Airs Wednesday, February 18, at 9 p.m. Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians.
Hosted by Terrance McKnight, WQXR host and former Morehouse professor of music, I, Too, Sing America will dive into the songs, cantatas, musicals and librettos that flowed from Hughes’ pen. As he did with his poetry, Hughes used music to denounce war, combat segregation and restore human dignity in the face of Jim Crow. His musical adventures included writing lyrics for stage pieces such as Black Nativity and Tambourines to Glory, works that helped give birth to the genre of Gospel Play, as well as songs for radio plays and political campaigns, and the libretto for Kurt Weill’s Street Songs.
Airs Monday, February 16, at 11 p.m. In the late 1960s, when trumpeter Miles Davis was leading his famous Second Quintet, saxophonist Wayne Shorter wrote a series of large ensemble works. They were never recorded, only was performed, and many people never knew they existed. Sometime around the quintet disbanding, Shorter put the scores away.
Airs Monday, February 16, at 10 p.m. Wayne Shorter is one of the icons of modern jazz. This special documentary edition of Perspectives on Jazz looks at his music from the early days with Art Blakey, through his work with Miles Davis and later Weather Report, and down to today.
Airs Monday, February 16 at 9 p.m. In this hour-long special from WQXR and WNYC, host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work--and examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause. Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up listening to and singing church songs, and saw gospel and folk music as natural tools to further the civil rights movement. In this hour-long special from WQXR and WNYC, host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work--and examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause.
Airs Sunday, February 15 at 7 p.m. Many consider W.E.B. Du Bois the most important African American leader in the first half of the twentieth century. A sociologist, historian, author, teacher, activist, and co- founder of the NAACP and its magazine The Crisis, his influence was profound. His ground-breaking book, The Souls of Black Folk, has been called the foundational text of African American studies. On this program, Pulitzer prize winner David Levering Lewis tells us about W.E.B. Du Bois’s early life and the years that led up to the publication of The Souls of Black Folk; Marlon B. Ross explores some of the social and political factors that Du Bois responded to in the book; and Sheryl Townsend Gilkes discusses the book’s continuing influence.