MARCH 4 CELEBRATION HONORS COMPOSER AND PIANIST ANTHONY DAVIS AND REVEREND DR. CHARLES G. ADAMS, PLUS KRIS JOHNSON RECEIVES MARLOWE STOUDAMIRE AWARD FOR INNOVATION AND COMMUNITY COLLABORATION
The Arthur L. Johnson-Honorable Damon Jerome Keith Classical Roots Celebration on March 4 raises funds to support the DSO’s African American music and musician development programs
Additional Classical Roots events include BLKBOK concert in The Cube, chamber recital, and performances at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church
March 4 concert will be webcast for free at dso.org and on Facebook as part of DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series; March 3 concert broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit and network of stations across Michigan
Detroit, (February 1, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will honor composer and pianist Anthony Davis and Reverend Dr. Charles G. Adams at the 22nd annual Arthur L. Johnson-Honorable Damon Jerome Keith Classical Roots Celebration on March 4, 2023. The event will also celebrate trumpeter, composer, and educator Kris Johnson as this year’s recipient of the Marlowe Stoudamire Award for Innovation and Community Collaboration, presented in memory of late Detroit community leader and Classical Roots Steering Committee member Marlowe Stoudamire.
Classical Roots honors African American composers, musicians, educators, and leaders for lifetime achievement and raises funds to support the DSO’s African American music and musician development programs.
The 45th annual Classical Roots concerts will take place in Orchestra Hall on Friday, March 3 at 10:45 a.m. and Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. and will be conducted by Na’Zir McFadden (DSO Assistant Conductor and Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador). The Brazeal Dennard Chorale—a vital part of Classical Roots since its inception and currently celebrating its 50th anniversary—and Artistic Director Alice McAllister Tillman will open both performances with Lift Every Voice and Sing, which has been performed at the beginning of every Classical Roots concert since the event’s inauguration in 1978. The Chorale and Tillman will also be featured in "O Praise the Lord" by Adolphus Hailstork as well as a new orchestration of the traditional Spiritual “Hold On!” by Dr. Norah Duncan IV.
The program will include Davis’s You Have the Right to Remain Silent, a four-movement concerto inspired by the composer’s own experience of mistaken identity and “driving while black” after being pulled over by the police. The piece will feature soloists Anthony McGill (Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic) and Earl Howard on Kurzweil synthesizer. After intermission, the DSO will perform the Concert Overture No. 2 by Florence Price, who was the first Black female composer to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra. The program concludes with Concerto No. 1: SERMON, an array of music and literary texts assembled by bass-baritone Davóne Tines. The work includes musical selections by Anthony Davis and John Adams, along with a piece Tines co-wrote with Igée Dieudonné and Matthew Aucoin; the texts include excerpts by James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and jessica Care moore. (Detroit poet moore is also featured in the performance.)
The March 4 performance will be webcast for free at dso.org and via Facebook Live as part of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall series. The March 3 concert will be broadcast and streamed live on 90.9 WRCJ in Detroit and network of stations across Michigan.
The concerts will be the culminating event of monthlong Classical Roots educational and community offerings:
On February 10 at 8 p.m., BLKBOK returns to the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube) following his sold-out debut for a special evening of music in celebration of Classical Roots. The high-energy performance will feature live production of compositions that blend classical notes with pop forms, jazzy riffs, and hip-hop boldness—sounds that reference BLKBOK’s love for rhythms and musicality ranging from Ice Cube and Tina Turner to Chopin and, of course, Bach.
On February 12, DSO African American Orchestra Fellow Jaquain Sloan (bassoon) will perform during two services at the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit. These performances are free and open to the public.
On February 22 at 6 p.m., DSO musicians Heidi Han (violin), Sujin Lim (violin), Will Haapaniemi (viola), and Jeremy Crosmer (cello) will perform a chamber recital at Plymouth United Church of Christ, in partnership with students from the Plymouth Educational Community and Plymouth Sunday School. The recital will feature repertoire by African American composers and a performance by the Plymouth United Church of Christ Renaissance Choir. Tickets to this performance are free yet must be reserved in advance.
