A multi-night concert featuring black classical musicians and composers is underway in Sacramento. It’s called the Music Color Festival, and it features performances by some black classical musicians in the United States.
Seven performances will be held at three venues: The Geld Theater in Oak Park, the Sacramento Memorial Hall and the Mondavi Center at UC Davis.
A.D. Beginning in 2013, the festival brought together classical black musicians and performed songs from African-born composers. According to Lee Pingle, founder and artistic director of the festival, on CapRadio’s Insight, the goal is to create a better understanding of the contribution of black artists to classical music.
“Classical music is the ultimate source of water for our African ancestry, not only to show how long we have been and to be proactive, but also to show that we are artists,” he said.
Pringle spoke with Insight host Vicki Gonzalez about the festival and why it is important to perform in the Sacramento Oak Park.
Some shows have already been sold. You can find more information at colourofmusic.org.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
To the Oak Park neighborhood and especially to the Oak Park Guild Theater
In early 2020, former City Councilor Larry Carr, former Councilor Alan Warren, and now Rick Jennings were in charge. But, of course, the global epidemic has started, and we had to push it back, so that’s how we got it. over here. The three members of the Black Council at the time wanted this to be part of the city’s unique cultural fiber, and we are thrilled to be here and to be on your show.
I say this – I am honored to be in Oak Park because there is so much history out there. And, as you know, our history in the United States was one of the first suburbs for a growing area. And as a result, as black people became more accessible in certain societies, the evolution of that society changed.
[Oak Park] It was known as the Black Enclave, but it has changed like any other community in the United States. So, being in the Oak Theater and being identified as such, I want our mission to be successful and this is serving communities or communities that are not serving, you know, they see it as a current situation, not a current situation.
Although Oak Park is now very modern and fully developed, I think it is the right place to go.
How black musicians are affected by injustice in the world of performance
So, I would say that all musicians have to deal with many similar issues to make sure they can pay their rent. So when we engage musicians, we give them jokes that we have found elsewhere and respect them. And by all means, you know, get paid there on time because musicians allow our civilization to live without music and art. Amazingly, we will have a miserable existence.
So I admire their talents and the fact that African-American and black musicians are only partially affected by the socio-economic issues of our society. We are affected by such things as a global epidemic. So all the musicians are dealing with these issues.
The black community in particular has been affected in many other ways. And this is a great opportunity for people to do their crafts and they can make the artist feel at the same time.
On the literary show that is part of the festival
Shirley Verret was the iconic Soprano, with a great voice and professionalism. And she really was from this area.
So, when we were invited to come here, I wanted to highlight and use as many West Coast artists as possible. A friend of mine, Dr. Christopher Brooks, of Virginia Commonwealth University in the East Coast, wrote her biography while she was still alive.
So he was invited to give a presentation at the Oak Park Theater, and he would sign a book on underground books. But Shirley Verret was a wonderful person. She retired before she died at a very young age and taught at the University of Michigan and was such an incredibly beautiful person around her.