African American Composers Initiative a Local Musical Gem

Every year, the African American Composer Initiative celebrates a rich musical heritage in danger of being forgotten.

Every year, the African American Composer Initiative celebrates a rich musical heritage in danger of being forgotten. (Photo: Courtesy of the African American Composer Initiative)

The African American Composers Initiative presents its annual benefit concert Jan. 27 and 28 at the Performing Arts Center of Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto. The program is called “Out of the Blues: The Gift of Song.”

There are works old, there are works new, and there are works new inspired by the old: spirituals by Roland Hayes, Hall Johnson, and Harry Burleigh, instrumental music by William Grant Still, songs and instrumentals by Chicago-based composer Regina Baiocchi, new works by John Robinson and Valerie Capers, as well as songs by Florence Price, Roxanna Wright, Andre Myers, Charles Brown, and Charles Lloyd, Jr.

Below is an excerpt from last year’s concert, from the ensemble performing Zenobia Powell Perry’s “I Gotta Move When the Spirit Say Move”:

For Silicon Valley locals, the most famous name in this outfit is one of the principals: Judge LaDoris Cordell. She’s a retired judge of the Superior Court of California, and a former Independent Police Auditor for the city of San Jose — as well as an accomplished pianist and singer. Together with her Menlo Park piano teacher Josephine “Jodi” Gandolfi, Cordell has become a tireless advocate for music history appreciation through the Initiative.

Details here.

African American Composers Initiative a Local Musical Gem 3 January,2018Rachael Myrow

Author

Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow is KQED’s Silicon Valley Arts Reporter, covering arts, culture and technology in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. She regularly files stories for NPR and the KQED podcast Bay Curious, and guest hosts KQED’s Forum.

Her passion for public radio was born as an undergrad at the University of California at Berkeley, writing movie reviews for KALX-FM. After finishing one degree in English, she got another in journalism, landed a job at Marketplace in Los Angeles, and another at KPCC, before returning to the Bay Area to work at KQED.

She spent more than seven years hosting The California Report, and over the years has won a Peabody and three Edward R. Murrow Awards (one for covering the MTA Strike, her first assignment as a full-time reporter in 2000 as well as numerous other honors including from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the LA Press Club.
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