Celebrating Black Culture
Saturday, March 20, 7:30pm
Celebrating Black Culture
For the safety of our musicians and patrons, this concert will be presented virtually.
Tickets are $20 per household. All ticketed patrons will receive an email on the day of the concert containing instructions and a private link for access on YouTube. The concert will premiere at 7:30pm but you can watch the concert any time after the premiere (and as many times as) you like for 30 days. We recommend linking your phone, tablet, or computer to your TV to enjoy the full visual-audio quality of the performance!
Concert Release Date:
Saturday, March 20, 7:30pm
Jessie Montgomery: Banner
Florence Price: Andante Cantabile
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson: Grass: Poem for Piano, Strings and Percussion
Adolphus Hailstork: Sonata da Chiesa
The NBSO is proud to collaborate with the New Bedford Historical Society to present Celebrating Black Culture on March 20th. The New Bedford Historical Society is dedicated to documenting and celebrating the history, legacy and presence of African Americans, Cape Verdeans, Native Americans, West Indians and other people of color in New Bedford. In the week leading up to the concert and at the concert itself, the NBSO and the NBHS will present interviews, videos, and other materials on New Bedford’s role in the Underground Railroad, the abolition movement, Frederick Douglass’ rise to prominence, and the Historical Society’s exciting Abolition Row Park project.
The concert program features four generations of leading African American composers, opening with Jessie Montgomery’s brilliant rendition of the national anthem interwoven with Lift Every Voice and Sing – often called the Black national anthem.
Florence Price’s Andante Cantabile is derived from the second movement of her string quartet, performed here in a version for string orchestra. A woman of color living in the Jim Crow era, Price was not only a great composer but also a symbol of perseverance against severe discrimination. She summed it up in a 1943 letter to Boston Symphony Music Director Serge Koussevitzky: “Unfortunately the work of a woman composer is preconceived by many to be light, froth, lacking in depth, logic and virility. Add to that the incident of race – I have Colored blood in my veins – and you will understand some of the difficulties that confront one in such a position.”
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s Grass is an anti-war work for piano, strings and percussion. The piece is based on a poem by Carl Sandburg and refers to the grass growing on the tombs of soldiers. Joining us as soloist is pianist Joseph Joubert, who was the first to record the piece and who has received critical acclaim for his “uncommon tonal beauty.”
Adolphus Hailstork’s Sonata da Chiesa (Church Sonata) is a tribute to Baroque music and the composer’s fascination with cathedrals. It moves between exalting rhythms and reflective prayers, symbolizing the different stages of a religious service as well as of human life.
Exclusive Concert Sponsor
Joseph Joubert’s performance is supported by a generous gift from Jane and Neil Pappalardo
Joseph Joubert is a hugely versatile musician whose wide-ranging accomplishments and talent as a pianist, arranger, orchestrator, Broadway conductor, and music director have taken him around the world. Most recently Mr. Joubert has done piano underscore recording and orchestrated for the up-coming movie “Respect” starring Jennifer Hudson. Busy doing virtual recording as well Mr. Joubert was co-producer and did the orchestrations for the “Georgia On My Mind” video that went viral for the Georgia election. Before the pandemic Mr. Joubert worked with Cynthia Erivo as musical director and orchestrator in 3 sold out performances in Tokyo. Next season Mr. Joubert will be musical supervisor for “Blue” at the Apollo directed by Phylicia Rashad starring Lynn Whitfield and Leslie Ugams. Also next year Roundabout Theatre Company is presenting “Caroline, or Change” using orchestrations by Mr. Joubert. He is a founding member of MUSE- musicians united for social equity. Last summer Mr. Joubert was orchestrator with Danny Troob for Alan Menken’s “Hercules” presented by PublicWorks for Disney. Mr. Joubert was music supervisor and orchestrator for Classic Stage Company’s “Carmen Jones” starring Anika Noni Rose to rave reviews. His Broadway orchestration credits include: “The Color Purple”(Drama Desk Nomination), “Disaster”, “Violet”(Drama Desk Nomination), “Leap of Faith”, and “Caroline or Change”. He was Musical Director for Berry Gordy’s “Motown The Musical“ and was assistant conductor for Nice Work If You Can Get It and Billy Elliot. Mr. Joubert was guest conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Christmas Concert featuring Take 6.
Mr. Joubert was Musical Director, Arranger, and Pianist for Norm Lewis’s American Songbook, the PBS Live from Lincoln Center special. Mr. Joubert was orchestrator/musical supervisor and conductor for the PBS special “Three Mo’Tenors” and production of “Three Mo Divas”. Mr. Joubert was an orchestrator for the TV show “Smash” and the film “Night’s In Rodanthe”. He received a grammy nomination for Best Arrangement Acompanying A Vocal for the Broadway Inspirational Voices “Great Joy”.
As a record producer and arranger/orchestrator he has worked with Ashford and Simpson, Diana Ross, George Benson, Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Cissy Houston, Jennifer Holliday, Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross, Norm Lewis and Diane Reeves. His orchestrations are used by symphonies across the USA including The New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia orchestras.
He appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Porgy and Bess as the piano-player Jasbo Brown. Critics have hailed Mr. Joubert’s “sensitive and supportive” performances as an accompanist and the “uncommon tonal beauty” of his playing. He has collaborated with such classical singers as Denyce Graves, Esther Hinds, Harolyn Blackwell, Florence Quivar, Simon Estes, and Hilda Harris, and performed with Kathleen Battle at the White House for President Bill Clinton as well as Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Joubert is at home arranging and performing in any style from classical to pop, gospel to Broadway, spiritual to R & B. He has reinterpreted classic hymns on his solo piano CD Total Praise and most recent solo piano CD A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: The Joubert Experience released by GIA Publications. His published arrangements are performed all over the world. As Musical Director for Judy Collins for five years he performed with the London Symphony and many of the major American orchestras.
Born in New York City, the son of a Baptist minister, he began playing the piano at the age of eight and by age sixteen had made his Town Hall debut with full orchestra. He received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Dora Zaslavsky, and won the nationwide piano competition of the National Association of Negro Musicians in 1980.
Yaniv Dinur, Music Director
Music Director Sponsors:
Andy Kotsatos and Heather Parsons, Susan and Dexter Mead, Marjorie Williams and Michael Tushman
Jesse Holstein, Concertmaster
Milan A. Heath Jr. Memorial Chair
Ethan Wood, Assistant
Dr. Clinton Levin Memorial Chair
EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks, Principal
Geoff and Judy Swett Chair
Anna Griffis, Principal
George Grimshaw Memorial Chair
Leo Eguchi, Principal
Patricia Plum Wylde Chair
John Shiu, Acting Principal
Irene Gudewicz Memorial Chair
Eric Huber, Principal
Evan Glickman, Principal