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The African American Composer Initiative (AACI) presents the works of living and historical African American composers in concert, shares video of these live concerts online, and commissions new compositions.

Thank you to all who attended our January 2017 concerts,”Let the Knowing Speak. ”  The concert video is now viewable at the “Prior Concerts” tab of this website. We have posted the entire program, with LaDoris Cordell’s informative narrative, as well as each individual composition. Please share the link with others!

In the media:

Featured Video selections:

Dizzy Gillespie’s Night in Tunisia was performed by the company on Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29, 2017 during the concert “Let the Knowing Speak“ which took place at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA.


“Nobody Knows the Trouble I Seen”, arranged by William Grant Still, was performed by Josephine Gandolfi, Susan C. Brown, Victoria Ehrlich, Rufus Olivier, and Carol Somersille on January 24 & 25, 2015, during the concert “Walk Together: A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr, and the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965” at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA

Zenobia Powell Perry’s I Gotta Move When the Spirit Say Move, based on Spirituals from her opera Tawawa House, was performed by the company on Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29, 2017 during the concert “Let the Knowing Speak“ which took place at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA.


Dolores White’s Give Birth to the Dream was performed by the company on Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29, 2017 during the concert “Let the Knowing Speak“ which took place at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA.

Joshua McGhee “The Color of Love” was performed by Josephine Gandolfi, Susan C. Brown, Victoria Ehrlich, and John Robinson on January 24 & 25, 2015, during the concert “Walk Together: A Musical Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr, and the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965” at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA


Zenobia Powell Perry’s Nocturne was performed by the company on Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29, 2017 during the concert “Let the Knowing Speak“ which took place at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, arranged by Valerie Capers was performed by the entire company on January 30 & 31, 2016 during the concert “A Musical Celebration of Valerie Capers” at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA

View all AACI videos on YouTube
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One hundred percent of concert ticket proceeds and donations designated to benefit Eastside College Preparatory School go directly to the school. AACI seeks donations through this website to help further its mission of commissioning new works from African American composers and to assist with concert production and recording expenses. To date, every concert has included the premiere of new vocal and chamber works by composers Dr. Valerie Capers, Joshua McGhee and John Robinson, a manifestation of AACI’s commitment to the ongoing creativity of today’s composers.

Acknowledgments