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Black Women Composers of Classical Music:
Too Many Songs Unsung

Why Classical Music? 1

Role Models

    (BPRW) Musical Director Ray Chew Makes His Mark At This Year’s 65th Annual Emmy Awards

    (BLACK PR WIRE) – NEW YORK, NY September 27, 2013 – Composer and Music Producer Ray Chew, is high on the heels of his triumph as Musical Director for the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2013 on CBS. The broadcast – which drew its highest ratings since 2006 with a viewership of 17.6 million – saw Chew composing over half of the musical backdrop for the three plus hour ceremony, celebrating the brightest stars in television. Host Neil Patrick Harris introduced the band with the moniker “Ray Chew and the Network Notes,” and “Chew approved.”

    Musical Director Ray Chew
    Ray Chew
    The music maestro is geared to move forward with several other opportunities in TV and film as a composer, broadening his sound into scores and soundtracks. Chew has locked down a new short film entry for this year’s Sundance Film Festival as well as TV specials on the 2014 calendar.

    Ray Chew and his wife/business partner Vivian Scott Chew continue to bolster their 2013-14 production calendar projects which include several official Super Bowl events, Donald Trump’s Miss Universe NBC broadcast from Moscow and the Black Entertainment TV (BET) Honors

    Also on the horizon, Chew will launch two new musical acts under his production company, in addition to his continued commitment to NARAS (the Grammy organization) and Aaron Davis Hall, City College as a Board Member.


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents.

    No Implied Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    King of Rags
    New Book Reveals Music Legend’s Scott Joplin’s Fight Against Racial Discrimination Over 100 Years Ago

    - When music publisher John Stark first heard Scott Joplin play his piano, he knew that ragtime was the music of hope for a new America -

    But Joplin would never be content with popularity and fame. Joplin committed himself to racial justice in the early 1900’s. He was inspired by Booker T. Washington and the Dahomeyan defeat in West Africa. But due to this earnest pursuit, he was ignored by the masses for writing the music of Civil Rights fifty years before America was ready to listen.

    King of Rags
    King of Rags, by Professor Eric Bronson, is a historical fiction account of the quest for racial equality at the turn of the 20th Century. Dr. Bronson takes a fresh and invigorating look at the tragic life of Scott Joplin and his fellow ragtime musicians as they frantically transformed the seedy and segregated underbelly of comedians, conmen and prostitutes who called America’s most vibrant cities home. His story brings to light numerous interesting and little known historical discoveries about life in America including:

    1. One hundred years before hip-hop star Ludacris was called a "corrupter" of morals, before Elvis was attacked for playing the devil's music, ragtime musicians like Scott Joplin were criticized in the media for spoiling the innocent sensibilities of teenage boys and girls.

    2. The father of the blues, W.C. Handy was influenced by ragtime musicians in St. Louis.

    3. One hundred years before Barack Obama became America's first African-American president, Joplin wrote an opera about Booker T. Washington's invitation to the White House, entitled "A Guest of Honor."

    4. "Treemonisha," Joplin's race opera about a young black woman who lifts her village out of ignorance, was ignored in his lifetime and for many years after his death.

    5. Joplin, the king of all ragtime composers, was buried in an unmarked grave in New York. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, only after his music was featured in the popular film, "The Sting."

    6. Comedians have always been on the cutting edge of the racial divide. Nearly one hundred years ago, Booker T. Washington wrote that vaudeville star Bert Williams "has done more for our race than I have."

    7. During his stay in America, classical composer Anton Dvorák was widely criticized for insisting that, "the future music of this country must be founded upon what are called negro melodies. This must be the real foundation of any serious and original school of composition to be developed in the United States."

    8. Fifty years before Malcolm X popularized, "By any means necessary," civil rights activist Ida Wells encouraged colored men to carry Winchester rifles in their resistance to lynching.

    King of Rags
    9. Besides being one of the best-known anti-slavery advocates of his day, and key confidant to President Lincoln, Frederick Douglass was also a passionate defender of rights for women. In 1848 he was one of the key speakers at Seneca Falls, America's most important convention on women's rights.

