Showing posts from February, 2018

Nejma Nefertiti Opens "Mermaid's Howl" at La MaMa

Recently our own Nejma Nefertiti collaborated with theatre artist Marina Celander in a stage production presented by La Mama Experimental Theatre Club for its Series of One: A Solo Performance Festival, titled Mermaid's Howl. The title is an homage to the legendary South Korean female sea divers, who for hundreds of years have made their living harvesting seafood by hand from the ocean floor. Known as haenyeo, or sea women, they use no breathing equipment, although a typical dive might last around two minutes and take them as deep as ten meters underwater.  At one point, a wolf also speaks through Marina - ergo the "Howl." Celander's play utilizes lights, sound effects, costumes, dream-work, and spiritual channeling to tell the story of her immigrant Korean/Japanese/Swedish mother as she struggles to establish her identity.

Nina Kennedy and Former Fisk Jubilee Singers Appear on "The Choir Loft" Show

Sopranos Lowri Marie and Kasey Porter shared the spotlight with Nina Kennedy at the MNN Studios in New York for a special taping of The Choir Loft, produced by Rhonda McClelland on February 24th. The topic for this show was the world-famous Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville, Tennessee. The show opened with Lowri Marie performing the Spiritual Bye and Bye, and the tour de force Climb Ev‘ry Mountain by Richard Rodgers. She was then interviewed by Rhonda, reminiscing on her career as a singer and her work with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. 

Lowri Marie and Nina Kennedy Perform in Harlem

Sunday morning, February 18th, soprano Lowri Marie and pianist Nina Kennedy were presented in what was called a “Black History Moment” at the Salvation Army Harlem Temple Corps, 540 Malcolm X Boulevard in New York City. During the regular Sunday service, Lowri Marie sang the Spiritual Bye and Bye, arranged by Edward Boatner, accompanied by Nina Kennedy on piano. The congregation was then treated to clips from the documentary filmMatthew Kennedy: One Man’s Journey, produced and directed by Nina Kennedy, about her father’s life and work as director of the internationally acclaimed Fisk Jubilee Singers.

Envoy Kenneth Burton had specifically requested a short clip of this film because he wanted some of the younger members of the congregation to be exposed to the history of Fisk University and the Fisk Jubilee Singers. After the screening, Nina gave an homage to her father by performing a Prelude by Sergei Rachmaninoff, since her father had heard the famous Russian pianist perform live in M…