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In Celebration of Beethoven's 250th Birthday

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Ludwig von Beethoven In honor of Ludwig von Beethoven's 250th birthday next month (December 17th), I am putting to rest the mystery around the meaning of the lyrics of the chorus in his famous Ninth Symphony, which Anglophiles have called the "Ode to Joy." "Freude," the subject of the poem by Friedrich Schiller - literally translated as "Joy" - is really a Goddess. Joy is her name, and Elysium in mythology is the dwelling place of the gods, or can be loosely translated as "Paradise." I am especially frustrated when I hear English translations of Schiller's poem making references to "God the Father," etc. This poem has nothing to do with God. In fact, it can be loosely translated as a hymn in praise of "Joy" within the context of a pagan orgy. The poem reads as follows:           "An die Freude"                                                       "Ode to Joy"   Freude,  schöner Götterfunken,       

Fisk Jubilee Singers and Quartet, Loudin Jubilee Singers, Leota Henson, Florence Mills Featured on Next Episode of "The Noshing with Nina Show"

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Bill Egan , author of the new book African American Entertainers in Australia and New Zealand: A History, 1788-1941 is Nina Kennedy's guest on the November episode of The Noshing with Nina Show . The Fisk Jubilee Singers under director Frederick Loudin - who had sung with the original Fisk Jubilee Singers of 1872 - sailed to Australia in 1888, and remained in the "Australian Colonies" for 3 and a half years. Bill Egan devoted several pages in his book to the Jubilee Singers, and quoted some of the observations written by piano accompanist Leota Henson. The first African American woman to study piano at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music - which was founded by composer Felix Mendelssohn in 1843 - Leota had typed seven pages that she titled "A Few Notes on the Life of Leota Henson." Host Nina Kennedy found those seven pages in a box of her grandmother's papers. Her grandmother, Nina Hortense Clinton, had sung with a later group of Jubilee Singers (1900-1903),

"Familiar Favorites" by Matthew Kennedy

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: info@infemnity.com In anticipation of Matthew Kennedy's 100th birthday celebration, INFEMNITY Productions is happy to promote the popular CD which he titled Familiar Favorites . The world will be celebrating the 250th birthday of Ludwig von Beethoven on December 17th, and Matthew Kennedy's performance of the second movement (Adagio cantabile) of Beethoven's "Pathétique" Sonata is one of the selections on the CD. Enjoy this opening clip of the documentary film Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey , in which he performs the Beethoven, among other numbers on the CD. Matthew Kennedy was born on March 10, 1921.  The star of his own radio show at age eleven, Matthew played the organ to accompany silent films at the segregated cinema in his home town Americus, Georgia, where he was given the stage name “Sunshine,” and was dressed in a bellhop uniform. After graduating from Fisk University and Juilliard, he was the director of the world-re

"American Heritage" by Pianist Jeni Slotchiver Dropped October 9th

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  Following the success of the Busoni The Visionary series, American pianist Jeni Slotchiver has released a new album this month. With Southern roots of her own, Ms. Slotchiver’s debut ZOHO CD release American Heritage presents compositions that honor the vast African-American musical tradition as well as Union army hymns from the Civil War. There are contemporary arrangements and harmonizations of sea shanties, songs of enslaved people, and secular dances, plus arrangements of spirituals. Several compositions recall the strong, Southern voices of gospel and blues. Of the eight composers represented, six are of African descent, two of whom are women. Visit Jeni Slotchiver's website at  www.jenislotchiver.com . Subscribe to her YouTube channel  here . About Jeni Slotchiver ... " Critics Choice: Appropriate for Millennial Reflections A fascinating program of piano works impressively played by the pianist Jeni Slotchiver…Filled with incandescent piano writing and music of stunn

Happy U.K. Black History Month

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Our dear friend chanteuse Kimberly Nichole just recently informed us in one of her Facebook Live chats that the month of October is Black History Month in the U.K. Granted, the U.K. has a large Nigerian population, and slavery there was abolished thirty years before it was abolished here. Kimberly, who is living in London, pointed out that the Brits gave to blacks one of the longest months (with 31 days), and one with pleasant autumn weather. Kimberly Nichole Watching all of the shenanigans  going on in American politics, I'm just waiting for a savior to drop down from the sky and save African Americans. Trump and the Republicans are pushing through this right-wing conservative Supreme Court judge. How are they able to do this? Well, because of the gerrymandering perpetrated by the Republicans, they have manipulated congressional districts so that Democrats (i.e., blacks) will never be in the majority.  How is this legal? How are they able to get away with this? Well, how were they

