Listen: Tyshawn Sorey Premieres 'Josephine Baker: A Portrait' at Ojai Music Festival

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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

OJAI, CA - June 11, 2016: World Premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait, with ICE, Julia Bullock, and Tyshawn Sorey. (David Bazemore)

Composer, percussionist, and pianist Tyshawn Sorey premiered his song cycle Josephine Baker: A Portrait on June 11 at the Ojai Music Festival. 

The cycle consists of imaginative new arrangements of songs originally sung by the iconic singer and entertainer Josephine Baker, performed by soprano Julia Bullock, the International Contemporary Ensemble and Sorey himself. The New York Times has called the work "one of the most important works of art yet to emerge from the era of Black Lives Matter."

Born in 1906 in Missouri, Baker performed as a singer, actress, and dancer on stage and screen, participated in the French Resistance during World War Two, and spoke out against segregation during the Civil Rights Era. She was the only woman to speak at the 1963 March on Washington. 

This on-demand music is part of a partnership between Q2 Music and the Ojai Music Festival to share live recordings from the festival dating back to the 2012 season.

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