.m. — A reading by and conversation with Fred Moten on the “History of Blackness,” co-sponsored by the Department of African American Studies, the Creative Writing Program, and the School of Art. Gordon Parks Room (Rm. 201), 81 Wall St.
The Beinecke Library’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the JWJ Collection will continue through the spring term 2017 with more events, lectures, and performances, and a major exhibition on the Harlem Renaissance.


1) By Shauna L. Howard (@ShaunaLHoward)

2) By Michael Morand (@MimoCT

John Malveaux: As guest of First Weekend Club, I attended Sept 21, 2016 Los Angeles ida screening of MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE

John Malveaux of 

As guest of First Weekend Club, I attended Sept 21, 2016 Los Angeles ida screening of 

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

"The remarkable, daring life of poet, writer, and activist Maya Angelou unfolds in this in-depth portrait. In the first film ever to be made about Dr. Maya Angelou, she narrates an entrancing chronicle of a youth shaped by the vicious racism of the Jim Crow South and sexual abuse. Rare footage traces her varied pre-writing career as a nightclub dancer and singer, her courage as a political activist, and her transformative friendships with James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and other influential leaders. Features Cicely Tyson, Alfre Woodard, President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. The film premiered at Sundance 2016 and has been embraced by audiences and awards across the festival circuit." The screening was followed by Q&A discussion. See pic of producer/director Rita Colburn Whack and grandson of Maya Angelou.


Sergio A. Mims: The Violin Channel: SAD NEWS | Veteran LA Philharmonic Bassist Frederick Tinsley Has Died [at 76]

Sergio A. Mims alerts us to the passing of Frederick Tinsley, bassist, Los Angeles Philharmonic:

The Violin Channel

September 21, 2016

LOS ANGELES – American double bassist Frederick Tinsley has passed away – aged 76.

A graduate of the University of Connecticut and the University of Redlands, Mr Tinsley had served as a section bassist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1974.

Comment by email:

THANK YOU. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate you and all your work.  Sergio  [Sergio A. Mims]

The Detroit News: Kresge, Erb announce $9.1M in grants to arts groups; [Detroit's Sphinx Organization won operating support grants from both Foundations]

Detroit's Sphinx Organization won operating support grants from both the Kresge and Erb Family Foundations.  (Photo: Amy Kuhl/Sphinx Organization)

The Detroit News

Michael H. Hodges, Detroit News Fine Arts Writer 

September 22, 2016

The Kresge Foundation announced $5.1 million in operating-support grants to 66 arts and cultural organization in the tri-county region.
Over half the three-year grants are going to organizations in the city of Detroit.
Recipients represent a broad cross-section of local arts organizations, from the very large, like the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, to small — including the Detroit Children’s Choir, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.
Kresge has granted more than $24 million for operating support since 2007.
The Erb Family Foundation, which collaborates with Kresge, also announced $4 million of its own operating grants to 43 organizations, all but two of which are in Detroit.