June 26, 2021
Sy Smith: Black Music Heals
Saturday, June 26, 2021
"Black people are more than our collective pain and trauma. And so is Black music. Often though, Black music, when presented historically, is done so through the lens of struggle and suffering; and not often enough through the scope of optimism, hope and joy. And yes, Black music is created from both ends of this continuum - and all things in between. Black music (like many facets of Black culture) IS the rose that grows from concrete. That is to say, its rhythms, melodies, harmonies and riffs can sometimes betray the seemingly impossible circumstances Black people have had to (and continue to) face in America - and the global diaspora. It is with this framing in mind that we present - Black Music Heals - a Celebration of a Cathartic Black Canon. With this presentation, I hope to spark conversations around all of our households about songs that affirm jubilation as another form of revolution.”
Sy Smith is a singer/songwriter/producer/actor originally from the Washington, DC area but now based in Los Angeles. In addition to her own 5-album catalog (including her critically-acclaimed “Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete” lp), her credits include touring with Chris Botti, The Foreign Exchange, Whitney Houston and many more. She was featured in “Sophisticated Ladies: A Celebration of the Iconic Women Of Jazz” at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Massey Hall and other cities. This Emmy-nominated performer also regularly does workshops for music students (most recently for Toledo School for the Arts, Cal State Northridge and USC), firmly continuing in her alma mater’s (Howard University) mission of excellence in truth and service.