A New Vision of Black Freedom: The Manning Marable Memorial Conference | April 26-29, 2012

CONVERSATIONS with Imani Uzuri & Matthew D. Morrison

Event Date: 
Friday, February 7, 2014 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: 
754 Schermerhorn Ext, Columbia University

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TOPIC:  "COMPOSING LIVING LEGACIES IN SPIRITUALS, SOUND AND SONG"

A conversation and performance with vocalist, composer and cultural worker Imani Uzuri moderated by Mathew D. Morrison, Ph.D. candidate in Historical Musicology, Columbia University.

Imani Uzuri:

Recently praised in the New York Times for her "gorgeously chesty ruminations", vocalist, composer and cultural worker Imani Uzuri is an eclectic interdisciplinary artist who travels internationally creating concerts, experimental theater, performance art and sound installations in venues/festivals including Joe's Pub,The Kitchen, Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, Performa Biennial, Gnawa Festival Essaouira, and MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). The Village Voice says, “With a voice that would sound equally at home on an opera stage or a disco 12-inch, Imani Uzuri is a constant surprise...seamlessly combining jazz, classical, country and blues motifs into highly personalized compositions.”  She has collaborated across artistic disciplines with a diversity of noted artists including Herbie Hancock, Wangechi Mutu, John Legend, Sanford Biggers, Robert Ashley, and Vijay Iyer. Uzuri's new album, The Gypsy Diaries, draws on her rural Southern roots as well as influences ranging from Sufi devotionals to Romany laments and features sitar, acoustic guitar, cello, violin, Japanese shinobue flute and world percussion. Uzuri is currently composing a new musical GIRL Shakes Lose Her Skin inspired by the works of Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez. In March 2013, Uzuri premiered her first orchestral composition Placeless at Ecstatic Music Festival and was subsequently named by The New Yorker as one of the emerging “female composers edg[ing] forward”. Uzuri recently received her MFA with a special research focus on early American sacred music and has guest lectured on Negro Spirituals at Harvard, Vassar and Columbia.  www.imaniuzuri.com

Matthew D. Morrison:
Matthew D. Morrison, a native of Charlotte, NC, is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Columbia University. Matthew graduated Phi Beta Kappa,magna cum laude as a Presidential scholar from Morehouse College, and he subsequently obtained an M.A. in musicology at The Catholic University of America. In addition to his graduate pursuits, Matthew has served as Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal, Current Musicology, adjunct instructor of Black Music at Vassar College, Faculty Fellow at Columbia University, and as faculty of the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute, housed at Princeton University. Matthew is currently a Mellon Interdisciplinary Fellow at Columbia University, and he is the 2013-2014 recipient of The Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship of the American Musicological Society. His published work has appeared in theJournal of the American Musicological Society and the Grove Dictionary of American Music. Matthew is writing a dissertation titled “Sound in the Construction of Race,” advised by George Lewis. The aim of this dissertation is to consider the implications of positing sound as a major component in both individual and societal racial formation.

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