MUSIC AND MIGRATION:

The Spiritual in White America

August 22, 2019 at The Phillips Collection
6:30 PM

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 31: The migrants found improved housing when they arrived north., 1940-41 (The Phillips Collection)
Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 31: The migrants found improved housing when they arrived north., 1940-41 (The Phillips Collection)

THE SPIRITUAL IN WHITE AMERICA

Beginning in 1913, Harry Burleigh (a New York protégé of Antonin Dvorak) began to transform black spirituals into songs for the white concert stage. Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson triumphantly sang Burleigh’s “Deep River” – and it’s still sung today.

But during the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes and Nora Zeale Hurston worried about a “flight from blackness.”

Kevin Deas, bass-baritone/actor
Joseph Horowitz, piano
The Washington National Cathedral Choir conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Spiritual arrangements by Harry Burleigh and Nathaniel Dett
Readings from W. E. B. DuBois, Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston

TICKETS: $45, $25 for members, $20 for students with ID, and $5 for youth (ages 8-18); museum admission for that day is included. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.

Kevin Deas is a supreme exponent of the spiritual in concert.

To hear Kevin sing Harry Burleigh’s arrangement of “Steal Away” (in live performance at the Washington National Cathedral with pianist Joe Horowitz), click below:

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