This concert title, SWEET EXPRESSIONS, is taken from a Spiritual Hymn “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” written by Doris Mae Akers (May 21, 1923 – July 26, 1995).
“Akers was a biracial African-American gospel music composer, arranger and singer who is considered to be “one of the most underrated gospel composers of the 20th century [who] wrote more than 500 songs. Known for her work with the Sky Pilot Choir, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001.” — Wikipedia
“Folk music is a living art form that tells and retells its history, even as it creates it. As with any vital art form, there are passionate debates. The very term folk song is contentious. Blues musician Big Bill Broonzy, upon being asked “What is folk music?” is purported to have answered, “All music is folk music…,” a comment that unleashed a decades-long feud among musicologists about the origins and definition of folk music.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the music lives on, enriching our lives. […] We know that […] folk music originated in the oud strummers of the Middle East; the lute pickers of Europe; the balladeers and bawdy pub singers of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany; the fiddle bowers of eastern Europe; the n’goni pluckers of Africa; the chants, plaints, calls, and hollers that came from everywhere to the New World, bringing lyrics, melodies, marches, and polyrhythms that invented and expanded [..] musical horizon forevermore. […] the music ignored boundaries and slipped in and out of parochial communities, creating something bigger than the sum of its parts […]” — Ellen Harper
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