About Classical Roots
The first Classical Roots concert took place in 1978 at Detroit’s historic Bethel AME Church. Co-founded by the DSO’s then-Resident Conductor Paul Freeman, along with other prominent African American leaders including choral director and artistic administrator Brazeal Dennard, Classical Roots soon outgrew Bethel AME and moved to Orchestra Hall in 1981, where it has been a beloved annual tradition ever since. The gala Classical Roots Celebration and lifetime achievement component were added in 2001. The Celebration was named the Arthur L. Johnson – Honorable Damon Jerome Keith Classical Roots Celebration in 2019 following a generous endowment gift from Dr. William F. Pickard, who counted Johnson and Keith as his two biggest mentors.
The Celebration raises funds to support the Classical Roots mission and is organized by a dedicated steering committee, co-chaired this year by Linda Forte and Priscilla Perkins. Celebration attendees will enjoy a seated dinner in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, Classical Roots concert, and afterglow with dessert and dancing. For information on the Classical Roots Celebration, contact DSO Signature Events Manager Ali Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313.576.5449, or visit dso.org/classicalroots.
2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.
Tickets to all events can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for the March 3 and 4 Classical Roots concerts start at $25. Tickets for BLKBOK in The Cube on February 10 start at $30 for general admission, with cabaret seating option available for $60. The performances at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church on February 12 are free and open to the public. Tickets for the February 22 chamber recital are free yet must be reserved in advance.
The title sponsor of the DSO’s Classical Series is PVS Chemicals, Inc. DSO Live is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund and made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Digital programming is produced from the Al Glancy Control Room. Programming in the Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings Cube is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Peter and Julie Cummings.
Friday, March 3, 2023 at 10:45 a.m.
Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Na’Zir McFadden, conductor
Anthony McGill, clarinet
Earl Howard, Kurzweil synthesizer
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
jessica Care moore, poet
Brazeal Dennard Chorale, choir (Alice McAllister Tillman, Artistic Director)
Program to include:
JOHN ROSAMOND JOHNSON / ARR. CARTER Lift Every Voice and Sing
HAILSTORK O Praise the Lord
TRADITIONAL / ARR. DUNCAN Hold On!
ANTHONY DAVIS You Have the Right to Remain Silent concerto for clarinet/contra-alto clarinet, Kurzweil synthesizer, and ensemble in four movements
FLORENCE PRICE Concert Overture No. 2
VARIOUS “Concerto No. 1: SERMON” devised by Davóne Tines
Anthony Davis’s concerto-like work for clarinet and orchestra was inspired by the composer’s experience of an unjust incident with the police. The soloist is Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, who has championed this work in recent years. Bass-baritone Davóne Tines has assembled an array of music and literary texts into a piece he describes as a “devised concerto for voice and orchestra.” Musical selections are by Anthony Davis and John Adams, along with a piece Tines co-wrote with Igée Dieudonné and Matthew Aucoin; the texts include excerpts by James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and jessica Care moore. Also on the program: Concert Overture No. 2 by Florence Price, who was the first Black female composer to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra.
BLKBOK: A CLASSICAL ROOTS EXPERIENCE
Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m.
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Returning from his sold-out debut, BLKBOK returns for a special evening of music, in celebration of the 2023 DSO's Classical Roots concert, with a high-energy performance and live production like none you have ever seen. BLKBOK’s authentic style on the keys attract the ear with compositions situated in a bed of classical notes accentuated with pop forms, jazzy riffs, and hip-hop boldness–sounds that reference his love for rhythms and musicality ranging from Ice Cube and Tina Turner to Chopin and, of course, Bach.