    10. At the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Africans were allowed to exhibit, but African-Americans were barred. Among the exhibits was a 22,000-pound cheddar cheese from Perth, Ontario and an 18 by 24 foot map of the United States made entirely of pickles from Pennsylvania.

    11. Long before Ray Charles was even born, another blind piano player was barnstorming the country. The great Blind Boone used to fill the house wherever he went...except for the time he emptied one. Legend has it that his rendition of "The Marshfield Tornado" was so realistic the audience ran out to look for shelter.

    12. Jackie Robinson was not the first African-American baseball player to play in the Major Leagues. That distinction belongs to Moses Fleetwood Walker who played for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884, five years before baseball barred African-Americans from taking the field.

    King of Rags resurrects America's forgotten sons and daughters: piano players like Blind Boone who wore a gold watch with 33 diamonds though he couldn't read the time, Civil Rights activists like Ida Wells who relentlessly challenged Chicago's Columbian Exposition for shutting out African-Americans, and comedians like Bert Williams who helped move the issue of segregation from Broadway to Pennsylvania Avenue.

    King of Rags
    Bronson’s meticulous research was conducted with the help of a start-up fund from York University in Toronto. He did archival research in Sedalia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Nashville, Texarkana, and New York, cities that were pivotal to the ragtime scene. He was also given access to rare collections like Bert Williams' handwritten joke book that is kept at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, and the Booker T. Washington Papers at Fisk University in Nashville. The project began fortuitously in Texarkana, with a rare performance of Joplin's "Treemonisha," just blocks from where the ragtime king was born.

    King of Rags is a testament to the classical philosophical theme of one man reaching for something more than society wants to allow. It confronts the ways are we shaped by other people, and explores the powers of resistance inside us all.

    King of Rags
    Eric Bronson
    212 pages perfect bound
    Trade paperback and Kindle
    Historical Fiction
    ISBN-13: 978-0-9888290-0-8
    Library of Congress Control Number: 2013932896
    Neverland Publishing, Miami, FL Publication date: May 2013

    For more information visit

    About the Author
    Eric Bronson is a visiting professor in the Humanities Department at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is the editor of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy (2011), Poker and Philosophy (2006), Baseball and Philosophy (2004), and co-editor of The Hobbit and Philosophy (2012), and The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy (2003).

    He was producer and co-editor for the film, My Lazy White Friends, winning Best Documentary awards at the Hermosa Beach Film Festival, Atlantic City Film Festival, Newport Beach International Film Festival, Saguaro Film Festival, and an Audience Award winner at the Brooklyn Film Festival. In 2007 he served as the "Soul Trainer" for the CBC radio morning show, "Sounds Like Canada."

    Neverland Publishing 24 NW 102nd Street, Miami, FL 33150

    King of Rags


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents.

    No Implied Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    Dom La Nena

    Brazilian born cellist and vocalist Dom La Nena’s “gentle and haunting” (NPR) debut album, Ela (Six Degrees Records) has been met with terrific praise from The Wall Street Journal to the NY Times, who calls her understated collection of thirteen original compositions “quiet and lilting.” Sung in Portuguese and Spanish, Dom's delicate vocals and multi-tracked cello on the album are supported by spare, minimal arrangements by co-producer and label mate Piers Faccini.

    Listen to a feature with Dom that ran this weekend on NPR:

    If Cat Power had a lost sister in the Southern Hemisphere, her name would be Dom La Nena." –

    Grab the full album here:, Password: faccini.

    One of the key songs on the album (released 1.15.13), "No Meu Pais" (video here) describes the experience of growing up rootless in several different countries. Without a specific nationality, ‘meu pais - my country’ simply becomes ‘myself.’

    Dom La Nena, born Dominique Pinto, moved to France at age eight while her father pursued his doctorate. Five years later, upon moving back to Brazil, Dom began to write letters to acclaimed American cellist Christine Walevska. At age thirteen, Dom moved to Argentina with her parents’ consent and studied with Walevska regularly for several years before returning to Paris at eighteen.

    In 2009, Dom was performing as a cellist with English actress and singer Jane Birkin. Upon returning from an international tour with Birkin, she set about writing and recording her first album. The writing process initially proved quite challenging, but after a period of reflection, she focused on the work at hand and the songs began to flow. Dom has also accompanied French stars Jeanne Moreau, Camille and Etienne Daho.

