Harlem’s St. John The Divine Presents New Book Healing Journeys With The Black Madonna

March 15, 2019

Singer, percussionist, teacher, and Cathedral Artist in Residence Alessandra Belloni presents her new book, Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna, followed by a musical performance.

Building on her years of study and performance, Belloni’s book opens a portal into the mysterious Black Madonna and the figure’s cultural significance in Southern Italy, France, Spain, and Brazil. The book grew out of more than three decades of academic research and fieldwork, which included writing and performing the opera, The Voyage of the Black Madonna, at the Cathedral in 1991.

The concert will feature music from the CD accompanying the book, including healing chants, ritual drumming, and trance dance ceremonies that draw upon the legacy of the Black Madonna. It will include the enchanting journey of discovery of the seven Black Madonnas, following the ancient Neapolitan legend, known as the “Seven Sisters” in Southern Italy. This trip into traditional legends, miracles and history is sure to transport listeners to a time and place where an unbroken and ancient tradition continues today.

The book launch and performance is presented in conjunction with the Harlem Renaissance 100 community celebration and with The Value of Sanctuary: Building a House Without Walls. This multidisciplinary exhibition, on view through June 30, 2019, explores the question of sanctuary through the work of modern and contemporary artists. Throughout the course of the exhibition, visitors will be invited to explore the meaning of sanctuary through many viewpoints, expanding upon the Cathedral’s guiding mission and role as a sacred space, cultural center, and platform for the urgent issues of our times.


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For tickets and more information on the performance, visit this page.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 7:30 pm  ET

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), Harlem, New York


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