Black Professional Classical Musicians Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall/|CUNY Graduate Center In NY

The Colour of Music Festival (COMF) announces the addition of a Wednesday, June 15, 7:30 p.m. performance as part of its New York début at Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall at The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.

The performance is free and open to the public and will feature quartet and octet chamber music works by Black classical composers Valerie Coleman, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and an octet by Felix Mendelssohn.

The performance is part of two Colour of Music Festival events, including a program at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on June 17, 2022, celebrating the first anniversary of the historic Federal Juneteenth holiday.

Since 2013, the Charleston, South Carolina–based Colour of Music Festival has brought classically trained Black musicians together to offer the public an opportunity to experience the talent of prodigiously gifted classical principals, composers, and performers of African descent as they share their musical mastery and inspiration and showcase the impact and significance of Black classical composers and performers on American and world culture.

The Colour of Music Festival Elebash Recital Hall performance will feature German-born violinist Anyango Yarbo-Davenport and French violinist Romuald Grimbert-Barré joined by colleagues Michael Jorgensen, James Keene, Alexandria D’Amico, Caleb Georges, Kenneth Law, and Ryan Murphy to form an octet showcasing Felix Mendelssohn’s String Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20 and quartets by two Black composers―Valerie Coleman’s Umoja for String Quartet and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s String Quartet No. I “Calvary.”


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“Thanks to civil rights activist Opal Lee, Juneteenth is now a national holiday and the Festival is honored our first New York performance will celebrate this milestone. Thanks to a generous grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, and in partnership with The CUNY Graduate Center and CUNY TV, we are elated to present this history-making performance in America’s cultural capital. Our home base Charleston, SC, is known for iconic arts festivals itself and we are proud to bring to New York audiences the black classical contributions from a region where 40 percent of all Africans arrived on the North American continent,” said Lee Pringle, COMF Founder, and Artistic Director.

“We are delighted to welcome the Colour of Music Festival to the CUNY Graduate Center and to host its New York début,” said Brian Peterson, Graduate Center senior vice president of administration and finance and dean for academic initiatives and strategic innovation. “The performance features the rich and diverse talents of performers and composers at a time when we need to be intellectually inspired and spiritually lifted. We are proud to embark on this new partnership with the Colour of Music Festival and know that audience members will be raised up by the live performance.”

The Colour of Music Festival

Based in Charleston SC the Colour of Music Festival, Inc. presents a diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical, and 20th-century music at the highest of musical standards to diverse audiences nationally.

The festival has been presented in Atlanta; Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston; Pittsburgh; Richmond, Virginia; Sacramento, CA and Washington, D.C. www.colourofmusic.org

The CUNY Graduate Center

The CUNY Graduate Center is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate.



The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY—the nation’s largest public urban university.

Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, initiatives, and the Advanced Science Research Center, The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.

Free Tickets: In person: Box Office at the CUNY Graduate Center day of performance

Reserve by phone: (888) 512-9835 Online: www.colourofmusic.org. Address: 365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

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