2024 Program: What’s Going On

What’s Going On: A Concert of Music by African American Composers
January 28, 2024 at Eastside College Preparatory School, East Palo Alto, CA

A musical response to our times, the program draws from music that inspires, uplifts, and energizes – spirituals, jazz, and classical music, vocal and instrumental. Bay Area musicians were joined by jazz greats pianist Valerie Capers and bassist John H. Robinson.

Composers include Margaret Bonds, John Wesley Work III, Jacqueline Hairston, Valerie Capers,
John H. Robinson, Jeremiah Evans, Regina Harris Baiocchi, Valerie Coleman, Shawn Okpebholo, Billy Strayhorn, John Worley, and Marvin Gaye.

Soprano: Yolanda Rhodes
Tenor: Othello Jefferson
Piano/Vocals: LaDoris Cordell, Deanne Tucker
Piano: Valerie Capers, Jodi Gandolfi, Jansen Verplank
Violin: Susan C. Brown
Cello: Victoria Ehrlich
Picasso Ensemble
Clarinet: Carol Somersille
Saxophone, Flute: Tod Dickow
Trumpet: John Worley
Percussion: Jim Kassis
Bass: John Robinson

Guest Perfomers:

Foothill Symphonic Winds Quintet: Kent Peacock, flute, Carol Somersille, clarinet, Dianne Alexander, oboe, Christopher Lane, bassoon, Nelson Iwai, French horn

Click here for complete concert video and narration or listen to individual pieces – click on titles below.

Umoja, for wind quintet, by Valerie Coleman
Foothill Symphonic Winds Quintet: Carol Somersille, clarinet;
Kent Peacock, flute; Dianne Alexander, oboe;
Christopher Lane, bassoon; Nelson Iwai, French horn

Four Spirituals, arranged by Jacqueline Hairston

O Lord, I Done Done!
Give Me Jesus
Ride On Jesus (duet)
Plenty Good Room (duet)

Othello Jefferson, tenor, Yolanda Rhodes, soprano,
La Doris Cordell and Jodi Gandolfi, piano

Solo Piano Music based on spirituals and folk music
Amazing Grace, by Shawn Okpebholo
Big Bunch of Roses, by John Wesley Work III
from Appalachia, Three Fiddle and Game Tunes
The Valley of the Bones, by Margaret Bonds
based on the spiritual, Dry Bones
Deanne Tucker, piano

Nilisikia Sauti Kubwa, by Regina Baiocchi,
text from Revelations 21:3 and Swahili poetry
I heard a big voice coming from above.
It said to the angels,
“All hate will come to an end on earth,
Love is what will remain on earth.”

Othello Jefferson, tenor; Jodi Gandolfi, piano; John Worley, trumpet, Jim Kassis, tubular bells

Above and Beyond, for solo trumpet, by John Worley
(in tribute to Colonel William Gunn)
John Worley, trumpet

Take the “A” Train, by Billy Strayhorn, arr. Valerie Capers
Valerie Capers, piano, John H. Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, drums

Music for piano duet by Jeremiah Evans
Black Leather Jacket
Canzona in G
LaDoris Cordell, Jodi Gandolfi
Beat on the Street
Jazz Berry Jam
Deanne Tucker, Jodi Gandolfi

Tammie’s Music Box, by John H. Robinson
Picasso Ensemble: Susan C. Brown, violin, Victoria Ehrlich, cello,
Jodi Gandolfi, piano; Deanne Tucker, celesta
John H. Robinson, conductor

You, (text by Lawrence Dunbar and Capers) by Valerie Capers
adapted for solo soprano from the choral work, The Gift of Song
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, Jansen Verplank, piano, Tod Dickow, flute, John H. Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, drums

Sister Sadie by Horace Silver, arranged by Valerie Capers
Valerie Capers, piano; John Worley, trumpet; Tod Dickow, tenor
saxophone; John H. Robinson, bass; Jim Kassis, drums

Company Finale: What’s Going On, by Renoldo Benson,
Al Cleveland, and Marvin Gaye, arr. Jansen Verplank, LaDoris Cordell, vocal solo,

Yolanda Rhodes, Deanne Tucker, Othello Jefferson, vocal back-ups;
John Worley, trumpet; Tod Dickow, tenor sax;

Carol Somersille, clarinet; Susan Brown, violin; Victoria Ehrlich, cello;
Jansen Verplank, piano; John H. Robinson, bass; Jim Kassis, drums