Judith Jamison on Facebook Live

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Harriette Cole and Judith Jamison Dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater   Judith Jamison  was the special guest on this week's "Real Conversations With..." series presented by AARP Black Community  on Facebook Live. She was interviewed by Harriette Cole , who describes herself as "a life stylist, author, nationally syndicated advice columnist, motivational speaker, media trainer, magazine editor, lifestyle writer, wife and mother." Judith Jamison I have watched Judith Jamison's career through the years since my days as an undergraduate in Philadelphia at the Curtis Institute of Music, when Sophisticated Ladies  came to town for its pre-Broadway run. During yesterday's conversation, Jamison praised the cast and music of the production, Duke Ellington 's band and Gregory Hines , with whom she starred and choreographed the show. This production happened many years after her groundbreaking internat

Racism and Sexism Destroyed Her

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Anne Gamble Kennedy: 1920-2001   In Anticipation of Anne Gamble Kennedy's 100th Birthday Celebration/Virtual Exhibit Anne Gamble Kennedy began her career with faith, hope, and optimism. She was a black woman (albeit light-skinned), and endured the racism that was rampant in the American South during the first half of the twentieth century. Growing up in Charleston, West Virginia, she endured the humiliation of segregated schools, public accommodations and toilets. She eventually moved further south to study a Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1941, she enrolled in the Conservatory at Oberlin College in Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree. Soon afterwards, she moved to New York City to study privately with famed pianist Ray Lev. Then she accepted teaching positions at Tuskegee Institute and Talladega College in Alabama, and began a successful concert career. She was invited to perform at several HBCUs throughout the sout

Book Review: "Practicing for Love: A Memoir" by Nina Kennedy

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Practicing for Love: A Memoir by Nina Kennedy by Bill Egan The title of this autobiographical story succinctly captures the central dilemma of the author’s life. A child prodigy classical pianist, Nina knows, like all musicians, that practice makes perfect but never ends. Even the greatest virtuoso will practice scales and basic exercises daily. But is there an equivalent practice for personal love? More of that later! Nina Kennedy Nina Kennedy was born to musically professional parents, Anne Gamble Kennedy, and Matthew Kennedy. They had historic links to the great Fisk Jubilee Singers, whose heroic tale spans back to 1871, and is a living tradition to this day. Both parents were professors of piano, and Matthew was the director of the Fisk Singers for over thirty years. By any standards they were high profile members of the African American cultural community, growing up in an era when the Harlem Renaissance was flourishing. This would seem to augur well for their only

Anne Gamble Kennedy Virtual Exhibit To Launch September 25th

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Anne Gamble Kennedy Anne Gamble Kennedy's 100th birthday will be celebrated on September 25th, 2020 with the launch of a virtual online exhibit curated by INFEMNITY Productions  on  celebratelifesmoments.online , in conjunction with Fisk University. Co-sponsors include the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Nashville Chapter of Links, Oberlin Conservatory Alumni Association, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), First Baptist Church Capitol Hill in Nashville, and media sponsor The Tennessee Tribune . Anne Gamble Kennedy was born in Charleston, West Virginia on September 25th, 1920. Her parents were Dr. Henry Floyd Gamble of North Garden, Virginia, and the former Nina Hortense Clinton of Zanesville, Ohio. Her mother sang and toured the United Kingdom with Frederick Loudin's Fisk Jubilee Singers from 1900 to 1903, and played the piano. Anne received her first piano lessons from her mother, and gave her first complete piano recital in Charleston at age twelve.

Nina Gamble Kennedy

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Nina Gamble Kennedy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Nina Kennedy Nina Gamble Kennedy  (born 1960) is an American classical pianist, orchestral conductor, filmmaker, and writer. She is the daughter of  Matthew Washington Kennedy , concert pianist and director of the  Fisk Jubilee Singers  from 1957 to 1986; and  Anne Gamble Kennedy , also a concert pianist and piano accompanist for the  Fisk Jubilee Singers . Both of her parents served as members of the piano faculty at  Fisk University . Contents 1 Early life 2 Career 3 Critical reception 4 Recordings 5 Writings 6 Films 7 References Early life Born in  Nashville, Tennessee , Kennedy received her first musical instruction from her parents. She was enrolled in formal piano classes at the  Blair Academy of Music  in 1968, first with William Higgs, and later with Enid Katahn who would be her primary piano teacher until 1978. She was presented in her first complete piano recital at nine yea