María Luisa Anido | Photo by La Nacion

Voting is open for our first ever Classical California Ultimate Playlist, and since we know our Open Ears blog series has been one of our most popular features, KUSC arts producer Jeffrey Freymann put together this playlist to inspire your voting. If you think any of these pieces should be on the Classical California Ultimate Playlist click here to vote or let us know in the comments below.

Eva Jessye: Bles’ My Soul An’ Gone

Traditional spiritual edited and arranged by Eva Jessye, who was a teacher, singer, and for decades, acclaimed choral director. She led the “Dixie Jubilee Singers” – later renamed in her honor – the choir in the first production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Julius Eastman: Stay On It

Lincoln Center and members of the ‘activist orchestra’ called The Dream Unfinished posted this performance of a work by Julius Eastman, a gay Black American who crossed boundaries and brought dance and theatrical elements into his work.

Undine Smith Moore: Scenes from the Life of a Martyr

Introductory narration and two movements from the oratorio that Undine Smith Moore wrote in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here it’s conducted by Joseph Young, now Music Director of Berkeley Symphony.

María Luisa Anido: El Misachico

A work named for a religious procession in honor of saints by the Argentine composer and virtuoso guitarist María Luisa Anido, known as ‘The Lady of the Guitar.’

Margaret Bonds: Little David

Spiritual arranged by pianist, composer, and teacher Margaret Bonds. She was the first Black soloist to appear with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, when she was 22, and later would be one of Ned Rorem’s first piano teachers. Known for her tune “Troubled Water,” a piano work based on the spiritual “Wade in the Water.”

Vote Now in the Classical California Ultimate Playlist

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