Photo by Phil Farnsworth
The list of fierce females whose music will be featured includes gospel great Mahalia Jackson; opera virtuoso Leontyne Price; jazz pianist/ composer/arranger Mary Lou Williams, whose career spanned seven decades; Ella Fitzgerald; “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin; Gladys Knight; and neo-soul vocalist Jill Scott. The line-up is a veritable who’s who of women in music that begins to scratch the surface of how their breadth of work and talent testify that Black Music Matters. Arias will float in the air, toes will be tap on the floor, and fingers will pop with the swing of the sounds.
Aficionados of music with soul will not be disappointed by the delivery from the faculty, staff, and students lined-up for the evening. Those scheduled to perform include black women musicians such as alumna and percussion professor Terri Lyne Carrington, who received a full scholarship to Berklee at age 11, spent seven years on tour with Herbie Hancock, and was nominated for a Grammy Award; associate voice professor Gabrielle Goodman, who has worked with Chaka Kahn and Roberta Flack; alumna and current member of Berklee’s Student Affairs Office Renese King, who has performed and recorded numerous times with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; alumna and associate voice professor Diane Richardson, and associate ensemble professor Carolyn Wilkins, who has served as jazz ambassador for the U.S. State Department. The audience will also be able to preview the next pool of young women studying at Berklee, continuing the legacy of black women in music.