2023 Program – Together Again

This concert “Together Again! Celebrating the Music of African American composers” was presented by the African American Composer Initiative on Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29, 2023 at the Eastside College Preparatory School, Performing Arts Center in East Palo Alto, California, USA.

Featuring music by: Jacqueline Hairston, Betty Jackson King, Jeremiah Evans, Melba Liston, Regina Harris Baiocchi, John H. Robinson, Duke Ellington, and Valerie Capers.

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

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

Two Songs by Jacqueline Hairston
A Change Has Got to Come
Don’t Feel No Ways Tired (Spiritual)
Othello Jefferson, tenor
LaDoris Cordell, piano

from Four Seasonal Sketches, by Betty Jackson King
Spring Intermezzo
LaDoris Cordell and Josephine Gandolfi, piano four-hands

Vocal Chamber Music by Jeremiah Evans
Two Nocturnes, for soprano, violin, cello, and piano
poetry by Sarah Teasdale
I. A Winter Night
II. Spring Night
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano,
Picasso Ensemble: Susan C. Brown, violin,
Victoria Ehrlich, cello, Josephine Gandolfi, piano

Piano Music by Jeremiah Evans
(Video by Deanne Tucker)
Three Inventions for piano solo

  1. Heron’s Engine
  2. Archimedes’ Spiral
  3. DaVinci’s Flying Machine
    Deanne Tucker, piano

Song by Melba Liston, words by Abbey Lincoln
LaDoris, Cordell, vocalist
Jansen Verplank, piano, John H. Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, drums

Farafina by Regina Harris Baiocchi
“Invoke the names so all will know we won’t forget.”
(excerpt from the text by the composer)
Othello Jefferson, tenor, LaDoris Cordell, reader,
John Worley, trumpet, Josephine Gandolfi, piano, Deanne Tucker, electronic marimba, Jim Kassis, drums, John H. Robinson, bass

Spiritual arranged by Jacqueline Hairston
Guide My Feet
Yolanda Rhodes, soprano, LaDoris Cordell, piano

New Composition by John H. Robinson, for piano trio plus!
Introduction by John H. Robinson
A Day at the Circus

Picasso Ensemble, Stephanie McNab, piccolo, Jim Kassis, percussion, John H. Robinson, conductor

A Jazz Classic by “Duke” Ellington, arranged by Valerie Capers
In a Mellow Tone
Stephanie McNab, flute, John Worley, trumpet,
John Monroe, trombone, Carol Somersille, clarinet,
Oscar Pangilinan, alto saxophone, Tod Dickow, tenor saxophone
Valerie Capers, piano, John Robinson, bass, Jim Kassis, percussion

Company Finale, by Valerie Capers
The Gift of Song (1986, revised 2017)
(text by Paul Laurence Dunbar,
additional text by Valerie Capers)
All singers and instrumentalists of AACI