Friday, March 23, 2018 ‘Sancho: An Act of Remembrance’ to be performed at the National Black Theatre April 18 to May 6

Ignatius Sancho: An African Man of Letters

Reyahn King et al.

National Portrait Gallery of the U.K. (1997)

Blasting News

Sancho: An Act of Remembrance” is a play that chronicles the life of an African man named Charles Ignatius Sancho. Born on a slave ship, Sancho became known as a composer, social satirist and—above all else—an abolitionist. He was regarded as a man of the refinery in English society during the 1700s and, in 1774, he was even the first person of African descent to cast a vote in an English election. Famed artist Thomas Gainsborough painted Sancho, and he was known for his plays, poems, and music. A financially secure householder, Sancho socialized with artists, intellectuals, and constantly challenged the status quo.

The one-man show is a comedic and witty retelling of Sancho’s extraordinary life and how he rose above the issues that faced him such as xenophobia, poverty, and prejudice.

The play is presented by The Classical #Theatre of Harlem and will run from April 18 to May 6, 2018, at The National Black Theatre in New York City and London’s Wilton Music Hall from June 4 -16, 2018.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives Are Surveilled And How To Work For Change" by Angela J. Hattery & Earl Smith

Policing Black Bodies:
How Black Lives Are Surveilled
And How To Work For Change
Angela J. Hattery & Earl Smith
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 
(December 8, 2017)

POLICING BLACK BODIES was released in December 2017 and presents the myriad of ways in which Black Americans are policed both literally and figuratively.  From Trayvon Martin to Freddie Gray, the stories of police violence against Black people are too often in the news. In POLICING BLACK BODIES Dr. Hattery and Dr. Smith make a compelling case that the policing of Black bodies goes far beyond these individual stories of brutality.  They connect the regulation of African American people in many settings, including the public education system and the criminal justice system, into a powerful narrative about the many ways Black bodies are policed.

Dr. Hattery is professor and director of women and gender studies at George Mason University.  She is an expert in race, gender, violence, the criminal justice system, and understanding the dynamics of family violence and its connection to mass shootings, school shootings and police shootings.  Hattery can help viewers understand the links between mass incarceration, which ensnares 1 in 3 Black men (1 million on any given day) and other parts of the criminal justice system, including the use of prison industries, protests like those in Baltimore and Ferguson, and the school to prison pipeline that ensnares more than 50,000 juveniles every year.

Dr. Smith is emeritus professor at Wake Forest University and a professor of sociology at George Mason University.  He is an expert in race, gender, violence, the criminal justice system and the dynamics of race and sport, specifically the disproportionate number of Black athletes who commit crimes against women, including sexual and intimate partner violence, and Black athlete activism (Colin Kaepernick, Venus and Serena Williams).  He can provide a framework for understanding the various forms of policing, especially policing in Black communities and offer recommendations for reform of police departments to increase safety in African American communities.

CSO African American Network: March 24 Event Canceled; Samantha Ege Performs 5:30 PM April 12, Chicago Symphony Ctr.

Samantha Ege

Center for Black Music Research

Columbia College Chicago:

PLEASE NOTE: The African American Network event on March 24th in our last email has been canceled.



Lecture / recital at 5:30 pm on Thursday, April 12th at the Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, in the 8th Floor Club.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s African American Network welcomes pianist, music teacher and music scholar Samantha Ege for a lecture and recital on the contributions of African American women composers and their role in Chicago’s 20th-century cultural renaissance.
Tickets: $15 General Admission

Continue the celebration of women in music: on Saturday, May 3, Katia and Marielle Labèque perform Bruch's Concerto for Two Pianos with the CSO! Use promo code RSVP for discounted tickets. Click here to purchase.
The mission of the CSOA’s African American Network is to engage Chicago’s culturally rich African American community through the sharing and exchanging of unforgettable musical experiences while building relationships for generations to come. The AAN seeks to serve and encourage individuals and families, educators and students, musicians and composers, and churches and businesses to discover and experience the timeless beauty of music. For more information about the AAN, visit


Samantha Ege  piano and lecturer

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Harlem Chamber Players This Saturday at 4: A Joint Concert with Opus 118 Harlem School of Music

Spring Concert with the String Students of
Opus 118 Harlem School of Music
Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 4 PM
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street
New York, NY 10027
Between Broadway and Amsterdam.
Click here for directions.
Click here to view and print a flyer. 
Hear the highly acclaimed students from Opus 118 and meet the legendary founder and master teacher Roberta Guaspari, the inspiration behind the award-winning documentary "Small Wonders" and Miramax's film, "Music of the Heart," starring Meryl Streep.

$15 General Admission and $10 for Students/Seniors when you buy online in advance.
$20 General Admission and $15 for Students/Seniors at the door.

Music by Mozart, Bach, Chevalier de Saint-George, Shostakovich, Pachelbel, and Bartók!

