Spending an hour over Zoom chatting with Renée Baker about her more than two thousand musical compositions and perhaps almost as many paintings was inspirational as well as motivational. Renée does not let anything deter her and while her music is extremely wide ranging and gleefully embraces freedom of expression, her daily schedule is precise and meticulous.
“Music is supposed to have meaning,” says Dr. Adolphus Hailstork whose music captures the tribulations and the occasional triumphs of African Americans in this country. Hailstork’s 80th birthday year got off to an impressive start with a performance of his music as part of the Presidential Inauguration ceremony of Joe Biden. Since then there has been a world premiere of a concert aria he composed to commemorate the centenary of the Tulsa Massacre and he awaits the premiere of his recently completed Fourth Symphony.
Susie Ibarra’s collaborative approach has informed her work with jazz, classical, indie rock, and traditional Philippine musicians.
For the past 20 years, Ricky Ian Gordon has been creating works for the stage—operas, musicals, or one-of a-kind music/theater hybrids—and getting them produced one after another, seemingly without a pause. But 14 months ago, everything came to a screeching halt as the world went into lockdown due to the pandemic.
The only thing that is almost as exciting as watching and listening to a multimedia performance by Pamela Z is to hear her talk about it.
Judith Lang Zaimont is defiantly unwilling to be typecast for creating music in a particular style, which makes her music always a welcome surprise.
Kris Bowers creates music that is attuned to whatever project he is working on–whether it’s the score for the 2018 motion picture Green Book, the 2019 EA Sports videogame Madden NFL 20, the 2020 Phyllis Schlafly-inspired Hulu series Mrs. America, or the 2021 Netflix sensation Bridgerton.
Julie Giroux, who creates music primarily for wind band, takes musicians and audiences on a journey that is a real sonic adventure and, at the same time, is always fun.
Valerie Coleman is committed to storytelling through her music, no matter the idiom. “I recognize that there are stories that are yet untold that if they were told, they would transform all those who would hear them. So it’s my job to create music that allows that transformative power to happen.”