Music

and

Justice

Performances, Conversations, and Conference
February 26–28, 2023

"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 launches Feb. 26-28, 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 takes place on Feb. 26 at UCLA’s iconic Royce Hall. For the first time ever, Brubeck’s sons will perform as the accompanying jazz trio. Preceding is 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 takes place on Feb. 28 at Holman United Methodist Church.

On Feb. 27, a daylong public conference features 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

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Performers, Speakers and Composers

Dwight Andrews
Professor of Music Theory & African American Music at Emory University
Alexander Lloyd Blake
Conductor, composer, singer, and founding artistic director of Tonality
Larry Blumenfeld
Journalist, critic, blogger, editor, lecturer, producer, and curator
Chris Brubeck
Grammy-nominated composer and performer
Dan Brubeck
Renowned jazz drummer
Darius Brubeck
American jazz pianist, composer, author, and retired university professor
India Carney
Singer, songwriter, vocal arranger, vocal coach, actress, and UCLA alumna
Gerald Cohen
Composer of chamber music, choral music, opera, and liturgical music
Hasia Diner
Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at NYU
Charles Hersch
Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Cleveland State University
Jared Jenkins
Musician and composer
Kelsey Klotz
Lecturer, Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of Dave Brubeck and the Performance of Whiteness
Arturo O'Farrill
Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and professor of global jazz studies and music at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Azi Schwartz
Senior Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue
Nick Strimple
Composer, conductor, scholar, and author
Neal Stulberg
Director of orchestra studies and conducting at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Joel Thompson
Composer, conductor, pianist, and educator
Tonality
Award-winning vocal ensemble noted for its adventurous, socially conscious programming, led by Alexander Lloyd Blake
Diane White-Clayton
Vocalist, pianist, composer, conductor and director of the African American Music Ensemble at UCLA

Day One: Concert and Talk

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023

Schoenberg Hall and Royce Hall at UCLA
(livestream available)

2:30 p.m. Pre-concert discussion, schoenberg hall

With composer, teacher, and musician Darius Brubeck and Wall Street Journal music critic and culture reporter Larry Blumenfeld. 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 Arturo O’Farrill, Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and professor of global jazz studies and music at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

4:00 p.m: Concert, royce hall
Part one:

World premiere of Arturo O’Farrill‘s Still Waiting... 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 Riders by Diane White-Clayton, written for 13 UCLA student singers who symbolize the 1st 1961 group of 13 Freedom Riders

Part two:

Performance of Dave Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice
Cantorial soloist: Azi Schwartz, Senior Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue
Baritone/spiritual vocalist: Phillip Bullock
Jazz Trio:
— Darius Brubeck (piano)
— Chris Brubeck (bass)
— Dan Brubeck (drums)
Choir:
— Tonality
— 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”
3:30 p.m.: “Music and Social Justice Today” panel discussion

Dwight Andrews
Darius Brubeck
Larry Blumenfeld
Arturo O’Farrill
– UCLA students

5:00 p.m.: Reception

 

About the Conference Speakers

Dwight Andrews is a professor of Music Theory & African American Music at Emory University. Andrews is a composer, educator, and minister presently working on a study of Black music and race.

Larry Blumenfeld is a culture reporter and music critic at the Wall Street Journal. For 25 years, Blumenfeld has worked as a journalist, critic, blogger, editor, lecturer, producer, and curator with special expertise in jazz, Afro-Latin, and world music, with a particular focus on New Orleans and Cuba as well as the connections between culture and social justice. His writing has won him multiple accolades and support from the Open Society Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, and others.

Hasia Diner is the Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at NYU. Diner is a leading scholar of American Jewish history, American immigration history, and women’s history. She is the author of many books including In the Almost Promised Land: American Jews and Blacks 1915-1935.

Charles Hersch is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Cleveland State University who has written widely about music, art, politics, and race through three books: Jews and Jazz: Improvising Ethnicity (2017), Subversive Sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans (2007), and Democratic Artworks: Politics and the Arts from Trilling to Dylan (1998).

Kelsey Klotz is a lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has a Ph.D. in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis. Her book Dave Brubeck and the Performance of Whiteness will be published by Oxford University Press in January 2023.

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.

Presented by

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