J’Nai Bridges Delivers Operatic Retelling Of Tulsa Massacre

In honor of Juneteenth this past weekend, composer Dr. Aldophus Hailstork premiered Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust: Tulsa 1921 – 2021. The digitally streamed event, which took place Saturday, was an operatic retelling of the Tulsa Massacre.

The memorable concert was presented by The Harlem Chamber Players, an organization that has set out to “amplify” diverse voices in classical music, in partnership with The Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR, Harlem Stage, and the Harlem School of the Arts.

 “Our wish for this program is to use music to confront our painful past that has been buried from us for too long,” said Liz Player, founder of The Harlem Chamber Players in a press release obtained by EBONY. “These brilliant works by Black composers—underrepresented in the classical music canon—tell a story of endurance and resilience, and we hope it helps people to move forward and heal.”

Performances included that of mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, violinist Jessica (Lady Jess) McJunkins, harpist Ashley Jackson, and conductor Amadi Azikiwe.

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“The intersection of art and social justice is at the very foundation of Harlem Stage,” said Pat Cruz, Harlem Stage Artistic Director and CEO. “We are so pleased to partner on this critical work that shines a light on truth and injustice, and showcases the immense, diverse talent of artists of color.”

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To learn more about The Harlem Chambers Players and future events, click here.

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