General Admission - $30
Cabaret Seating - $60
DSO FELLOW JAQUAIN SLOAN PERFORMS
Sunday, February 12 at 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Hartford Memorial Baptist Church (18700 James Couzens Fwy, Detroit, MI 48235)
DSO musician Jaquain Sloan (bassoon) will perform, highlighting the DSO’s African American Orchestra Fellowship
CHAMBER RECITAL AT PLYMOUTH UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Wednesday, February 22 at 6 p.m.
Plymouth United Church of Christ (600 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201)
Heidi Han, violin
Sujin Lim, violin
Will Haapaniemi, viola
Jeremy Crosmer, cello
Plymouth United Church of Christ Renaissance Choir, chorus
This chamber recital will present repertoire by African American composers in partnership with students from the Plymouth Educational Community and students from the Plymouth Sunday School, featuring DSO musicians and the Plymouth United Church of Christ Renaissance Choir.
About This Year’s Honorees
Anthony Davis is an internationally recognized composer of operatic, symphonic, choral, and chamber works, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his opera The Central Park Five. He is also known for his virtuoso performances both as a solo pianist and as the leader of the ensemble Episteme, a unique ensemble of musicians who are disciplined interpreters as well as provocative improvisers. In April 1993, Davis made his Broadway debut, composing the music for Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, directed by George C. Wolfe. His music is also heard in Kushner’s companion piece, Perestroika, which opened on Broadway in November 1993.
As a composer, Davis is best known for his operas. Opera News has called Anthony Davis “A National Treasure” for his pioneering work in opera. X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which played to sold-out houses at its premiere at the New York City Opera in 1986, was the first of a new American genre: opera on a contemporary political subject. A new production of a revised version was launched in May 2022 at Detroit Opera and directed by Robert O'Hara to great acclaim. This production is co-produced with Opera Omaha, Seattle Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera for performances in 2022 and 2023. The premiere recording of X was released on the Gramavision label in August 1992 and received a Grammy Award-nomination for "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" in February 1993. A new recording with BMOP and Odyssey Opera was released in October 2022. "[X] has brought new life to America's conservative operatic scene," enthused Andrew Porter in The New Yorker, "it is not just a stirring and well fashioned opera -- that already is much -- but one whose music adds a new, individual voice to those previously heard in our opera houses." Davis's second opera, Under the Double Moon, a science fiction opera with an original libretto by Deborah Atherton, premiered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June 1989. His third opera, Tania, with a libretto by Michael-John LaChiusa and based on the abduction of Patricia Hearst, premiered at the American Music Theater Festival in June 1992. A recording of Tania was released in 2001 on Koch, and in November 2003, Musikwerkstaat Wien presented its European premiere. A fourth opera, Amistad, about a shipboard uprising by slaves and their subsequent trial, premiered at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in November 1997. Set to a libretto by poet Thulani Davis, the librettist of X, Amistad was staged by George C. Wolfe.
Reacting to two of Davis's orchestral works, Maps (Violin Concerto) and Notes from the Underground, Michael Walsh said in Time Magazine: "Imagine Ellington's lush, massed sonorities propelled by Bartók's vigorous whiplash rhythms and overlaid with the seductive percussive haze of the Balinese gamelan orchestra, and you will have an idea of what both the Concerto and Notes from the Underground sound like." Davis's works also include the Violin Sonata, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for its Centennial; Jacob's Ladder, a tribute to Davis's mentor Jacob Druckman commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony; Esu Variations, a concert opener for the Atlanta Symphony; Happy Valley Blues, a work for the String Trio of New York with Davis on piano; and Pale Grass and Blue, Then Red, a dance work choreographed by Ralph Lemon for the Limon Dance Company. His orchestral works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Beethoven Halle Orchestra of Bonn, and the American Composers Orchestra. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Davis's opera X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X in concert in November 1992. The Pittsburgh Symphony commissioned a concert-opener from Davis entitled Tales (Tails) of the Signifying Monkey. In the 2003-2004 season Davis served as Artistic Advisor of the American Composers Orchestra's Improvise! festival and conference which featured a performance of Wayang V with Davis as piano soloist. Oakland Opera Theatre presented X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X in 2006, and Spoleto Festival USA produced Amistad in its revised and reduced form in 2008. The La Jolla Sympony premiered Amistad Symphony in 2009.
