Performances, Conversations, and Conference
February 26–28, 2023
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"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music presents a series of concerts and dialogue bringing artists and academics together to dive deep into issues of race and social justice in the modern world. The series launched Feb. 26-28, 2023, centered around The Gates of Justice, jazz legend Dave Brubeck’s rarely presented large-scale sacred composition.
A historic performance of The Gates of Justice took place on Feb. 26 at UCLA’s iconic Royce Hall. For the first time ever, Brubeck’s sons performed as the accompanying jazz trio. Preceding was a program of six recent and socially conscious works by contemporary composers, including six-time Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and music educator Arturo O’Farrill. A second performance of the entire program took place on Feb. 28 at Holman United Methodist Church.
On Feb. 27, a daylong public conference featured prominent scholars and experts exploring the historical and cultural connections of Black and Jewish communities in the United States, intimate analyses of Brubeck’s Gates of Justice, and the contemporary relevance of music to social justice.
“When King said, ‘We must live together as brothers,’ people didn’t hear it. Now they damn well hear it.”
— Dave Brubeck
Day One: Concert and Talk
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023
Schoenberg Hall and Royce Hall at UCLA
2:00 p.m. Pre-concert CONVERSATION, schoenberg hall
Prior to the concert performance on Feb. 26 in Royce Hall, join us for a conversation with composer, teacher, and musician Darius Brubeck, Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and professor of global jazz studies and music at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Arturo O’Farrill, and journalist and critic Larry Blumenfeld (Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast, and others). Darius, the oldest son of Dave Brubeck, is an educator who initiated the first Jazz Studies Degree offered by an African university. He currently tours with the London-based Darius Brubeck Quartet. The conversation will be moderated by Wayne Winborne, the executive director of the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Newark.
4:00 p.m: Concert, royce hall
World premiere of Arturo O’Farrill‘s I Dream a World for trio, string quartet, and singer India Carney
Works performed by Tonality, conducted by Alexander Lloyd Blake:
— Emmy Award-winning composer Joel Thompson‘s America Will Be (Langston Hughes, Emma Lazarus)
— Nick Strimple‘s Psalm 133
— Jared Jenkins‘s Democracy (Langston Hughes) featuring India Carney
— Gerald Cohen‘s I felt my legs were praying (Psalm 35, Abraham Joshua Heschel)
World premiere of Dear Freedom Rider by Diane White-Clayton, written for 11 UCLA student singers who symbolize the first 1961 group of Freedom Riders
Performance of Dave Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice
Cantorial soloist: Azi Schwartz, Senior Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue
Baritone/spiritual vocalist: Phillip Bullock
— Darius Brubeck (piano)
— Chris Brubeck (bass)
— Dan Brubeck (drums)
— Members of Los Angeles African-American church and synagogue choirs
— UCLA Chamber Singers
Brass and Percussion: Students of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Conductor: Neal Stulberg, director of orchestra studies and conducting at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Day Two: Conference
Monday, Feb. 27, 2023
UCLA Faculty Center
9:00 a.m: Welcome and First Session
Opening remarks from Professor Anna Spain Bradley, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA
“Historical and Cultural Connections of Jews and Blacks in America”
– Hasia Diner (NYU) “Jews and Blacks in America before World War II”
– Charles Hersch (Cleveland State University) “Jewish and African American Pursuit of Social Justice in Jazz”
– Kelsey Klotz (UNC Charlotte) “The Sounds of Justice: A Musical Understanding of Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice”
11:30 a.m.: Keynote Address
Professor Dwight Andrews of Emory University: “Spirituality in Dave Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice”
2:00 p.m.: DARIUS, CHRIS, and DAN BRUBECK: “Dave Brubeck and Social Justice”
Moderator: Larry Blumenfeld (Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast, and others)
3:30 p.m.: “Music and Social Justice Today” panel discussion
– Darius Brubeck
– Larry Blumenfeld
– Lorenna Garcia, UCLA music performance student
– Susan Nanus, Rabbi, Wilshire Boulevard Temple
– Diane White-Clayton
Moderator: Wayne Winborne, Executive Director Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Newark
5:00 p.m.: Reception
Day Three: Concert
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023
Holman United Methodist Church
7:30 pm: A second performance of the entire concert program above, including The Gates of Justice, will take place at Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles.
We are thrilled to welcome a special addition to our Gates of Justice concert on Feb. 28 at Holman United Methodist Church: Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely, longtime civil rights activist, artist, and early Freedom Rider. As a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), she participated in sit-ins, marches (including the March on Washington in 1963), and voter registration campaigns. She was arrested three times and was visited in jail by Martin Luther King Jr. A longtime member and poet laureate of Holman, Peggy leads a life defined by her heritage, commitment to nonviolent direct activism, and hope for continued change. During our concert program on Feb. 28, Peggy will be performing her original poem “Just Leaving:1961” with musical accompaniment by Diane White-Clayton. Please join us for this extraordinary evening!
Performers, Speakers, and Composers
Chris Brubeck describes how it feels to perform his father's work
Cantor Azi Schwartz speaks about the power of music to heal
Alexander Blake on music and bringing people together
Hugo and Christine Davise Fund for Contemporary Music at the UCLA Music Library
Global Jazz Studies Interdisciplinary Program at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy
With support from the Cantors Assembly and The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History