Deep River: The Art of the Spiritual

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 | 7:30pm

From the cotton fields of the South to the Broadway stage, African American spirituals have served as a cultural touchstone, offering visions of despair, liberation and, ultimately, hope and redemption.

But how did this background music of slavery make the leap to pop culture?

Join us for a Black History Month celebration of African American Spirituals as we explore the legacy of Harry Burleigh, a largely unknown figure who popularized and mainstreamed songs like “Balm in Gilead,” “My Lord What a Mornin” and “Steal Away.”

(Excerpted from Behrouz Jamali’s documentary film: Deep River: A Short Journey Through the Music of Harry Burleigh)

Following the concert, musicians will join scholars from Georgetown University to discuss the history behind these songs, the origins of jazz and the contemporary implications of white artists embracing black music in a country that remains deeply divided by race.

Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
Joseph Horowitz, piano
The Washington National Cathedral Choir
150 choristers from the Metropolitan AME Church and area high schools
Angel Gil-Ordonez, conductor

Scripted and produced by Joseph Horowitz for PostClassical Ensemble
Visual track by Peter Bogdanoff

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  • Admission
  • Dates Offered
    • February 28, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Notifications
    • Tickets available July 15