Showing posts from March, 2019

Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing: A Call for Justice

Harry T. Burleigh As some of you already know, I have recently signed a contract with a publisher for the release of my first book of memoirs. Also, as I wrote in my last blog, I was recently asked to participate in a panel discussion presented by the Harry T. Burleigh Society  during its conference titled "More Than the Promise of the American Myth: Rethinking Burleigh & (Ella) Sheppard in the Second Gilded Age." Other participants on the panel included the descendants of composers Harry Burleigh , Ella Sheppard , W.C. Handy , J. Rosamond Johnson , and Bob Cole . The Fisk Jubilee Singers  - whose concert the Burleigh Society presented the night before at Carnegie Hall - had included my father's arrangement of the spiritual "Steal Away" on their program. So it seemed fitting to include me in a conversation on the handling of copyrights and the preservation of historic recordings, as I had produced a documentary film  on my father's life along with i

H.T. Burleigh Society Presents the Fisk Jubilee Singers at Carnegie Hall

Nina Kennedy outside of Carnegie Hall Early in January, we had seen on Facebook that the Harry T. Burleigh Society was presenting the Fisk Jubilee Singers  in concert at Carnegie Hall. April and I sat in the audience for the concert, and were delighted to hear the old plantation songs or "Spirituals," which I had heard throughout my childhood while my father was director. We were also delighted to see that the current group had included my father's arrangement of the spiritual "Steal Away" on the program. In her opening remarks, president and co-founder of the Harry T. Burleigh Society Lynne Foote  welcomed the audience and introduced the group. The works arranged by Burleigh  on the program included "My Lord, What a Mornin'," "Balm in Gilead," and "Heav'n, Heav'n." Spirituals arranged by John W. Work III , Hall Johnson , R. Nathaniel Dett , Moses Hogan ,  Undine Smith Moore , current director Paul Kwami , among