Tia Roper, Flute
Amadi Azikiwe, Violin
Charlene Bishop, Violin
Tia Allen, Viola
Clay Ruede, Cello
The sensational violin students of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music

'EKELE: Greetings from the Land of the Rising Sun' on Rebeca Omordia's CD of Nigerian Piano Works, Out March 30 on Heritage

Rebeca Omordia

Eni Fashanu writes:

Dear Bill,

We are thrilled to see London based Nigerian pianist Rebeca Omordia making history with her new album 'EKELE' that features world premiere recordings of works by Nigerian composers Ayo Bankole, Christian Onyeji and Fred Onovwerosuoke. The CD is the first of its kind to have ever been released in the UK and is out on 30th March on Heritage label.
Here is a promotional feature by Fourchiefs Media  'EKELE: Greetings from the Land of the Rising Sun':

Best regards,
Eni Fashanu

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sergio Mims: Marietta Simpson and Frederica von Stade in "Sky on Swings" at Opera Philadelphia Sept. 20

Marietta Simpson & Frederica von Stade
(Photo: Opera Philadelphia) 

Sergio A. Mims writes of an Associated Press story March 20, 2018:

Mezzo soprano Marietta Simpson and soprano Frederica von Stade will sing the lead roles in the world premiere of "Sky on Swings"  an opera about two women afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Opera Philadelphia announced Tuesday it will present the opera composed by Lembit Beecher with a libretto by Hannah Moscovitch, to open its 2018-19 season on Sept. 20.

John Malveaux: Kathleen Battle in "Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey" Thu., March 29, 8 PM Valley Performing Arts Ctr.

Kathleen Battle

John Malveaux of 

Soprano Kathleen Battle
Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey
Joel A. Martin, Piano
Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers
Special guest narrator Ms. Angela Bassett
Thu., March 29 at 8 PM Valley Performing Arts Center.

John Malveaux: Music of Zanaida Robles in "Silenced Women" Concert Saturday, 7 PM, St. John's Cathedral, L.A., CA

Zanaida Robles

John Malveaux of 

Sat 7 PM · St. John's Cathedral · Los Angeles, California

Please read what amazing composer, Zanaida Robles, has to

say about her composition based on text from Ntozake
Shange  play "For Colored Girls" included during 

"I was glad to give voice to poetry about one of the most 
painful experiences a woman can face. It is not an 
experience with which I am personally acquainted. But 
Shange's words about abortion tapped a deep resonance 
within me. I was 16 years old when I first read these words.  
At the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts my 
friend and classmate Gloria Williams felt compelled to dance 
this poetry to life. She asked me to compose the music. The 
music came to me instantaneously, as if a desperate woman 
was singing this song right into my ear. The words, "and 
nobody came, cuz nobody knew" still strike me. The 
physical pain, the blood, the intense fear, the profound 
loneliness in a keeping such an unbearable secret: this is a 
trauma that maybe never heals. Like I said, it's not an 
experience with which I am personally acquainted. But it 
resonates deeply for me, not just because I'm a woman, but  
because I'm a human being" - Zanaida Robles

Jessie Montgomery: Big dog little dog and Glasser, Ecstatic Music Festival Thursday, March 22, 2018 Merkin Hall (NYC), 7:30 pm

Jessie Montgomery writes:

Big dog little dog and Glasser, Ecstatic Music Festival
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Merkin Hall (NYC), 7:30 pm

It's the moment we've all been waiting for! My duo project with extraordinary bassist Eleonore Oppenheim, Big dog little dog, will perform a full set of all new work at the Ecstatic Music Festival, one of the premiere new music events of the year! To add to the excitement, we will be collaborating with the always mesmerizing Glasser (AKA Cameron Mesirow) on a couple of songs and she will also do her own full set. This show has been almost a year in the making and we cannot wait to share all of this new music with you! We hope to see you there!!

**DISCOUNT CODE for 1/2 price tickets online!: EMF50**

Monday, March 19, 2018

Kelly Hall-Tompkins: Cincinnati Symphony Inaugural Artist in Residence Classical Roots Project

Interview on Tony Guida's New York, CUNY TV

Kelly Hall-Tompkins writes:

It has been an incredibly exciting and power packed winter!  I am delighted to have been guest soloist twice with the Westchester Philharmonic and Music Director Ted Sperling, for my Fiddler works and also for Saint-Saens Rondo Capriccioso and Beethoven Romance.  I was also guest soloist with Symphony New Hampshire and conductor Roderick Cox in the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and at Carnegie Weill Hall with The Chamber Orchestra of New York and conductor Salvatore DiVittorio and co-soloist Maggie Snyder in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante.  In the midst of all of that I released my new CD, "The Fiddler Expanding Tradition" in an amazing evening at the fabulous Tribeca Rooftop with around 200 guests, featuring me in a duet with Danny Burstein, accompanied by the amazing ensemble which has helped me bring this project to life, Michael Blanco, bass, Joshua Camp, accordion, Stephen Benson, guitar/mandolin, and including a mini reunion of my beloved Fiddler Broadway company. THANK YOU to everyone who attended- it was simply wonderful to see you and celebrate with you! Please see below for some photos from the event.  And now I look forward in two weeks to being the Inaugural Artist in Residence for the Cincinnati Symphony Classical Roots program.  I have designed a deliciously eclectic program for my week there, from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to Fiddler to Stravinsky Soldier's Tale!
Thank you to STRINGS Magazine for publishing my first ever 1st person article, "Expanding Tradition," in the February edition.  And thank you to Tony Guida and CUNY TV for featuring me on "Tony Guida's New York," airing now in several showings (please see video below).  And finally, I am excited to have my own solo show at Feinstein's 54 Below on May 30th at 9:30, New York City's premiere Broadway nightclub.  I love that through my Fiddler project I am 'expanding' not only 'tradition' but also to reach new audiences! For a special $5 discount code, please scroll to the end.  Thank you so much for your interest in my career and Happy Spring!

First Ever "Fiddler" Solo CD 

Available on iTunes, Amazon, and other retailers
(Coming soon to Spotify)
Signed CDs available at concerts

Duet with Danny Burstein