Rhiannon Giddens and Friends Rediscover the Incredible Black Composer

Redefining American Music
Rhiannon Giddens and Friends Rediscover the Incredible Black Composer

Keith Lockhart, conductor
Darius de Haas, special guest
Lara Downes, special guest

Friday, May 24, 8pm

Saturday, May 25, 8pm

Darius de Haas chats with Brian Bell about the music he is performing as part of his Pops debut, May 24 & 25, 2019.


Rhiannon Giddens curates this dynamic concert to rediscover the great Black composers who have been hiding in plain sight in every genre of music. Explore Samuel Coleridge- Taylor whose choral music once rivaled Handel’s Messiah to Billy Strayhorn, the genius behind Duke Ellington who wrote “Take the A-Train” and “Day Dream,” and Eubie Blake, composer of the groundbreaking Broadway musical Shuffle Along. We’ll also remember the ladies with Florence Price, the first black woman to have her symphony performed by a major orchestra, and Hazel Scott, the jazz and piano prodigy who became a Hollywood, Broadway and television star. Rhiannon will be joined by collaborators vocalist Darius de Haas (Broadway’s Shuffle Along) and pianist Lara Downes, whose playing has been described as “luscious, moody and dreamy” by the New York Times

“The Pops’ ability to balance a Broadway icon against a woman who has been to outer space, bouncing between Strauss and Williams and “Send in the Clowns” over a two-hour concert should be applauded. (Certainly a season that finds space for travel guru Rick Steves to lead a tour of European classical music, “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. to sing a night of Nat King Cole and polymath Rhiannon Giddens to present four nights of African-American composers and lost music should be cheered.)” – Boston Herald