    Dom, who draws influence from contemporary artists such as Cat Power, Lhasa de Sela and Juana Molina, first met Faccini through her husband Jeremiah, a director who made numerous videos for Faccini and artist and French singer Camille. For Dom, meeting Piers Faccini was the catalyst for the creation of Ela, an album that falls somewhere between classic Everything But The Girl and The XX.

    After she met Faccini and expressed her frustration with trying to record her solo material, he suggested that she use his home studio in the Cevennes Mountains of France and show her the basics of recording. Inspired by the relaxed vibe, she recorded almost all of her parts in one week.

    After hearing the results, Faccini wanted in and set to work on the songs while Dom returned to Brazil. “First he sent me what he’d done with my song ‘No Meu Pais’ and I was overwhelmed with joy and so impressed with the way he’d really understood my music...straight off, there was quickly a really strong sense of complicity: we made music in the same way, and didn’t even have to explain things to each other.”


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents.

    No Implied Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of

    Cheryl Lynne Skinner Flutist/Producer at Elinez Music Announces Free Download of New Flute Dance Track Heartbeats!

    New York, NY---Composer-Musician Cheryl Lynne Skinner composer/producer at Elinez Music is happy to announce the relocation to the New York area. In celebration and introduction to new audiences we are offering a free download of Heartbeats. Skinner is excited to become a part of the rhythm and heartbeat of the New York music scene.

    Cheryl's current CD project features tracks from The Love Chronicles Collection exploring the stages and phases of love. The first flute instrumental dance track Heartbeats explores feelings of infatuation, attraction, love at first sight and new love that wants to dance. The MP3 is featured on Jango Radio and can be heard and downloaded free @ Just click on SHOP, Click Next until you reach The Love Chronicles Cover with the heart, download and enjoy! Or you can visit the Nimbit music store at

    Cheryl Lynne Skinner
    Skinner, a triple threat performing on keyboard, flute and vocals presents an inspirational program of what she calls contemporary M.U.S.E. (music unleashed from soul experience). Skinner's compositions defy classification as she combines a myriad of styles, including Jazz, R&B, Latin-American, African and classical to achieve her unique smooth inspirational contemporary sound.

    Skinner celebrates three CD releases under the Elinez Music brand, Sunday Afternoon taped Live at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Shades of Blue, a celebration of the blues form and its tone color and I Wonder As I Wander, the 2011 Christmas CD release.

    Skinner's music has been featured in media by WUKY 91.3 FM radio in Lexington, KY interviewed by host John Rose, radio documentary by Chicago WBEZ's Jodi Becker, and Chicago NPR's award winning journalist & broadcaster Mara Tapp, The Sunday Afternoon Concert was filmed for the Kentucky Education Television network (KET) documentary, Go For Baroque was adopted as first theme song for KET program, Mixed Media. and recently Sunday Afternoon CD was included on the play list on WPFW's Spirit of Jazz show hosted by Lona Alias featuring an eclectic mixture of inspirational tracks including notables Chaka Khan, Martina McBride, Celine Dionne, Josh Groban, Nina Simone, India Arie, Stevie Wonder. To hear more of Cheryl's music visit:


    The articles on this website are provided for information purposes only. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the article content on this site or reliance by any person on the site's contents.

    No Implied Endorsement: does not endorse or recommend any article on this site or any product, service or information found within said articles. The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of


  1. Adolphus Hailstork ...
    is an American composer and educator. He grew up in Albany, New York, where he studied violin, piano, organ, and voice.

  2. Alton Adams ...
    Alton Adams is remembered primarily as the first black bandmaster in the United States Navy (beginning 1917).

  3. Alvin Singleton ...
    Alvin Singleton is a composer from the United States. Born and raised in New York, he received his music education from New York University (B.A.) and the Yale School of Music (M.M.).

  4. Arthur Cunningham ...
    African American composer & pianist. A lifetime of classical music & jazz.

  5. Arthur Marshall ...
    Arthur Marshall was an African-American composer and performer of ragtime music.

  6. Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson ...
    Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson was an innovative American composer whose interests spanned the worlds of jazz, dance, pop, film, television, and classical music.