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, on February 20, 1951, Davis studied at Wesleyan and Yale universities. He was Yale's first Lustman Fellow, teaching composition and Afro-American studies. In 1987, Davis was appointed Senior Fellow with the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and in 1990 he returned to Yale University as Visiting Professor of Music. He became Professor of Music in Afro-American Studies at Harvard University in the fall of 1992, and assumed a full-time professorship at the University of California at San Diego in January 1998. Recordings of Davis's music may be heard on the Rykodisc (Gramavision), Koch, and Music and Arts labels. His music is published by G. Schirmer, Inc. and Episteme Music.
Dr. Charles G. Adams has been cited in Ebony magazine as one of the greatest preachers in the United States. He is Pastor Emeritus of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, with close to 10,000 members. Formerly, he served as president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the denomination of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Dr. Adams and his Hartford congregation have served the entire Detroit community. They created hundreds of jobs for residents through the building of a Super Kmart (now Home Depot) and distribute groceries to families in need on a weekly basis. Their building also serves and a COVID-19 testing site and vaccination center for the community.
Dr. Adams is a strong supporter of classical music: Hartford has presented in concert the DSO Chamber Orchestra, University of Michigan Male Glee Club, and many HBCU choral groups, exposing community families and youth to classical music without charge.
Since its inception, Hartford has supported Classical Roots and hosted performances of DSO musicians at their Sunday morning services. In collaboration with Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Hartford presented Jessie Norman in concert at Detroit Opera. To honor Holocaust survivors, the Hartford Cathedral Choir opened the concert singing the Hebrew National Anthem in Yiddish with Dr. Adams as lead tenor.
Dr. Adams was a tenured professor at Harvard Divinity School as the first William and Lucille Nickerson Professor of the Practice of Ethics and Ministry. Previously, he graduated Harvard Divinity with honors and University of Michigan Cum Laude.
A native Detroiter, Dr. Adams is a proud graduate of Cass Technical High School. He was a biology chemistry major and sang in the Concert Choir. At the University of Michigan, Dr. Adams became the first Black tenor soloist with the U of M Men's Glee Club and toured with the group.
Kris Johnson is an award-winning trumpeter, composer, and educator based in the Detroit metro area. His work focuses on music that spans the depth and breadth of Black American music, with influences including Terence Blanchard, Thad Jones, Nicholas Payton, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, Clifford Brown, and Roy Hargrove.
As the leader of The Kris Johnson Group, Johnson has recorded several studio albums including Odd Expressions, Journey Through a Dream, and The Unpaved Road with Lulu Fall. Many of his projects in recent years have combined music with technology and often address poignant themes, including his 2020 self-produced and entirely self-performed audio-visual album, SAFE, which features abstract illustrations and animation and explores childhood memories. In 2021, Johnson compiled the music produced for a social media series, which examines the idea of breaking free from generational trauma, into an album, #looptherapy, vol. 1. Lighter in mood but no less impressive is his series of videos with the Kris Johnson Big Band, a project dreamed up during the pandemic of 2020 which uses clever video editing to create an entirely virtual large ensemble. The players were gathered from Johnson's diverse circle friends and professional contacts from around the globe.
Besides his own projects, Johnson's career has been filled with incredible moments working as a trumpet player for hire. He toured the world with the illustrious Count Basie Orchestra from 2008-2019 and has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious jazz venues including the Apollo Theater, the Blue Note Jazz Club (US and Japan), Sydney Opera House, Blues Alley, and the Hollywood Bowl. Johnson has also performed with jazz greats including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Patti Austin, Wes Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Jon Hendricks, Monty Alexander, Christian McBride, and Jamie Cullum, and was featured soloist in the 2013 stand-up comedy film Make Me Wanna Holla, starring Sinbad.
