The Art of the Spiritual

DEEP RIVER: The Art of the Spiritual

Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 pm
The Washington National Cathedral

Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
The Cathedral Choir
Choristers from the Metropolitan AME Church and area high schools
Angel Gil-Ordóñez, conductor
Written and produced by Joseph Horowitz
Visual track by Peter Bogdanoff

Harry Burleigh (1866-1949) is a forgotten hero of American music. Antonin Dvorak’s assistant in New York City from 1892 to 1895, Burleigh was subsequently the composer/singer most responsible for turning spirituals into art songs. His “Deep River” (1915), a sensation in its day, took an obscure upbeat spiritual and turned it into the reverent song made famous by Burleigh, Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson and countless others.

Kevin Deas


Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times