  7. Cynthia Cozette Lee ...
    Cynthia Cozette Lee is a contemporary African American classical music composer and librettist. Cozette was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a Masters of Arts Degree in music composition.

  8. David N. Baker ...
    The official website of David N. Baker - World-renowned composer, performer, & pedagogue.

  9. Diedre Murray ...
    Diedre Murray is an American cellist and composer specializing in jazz, improvised music, opera, and contemporary classical music. She is also active as a producer, and curator.

  10. Doris Akers ...
    Doris Akers was an American composer and received many awards including back-to-back "Gospel Music Composer of the Year" in both 1960 and 1961.

  11. George Walker ...
    George Walker is an African-American composer, the first to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. He received the Pulitzer for his work Lilacs in 1996.

  12. Hale Smith ...
    Hale Smith was an American composer, pianist, educator, arranger, and editor. He was one of the most notable African American composers of the 20th century.

  13. Jeffrey Mumford ...
    is a U.S. composer. He holds degrees from the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, San Diego. He was a student of Elliott Carter and Lawrence Moss.

  14. Julia Perry ...
    March 1924 - 29 April 1979 was an African-American composer of classical music.

  15. Julius Eastman ...
    Eastman was an African-American composer, pianist, vocalist, and dancer of minimalist tendencies. He was among the first musicians to combine minimalist processes with elements of pop music.

  16. Kenneth Amis ...
    Amis is the tuba player with the Empire Brass. He is also the assistant conductor of the MIT Wind Ensemble, a group he has been involved with since its creation in 1999. In addition, as of 2005, Amis is an Affiliated Artist of MIT.

  17. Leonard De Paur ...
    Leonard De Paur was an African American composer, choral director, and arts administrator.

  18. Leslie B. Dunner ...
    Leslie B. Dunner is an American conductor and composer.

  19. Maurice Arnold Strothotte ...
    Maurice Arnold Strothotte was an African American composer and performer.

  20. Muhsinah ...
    Muhsinah is an independent singer/songwriter and producer. A graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and of Howard University.

  21. Nerdkween ...
    Nerdkween is the stage name for the singer/songwriter and composer Monica Arrington who is known for lo-fi recordings and minimalist style of electric guitar playing with added electronic noises.

  22. Newport Gardner ...
    Newport Gardner was an African American singing school master and composer.

  23. NoMBe is Noah McBeth ...
    "Ad Astra!" - Noah McBeth aka NoMBe aka The Last Afronaut aka Rookiemusiq, aka Rookie the Cook, produces and performs music infused with jazz, hiphop, lounge and house. He is an accomplished guitar player, composer, dj, pianist, classical performer, visual artist and producer.

  24. Olly Wilson ...
    Olly Wilson is a prominent American composer of contemporary classical music, pianist, double bassist, and musicologist. He is one of the preeminent living composers of African American descent.

  25. Pamela Z ...
    Pamela Z is an American composer, performer, and audio artist who works primarily with her voice and live electronic processing.

  26. Regina Carter ...
    Regina Carter invites us to a world of hypnotically beautiful African folk melodies. Lauded as one of the finest violinists of her generation.

  27. Scott Hayden ...
    Scott Hayden was an African-American composer of ragtime music.

  28. Scott Joplin ...
    Scott Joplin was an American composer and pianist. He achieved fame for his unique ragtime compositions, and was dubbed the "King of Ragtime."

  29. Ulysses Kay ...
    Ulysses Kay was an African-American composer. His music is mostly neoclassical in style.

  30. Undine Smith Moore ...
    Undine Smith Moore was a notable and prolific female African-American composers of the 20th century. She began studying piano at age seven, and at the age of 20 became the first graduate of Fisk University to receive a scholarship to Juilliard.

  31. William Grant Still ...
    William Grant Still was an African-American classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions, and was the first African-American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra.

  32. Will Marion Cook ...
    Will Marion Cook was a composer and violinist from the United States. Cook was a student of Antonín Dvorák and performed for King George V among others.

  33. Zenobia Powell Perry ...
    Zenobia Powell Perry was an American Composer born in Boley, Oklahoma who spent much of her life in Dayton, Ohio. She attended and taught in a number of historically black colleges and universities.

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