Johnson has a keen sensitivity to the nuances of film and a knack for storytelling through music, as is evident in his award-winning film scores for various web series, documentaries, short films, and feature films, and the two full-length musicals he has written. Johnson scored the Dui Jarrod web series King Ester, which was picked up by Issa Rae’s YouTube Channel, Issa Rae Presents. The series was nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards in 2020. Johnson received an Outstanding Score award for his work on the comedic web series, The PuNanny Diaries, at the 2011 LA Webfest and wrote the score for Searching for Shaniqua, which won HBO’s Best Doc Award at the 2016 Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.
The Plowshares Theater (Detroit, MI), in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, recently commissioned Johnson to compose a musical influenced by Detroit’s historic Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods. Hastings Street: the musical is currently in development with music/lyrics co-composed by Johnson and playwright/actor John Sloan III, who also wrote the book. Johnson was awarded a grant in 2014 from New Music USA to fund a studio recording of his original musical, Jim Crow’s Tears, with a book by Gary Anderson of Plowshares Theater (Detroit).
In addition to his work on film scores and musicals, Johnson has been commissioned to write compositions and arrangements for the Count Basie Orchestra, Kenneth Thompkins (DSO Principal Trombone), Arts League of Michigan, Karen Clark Sheard, Yolanda Adams, the Clark Sisters, Farmington Community Band, Detroit Symphony’s Civic Ensembles, Ferndale Community Concert Band, Motor City Brass Band, Troy High School, New Trier High School, and others. In 2012, Johnson received an ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers award and was selected as one of 25 Detroit performing and literary artists to receive a $25,000 Kresge Artist Fellowship.
Johnson’s journey as an educator began with his own education at Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Jazz Studies in 2005 and 2007, respectively. He has gone on to serve in the role of Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Utah from 2015-2019; a Project Director for Pontiac School District, leading a U.S. Department of Education Arts in Education - Model Development and Dissemination Grant; and as the Education and Digital Programming Manager for the Motown Museum. Additionally, he has served on the teaching faculty at The Ohio State University, the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles, and as an Artistic Liaison for JazzEd Detroit through a partnership with ArtOps and the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. Currently, Johnson is the Director of Michigan State University’s Community Music School in Detroit.
About Na’Zir McFadden
American conductor Na’Zir McFadden is the newly appointed Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
In this position, he works closely with Music Director Jader Bignamini and guest conductors on both the PVS Classical Series and William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series. Additionally, he leads pre-concert lectures at Orchestra Hall, and conducts a variety of programs on the Educational Concert Series, Young People’s Family Concert Series, PNC Pops Series, as well as DTE Community Concerts.
Also commenced with the 2022-23 season, Na’Zir serves as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. This season, they will present three programs — exploring the symphonies of Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, and Florence Price.
An advocate for arts education, McFadden strives to provide access to the arts for students in underserved communities. This season, McFadden will make appearances with youth ensembles in Salt Lake City and with the Philadelphia All-City Music Festival. In the past, he’s worked with youth ensembles in Chicago, New York City, St. Louis, and Los Angeles.
Recent engagements include a recording project with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Notes for Peace” initiative—which featured Hilary Hahn as guest soloist.
McFadden was the inaugural Apprentice Conductor of the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra from 2020 to 2022, where he worked with Music Director Beatrice Jona Affron. He also served as the Robert L. Poster Conducting Apprentice of the New York Youth Symphony from 2020 to 2021.
Na’Zir conducted his hometown orchestra—The Philadelphia Orchestra—in their “Pop-Up” series in 2017, where he met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has been a mentor ever since. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised his “great stick [baton] technique and energetic presence on the podium” in their review of the concert.
Upcoming engagements include a series of commissions with Orchestra 2001 and appearances with the Utah Symphony and the Philadelphia Ballet.
About Anthony McGill
Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (The New York Times), clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. In addition to his dynamic international solo and chamber music career, McGill is principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—the first African American principal player in the organization's history.
