Pharoah Sanders, influential jazz saxophonist, dies at 81

Sanders, who launched his career playing alongside John Coltrane in the 1960s, died in Los Angeles early Saturday.

Renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis has died, age 87

The Chicago born and based Lewis was revered in jazz circles for hits like “The In Crowd” and “Hang on Sloopy.” He earned three Grammys and seven gold records.

The Sounds of Chicago in a Festival of Art Song and Vocal Chamber Music

“We’re celebrating the spirit of the city and taking a moment for some musical civic pride!”

Jon Batiste leaves Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show

After winning multiple Grammys this year, Jon Batiste is moving on after a seven-year run backing up host Stephen Colbert as bandleader of “The Late Show”.

US soprano, offended by blackface, pulls out of Italy opera

Soprano Angel Blue will be bowing out of La Traviata because the theater recently mounted another Verdi opera using blackface.

Pianist Stewart Goodyear on the Magic of Music

“Every time I play a piece of music, I train my mind to look at a score fresh.”

Tony Moments: A Night For Broadway to Reclaim Its Groove

Broadway has its groove back, said Tonys host Ariana DeBose at an exuberant ceremony seeking to illustrate just that sentiment.

US artist Leigh recasts colonial imagery at Venice Biennale

Simone Leigh’s 16-foot bronze bust of a Black woman, titled Brick House, presides over the entrance.

Playlist: 11 Black Performers Instrumental to Classical Music

Here are just a few Black performers who changed the course of classical music… and continue to inspire us today!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Art: Music, Dance, Poetry, and more

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. day, we’ve compiled an assortment of multimedia tributes — music, visual arts, poetry, and dance — to the monumental Civil Rights leader.

Emilie Kouatchou Makes ‘Phantom’ History On Broadway

The actor and soprano made her Broadway debut as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera,” becoming the first Black woman in the role in the show’s 33-year history in New York.

Met Opera to Stage Anthony Davis’ ‘X’ on Malcolm X in 2023

The Met says X will open on Nov. 3, 2023, in a staging by Robert O’Hara that will be conducted by Kazem Abdullah. Will Liverman will star in the title role.

Marian Anderson’s vocal artistry honored in new CD bonanza

Marian Anderson broke barriers throughout her career, from her 1939 Easter Sunday performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to her 1955 performance at the Metropolitan Opera.

Opera singer says Paris police detained, strip searched her

Yende, who is Black, flew into the city on Monday where she said she was subjected to “ill-treatment and outrageous racial discrimination and psychological torture and very offensive racial comments.”

6 Chicago Concerts and Celebrations for Juneteenth 2021

Many have their Juneteenth parades and celebrations all ready to go, but if you’re on the hunt for some plans, consider attending one of these six unique events.

Religious leaders, artists honor George Floyd in concert

Religious leaders, musical guests, spoken word artists, and politicians gathered for a concert in Houston, the hometown of George Floyd, to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Wells’ World: Corey Wilkes Melds Chicago Music Past, Present In Documentary Score

“I had to think about the Roaring Twenties and music like Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, and so on, that Ida B. Wells [would have been] hearing.”

Lyric Announces 2021-22 Season With ‘Magic Flute,’ ‘Macbeth,’ Mazzola

A Verdi and bel canto expert, Lyric’s new music director Enrique Mazzola will open the season with Verdi’s Macbeth and Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, while also conducting contemporary opera Proving Up by Missy Mazzoli later in the season.

Recording Registry adds albums by Janet Jackson, Nas

Louis Armstrong’s jazzy “When the Saints Go Marching In” is another of the 25 recordings being inducted to the National Recording Registry.

Watch WFMT’s First ‘Classical Conversation’ With Denyce Graves

Denyce Graves was the perfect guest to launch WFMT’s new digital series! The celebrated mezzo-soprano discusses her career, her relationship with the late Justice Ginsburg, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the opera world.

George Floyd kin joins protest anthem album project

Terrence Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, plays drums on a forthcoming album of protest anthems, fulfilling a dream of his late brother, who once dabbled in music in Houston’s hip-hop scene.

New museum traces history of Black music across genres

A new music museum in Nashville is telling an important and often overlooked story about the roots of American popular music.

Playlist: Celebrating the Blackness and Black Artistry of Gospel Music

Black people have used music and singing to tell the story of hope amid pain, promise amid peril, and immovable faith amid adversity. This playlist celebrates the uniqueness of Black thought and spirituality through the years.

National Museum of African American Music to open next month

News outlets report the National Museum of African American Music will host a socially distanced ribbon cutting on Jan. 18 when it formally opens.

Playlist: Telling the Painful and Hopeful Story of the Black Community (Staff Spotlight)

In the first of our WFMT Staff Spotlight series, we share a playlist from Tim Russell, the Vice President of Community Engagement at WFMT and WTTW.

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