<September 2017>

Classical Roots logo

The DSO's 39th Annual Classical Roots Celebration will
Honor Regina Carter and Terence Blanchard


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The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will honor trumpeter, composer, and Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair Terence Blanchard and jazz violinist and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter at the 39th annual Classical Roots Celebration.

Kazem Abdullah will conduct the program, which includes the world premiere of Detroit 67 composed by Blanchard marking the 50th anniversary of Detroit’s tumultuous summer of 1967, as well as Jeffrey Mumford's cello concerto titled of fields unfolding…echoing depths of resonant light. Cellist Christine Lamprea, First Prize winner of the 2013 Sphinx Competition, joins the DSO as guest soloist for the cello concerto.

The premiere of Blanchard’s piece is a component of the DSO’s partnership with Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward, a multi-year community engagement project of the Detroit Historical Society that brings together diverse voices and communities around the effects of an historic crisis to find their place in the present and inspire the future.

For more information, please call (313) 576-5120.

Don't miss the Chamber Recital on Monday, February 27 at 7 PM at Plymouth United Church of Christ: An evening of chamber music by two ensembles—featuring music by contemporary African American composers Jessie Montgomery and Daniel Bernard Roumain as part of the DSO's annual Classical Roots celebration. Click here for more information and to reserve tickets!

2017 Honorees

Reginar CarterTerence Blanchard is a Grammy Award-winning trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and arranger. He has recorded more than 30 albums, the most recent of which is Breathless for Blue Note Records, executive produced by Detroit legend Don Was. Blanchard is the DSO’s Alfred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair and the regular host of the Paradise Jazz Series.

Reginar CarterRegina Carter is considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation and was a 2006 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. A master of improvisation, she has released nine albums as a bandleader and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Wynton Marsalis, Lauryn Hill, Max Roach, and Dolly Parton. Carter is a native Detroiter, proud Cass Technical High School alumna, and former DSO Civic Youth Ensembles student.


The mission of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Classical Roots Celebration is to increase awareness of the contributions of African-American composers and musicians through performance and recordings and to support increased opportunities for African-Americans in classical music through the DSO’s African-American Composer Residency, Emerging Composer Program, and African-American Fellowship.

For 39 years, the Classical Roots concert has celebrated African-American contributions to classical music. In 2000, the Celebration benefit was founded to honor select African-American composers, musicians, and educators for lifetime achievement and raise funds to support the DSO’s African-American music and musician development programs.

African-American Education & Outreach Programs

The DSO has for years been at the forefront of the movement to celebrate the contributions of African-American composers, nurture the talents of young African-American classical musicians, and increase access and opportunity for younger African-Americans who might never otherwise experience the magic of classical music.  The African-American Fellowship Program addresses the shortage of African-Americans in professional orchestras by offering a yearlong fellowship with the DSO to one selected musician.  Past DSO fellows have gone on to win positions in orchestras across the United States, including the DSO’s principal trombone, Kenneth Thompkins.


5:30 PM — Strolling Dinner in the Cube

8 PM — Classical Roots Concert in Orchestra Hall

10:30 PM — Dessert and Dancing Afterglow in the First Floor Atrium and the Cube

Artists: Kazem Abdullah, conductor | Regina Carter, violin | Christine Lamprea, cello
Brazeal Dennard Chorale, chorus | Alice McAlister Tillman, Artistic Director and soprano

Program: JOHNSON/ARR. CARTER Lift Every Voice and Sing | JEFFREY MUMFORD of fields unfolding...echoing depths of resonant light
TERENCE BLANCHARD Detroit 67 (World Premiere) | DAVID SCHIFF 4 Sisters: Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra


Classical Roots Celebration packages are SOLD OUT.

Benefactor - $500
(Fair Market Value: $225)
Strolling Dinner
Classical Roots Concert (Box Level or best available)
Dessert and Dancing Afterglow
Recognition in Event Program and on event sinage as Benefactor
Valet Parking 

Patron - $200
(Fair Market Value: $150)
Strolling Dinner
Classical Roots Concert (Main Floor seating or best available)
Dessert and Dancing Afterglow
Valet Parking

Young Friends (for ages 40 & under) - $75
(Fair Market Value: $75)
Classical Roots Concert (best available seating)
Dessert and Dancing Afterglow


Sponsorship packages beginning at $5,000 are available upon request. Please call 313.576.5496.