Creative Power of "Black Vocality"
September 17, 2013
From gospel, opera and jazz vocalists to poets, activists and “cultural weavers,” the range of African-American vocal history and aesthetic is far-reaching and culturally influential across the globe. Celebrating this diverse history and sharing the vocal strategies and styles African-Americans have developed over time are just a few of the themes that will be explored in a two-day symposium on Sept. 24-25.
Organized and hosted by the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) and the Department of Music at Columbia College Chicago, “Black Vocality: Cultural Memory, Identities, & Practices of African-American Singing Styles” brings music industry professionals, vocalists and scholars together in a dynamic, engaging exchange of performance, storytelling and scholarship.
“The vocal strategies African-Americans have developed over time celebrate our world views, interiority and depth and range of our experiences,” said Monica Hairston O’Connell, executive director of CBMR. “The Black Vocality symposium recognizes the timeliness of exploring these strategies that persist, evolve, and continue to be adopted and co-opted, and speaks to their continued creative power and political necessity.”
The symposium is designed for practitioners, students and scholars in vocal performance, music, literature, and theater. Notable participants include: gospel and opera vocalist Patrick Dailey, Boston University School of Music; jazz vocalist Bobbi Wilsyn, Columbia College Chicago Department of Music; jazz vocalist and educator, Fabrizia Barresi, National Academy of Jazz, Italy; Tim’m West, poet, performer and activist, Chicago; Mankwe Ndosi, vocalist, performer and cultural weaver, Minneapolis; and award-winning performer and composer, Pamela Z.
Part of a three-year project designed by Gianpaolo Chiriacò from the University of Salento and research fellow at CBMR, the research is supported by a Marie Curie-International Outgoing Fellowship, financed by the European Union.
The symposium and concluding performance are free and open to the public. For more information, visit: www.colum.edu/CBMR.
Read more about the research on "Black Vocality" in the Chicago Tribune.
(Above: Mankwe Ndosi, courtesy of the artist)