In 2020, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music’s most significant awards given in recognition of soloists who represent the highest level of musical excellence. McGill was honored to take part in the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero.
McGill appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras around North America, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Kansas City Symphony. This season he’ll solo in the US premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Kínēma for solo clarinet and orchestra with the New York Philharmonic. He’ll perform You Have the Right to Remain Silent by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis with the Detroit and Boston symphony orchestras. He’ll also serve as the Orlando Philharmonic's Artist-in-Residence, and during this series of performances he’ll premiere a new clarinet arrangement of the Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges) Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5, No. 2.
This past June, he performed as part of The Re-Collective Orchestra, the first-ever all-Black orchestra to play the Hollywood Bowl, in a CNN broadcast commemorating the first year Juneteenth was recognized as a Federal holiday.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, McGill previously served as the principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera and associate principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
McGill serves on the board of directors for Cedille Records and the Harmony Program, and on the advisory councils for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and Time In Children's Arts Initiative. He is a Vandoren Artist and Buffet Crampon Artist. For additional background, please visit anthonymcgill.com.
About Earl Howard
Earl Howard has been performing his compositions in the United States and Europe for over fifty years. His recent compositions include music for live electronics, electronic tape music, as well as music for electronics and instruments. Howard's method of creating orchestrated sounds with electronics and adding live, improvisational performance creates a unique, densely layered composition. Earl creates sounds from scratch using all synthesis (granular, additive, frequency modulation and vector) techniques. Live processing with musicians is central to his work.
Howard has performed at numerous venues including Merkin Hall, the Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, Experimental Intermedia, Roulette, and Carnegie Recital Hall. In 2011, Earl Howard received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2004, his first sound installation was commissioned for the Tiffany Collection at the Queens Museum of Art. In the spring of 2003, Howard had a Regents Fellowship at UCSD. Howard received three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships. In 1998, Howard was the recipient of Harvard's Fromm Foundation Commission. He graduated from California Institute of the Arts in Music Composition in 1974.
Howard has performed frequently with improvisers including Georg Graewe, Mari Kimura, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Anne LeBaron, JD Parran, Gustavo Aguilar, Thomas Buckner, and George Lewis. Earl recently performed as a synthesist for Anthony Davis with the New York Philharmonic, where he processed principal clarinetist Anthony McGill, the percussion section and the entire orchestra.
Howard has also produced numerous soundtracks for some of the leading film and video artists including Nam June Paik, Mary Lucier, Rii Kanzaki, Bob Harris, and Bill Brand.
About Davóne Tines
Davóne Tines is a pathbreaking artist whose work not only encompasses a diverse repertoire, from early music to new commissions by leading composers, but also explores the social issues of today. A creator, curator, and performer at the intersection of many histories, cultures, and aesthetics, he is engaged in work that blends opera, art song, contemporary classical music, spirituals, gospel, and songs of protest, as a means to tell a deeply personal story of perseverance that connects to all of humanity. His projects include Recital No. 1: MASS, a program exploring the Mass woven through Western European, African American, and 21st century traditions, which he performs this season at Carnegie Hall and other venues; Concerto No. 1: SERMON and Concerto No. 2: ANTHEM, two programs he conceived for voice and orchestra that weave arias and contemporary song, including arrangements by Tines, with poetry; and Everything Rises, a multimedia musical work exploring artistic journeys and family histories, co-created with violinist Jennifer Koh. Tines is Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s Creative Partner and in January 2023 he becomes Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn Academy of Music. He recently served as Artist-in-Residence at Detroit Opera—an appointment that culminated in his performance in the title role of Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, and he is featured on the world premiere recording of X with Odyssey Opera and Boston Modern Orchestra Project, released this fall on BMOP/sound. Tines is a member of AMOC and co-creator of The Black Clown, a music theater experience commissioned and premiered by The American Repertory Theater. He is Musical America’s 2022 Vocalist of the Year and a recipient of the 2020 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Harvard University, where he also serves as guest lecturer.
