Black History Month

It feels strange calling Robert Glasper’s R+R=NOW a “supergroup” because every group Glasper leads seems worthy of that appellation. Yet, there is something particularly relevant right now about this one, which was named out of Glasper’s desire for the group’s music to be both an accurate reflection of the times and an effective and immediate response to them.

PIERRE MICHEL JEAN/AFP via Getty Images

Perhaps not since Leonard Bernstein has there been a musical polymath quite like Terence Blanchard.

February 22, 2021. BRUITS, a new album by the trailblazing woodwind quintet Imani Winds, tackles issues of race and social justice with three contemporary works by Reena Esmail, Frederic Rzewski, and Vijay Iyer, composer of the title work. 

Max Barrett

A visionary with seemingly boundless energy, pianist Lara Downes is clearing new paths in the classical music landscape, expanding minds and spurring social change.

February 15, 2021. As WRTI celebrates Black History Month, we feature the latest release from pianist William Chapman Nyaho. Born in Ghana, Nyaho compiled and edited five invaluable volumes for Oxford University Press called Piano Music of the African Diaspora. Our Classical Album of the Week is an aural companion to the first two volumes of the set.

February 15, 2021. As a first-generation American and the daughter of a Rwandan father and Ugandan mother, who was raised mostly in Champaign, Illinois and partly in Zambia, the vocalist Somi has long had to navigate multiple worlds and identities at once.

Peter Checchia

In hard times, we inspire. As musicians, that’s one way that our art serves the world.

February 8, 2021. As we head towards Valentine's Day, we turn to a new recording of a great American love story. The cast album of the Metropolitan Opera's 2019 production of Porgy and Bess, starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles, is up for a 2020 Grammy and is our Classical Album of the Week.

February 8, 2021. Trombonist Clifton Anderson calls his fourth and latest album as a leader Been Down This Road Before. At this moment in history, it’s a provocative title. But even more evocative—of promises broken, of dreams deferred, of spiritual exhaustion, and a vacancy of trust borne from generations of structural inequities and disparities of opportunity that persist to this day.

Getty Images/BojanMirkovic

Throughout the month of February, join us for a special classical and jazz celebration of Black History Month on WRTI.

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