About jessica Care moore
jessica Care moore is the CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven Jess Care Moore Foundation. An internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist, and producer, she is the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts. moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto, God is Not an American, Sunlight Through Bullet Holes, and a memoir, Love is Not The Enemy. Her poetry has been heard on stages including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. She has performed on every continent and believes poems belong everywhere and to everyone.
Born in Detroit, moore first came to national prominence when she won on the legendary “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition a record-breaking five times in a row. Her searing performance of the poem “Black Statue of Liberty” earned moore several meetings with high profile publishing companies, but in 1997, she paved her own path and launched a publishing company of her own, Moore Black Press. She released her first book, The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth, and sold more than 20,000 copies. Along with her own work, she proudly published famed poets such Saul Williams, Shariff Simmons, Def Poetry Jam’s co-founder Danny Simmons, NBA player Etan Thomas, Ras Baraka, and former Essence Magazine editor Asha Bandele.
moore has graced the cover of The New York Times, The Metro Times, Michigan FrontPage, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, African Voices Magazine, Black Elegance Magazine, and has been featured in print and online magazines across the world, including Essence, Huffington Post, Blaze, The Source, Vibe, Bomb, Mosaic, Savoy, One World, Upscale, Ambassador Magazine, UPTOWN, and others. Her multimedia show, God is Not an American, was produced by The Apollo Theater and Time Warner’s NYC Parks Summer Concert Series. She was the host, writer, and co-Executive Producer of the poetry driven television show, Spoken, which was executive produced by and directed by Robert Townsend and aired on The Black Family Channel. moore’s poetry is featured on Nas’s Nastradamus album, Talib Kweli’s Attack The Block Mix Tape, and she is a returning star of Russell Simmons’s HBO Series, “Def Poetry Jam.”
About The Brazeal Dennard Chorale
For half a century, Detroit’s own Brazeal Dennard Chorale has been committed to remembering, preserving, and discovering the music of African American composers and artists. Nationally known for its expressive renditions of African American music in the choral tradition, the Brazeal Dennard Chorale is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in America.
In 1972, the Brazeal Dennard Chorale was established, with a mission to promote the music of African American composers and to perpetuate the heritage of the Negro Spiritual. This highly skilled group of singers not only preserves this rich musical heritage, but also performs music from all genres of Choral Music repertoire at the highest level.
The Brazeal Dennard Chorale has been a leader in championing the classical music heritage of African American composers. In an effort to highlight the contributions of African Americans to classical music, and to take the music to an even larger audience, the Classical Roots concert was established. Dr. Brazeal Wayne Dennard, working collaboratively with Paul Freeman, the DSO’s then-Resident Conductor, and several notable community leaders, organized and facilitated the first Classical Roots concert held in 1978 at Detroit’s historic Bethel AME Church. The choir was anchored by the Brazeal Dennard Chorale and included chorus members from Detroit-area Black churches. Dr. Dennard reports, “that was the beginning of the Classical Roots concert that the symphony performs today.” This concert model has now been implemented by orchestras and music organizations across the country.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Alice McAllister Tillman, the Brazeal Dennard Chorale continues to maintain a value system that fosters bridge-building, innovation, collaboration, community, inclusivity, and excellence. Through performances, commissions of new choral works, recordings, and engaging with communities across America, the Brazeal Dennard Chorale is continuing the tradition of African Americans who sang unaccompanied melodies which told of the pains of slavery, the yearning to be free, and the hope of God’s salvation. Recently, the Chorale participated in a commission consortium through Chorus America. The work, Make Some Noise, Get in Trouble (Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble), composed by Roland M. Carter commemorates the memory of the Honorable John R. Lewis and was premiered by the Brazeal Dennard Chorale in April of 2022.
The Brazeal Dennard Chorale is an award-winning organization that in 2018 received the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award (presented by Chorus America) in recognition of the Chorale’s commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and furthering African American choral traditions and other diverse choral music traditions through performance, research, or the creation of new compositions of significance.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.