Arts Blog

Recommended Recordings for Black History Month

All Classical Portland celebrates Black History Month during the month of February, featuring some of the best recordings of composers of African origin (American, and around the world). Here are some recommended recordings of music by black composers, musicians, and conductors. If you purchase any of the music below using the links we have provided, All Classical’s programming receives a small portion from the sales. Happy listening!

But Not Forgotten – Clarinet Music by African American Composers / Marcus Eley, clarinet, Lucerne DeSa, piano – includes music by Dorothy Rudd Moore, Alvin Batiste, Clarence Cameron White, Undine Smith Moore, and more.

Violin Concertos By Black Composers / Barton, Hege, Encore Chamber Orchestra – includes music by Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Joseph White, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Chevalier De Meude-Monpas.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Chamber Music / Kelly Burke, clarinet, John Fadial, violin – includes Coleridge-Taylor’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in F Sharp minor, African Dances for Violin and Piano, and Nonet in F minor.

American Classics – Edmond Dédé / Richard Rosenberg, Hot Springs Music Festival Symphony Orchestra – includes Edmond Dédé’s ChicagoMerliton fin de siècleRêverie champêtre, and more.

Ellington: Black, Brown & Beige / Jo Ann Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic – Includes Ellington’s  Black, Brown and Beige Suite, Harlem, Three Black Kings, and more.

Hailstork: An American Port Of Call / JoAnn Falletta, Virginia Symphony – Includes Hailstork’s Symphony No. 1, Launch Out On Endless Seas, Fanfare on “Amazing Grace,” and more.

Joplin: The Complete Rags, Waltzes & Marches / William Appling, piano – An extensive of Joplins ragtime pieces, including Sugar Cane, The Cascades, Bink’s Waltz, and more.

Still: Summerland / Susan Dewitt Smith, piano, Alexa Still, flute / New Zealand Quartet Includes William Grant Stills’s  Prelude for Flute, String Quintet and Piano, Pastorela, Folk Suite No. 1, and more. (Note from John Pitman: Susan Dewitt Smith is from Portland, and has been featured on our Thursdays @ Three program!)

Still: La Guiablesse, Danzas Da Panama / Jackson, Still, Berlin Symphoniker – Includes three of John Pitman’s favorites:  Danzas de Panama, Summerland and Quit Dat Fool’nish.

Samuel Coleridge Taylor, and Fela Sowande / Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman, cond. – features Fela Sowande’s beautiful African Suite for Strings.

American Classics – Dreamer – A Portrait Of Langston Hughes / W.G. Still, Margaret Bonds – Includes Bonds’s The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene: Lonely House, and more.

Imani Winds – Includes pieces by Jeff Scott, Ravel, Piazzolla, Mongo Santamaria, and Umoja, a piece by Imani Wind’s flutist Valerie Coleman. (Note from John Pitman: One of their first recordings, and still of favorite here at All Classical Portland.)

George Walker:  Lyric for Strings / Paul Freeman, Chicago Sinfonietta – Includes pieces by composers Ulysses S. Kay, George Walker, Roque Cordero, Adolphus Hailstork, and more.

Florence Beatrice Price:  Dances in the Canebrakes / Althea Waites, piano – Includes pieces by William Grant Still, Margaret Bonds, Ed Bland, and Florence Beatrice Price.

Obo Addy: Our Beginning / Kronos Quartet – includes pieces by Dumisani Maraire, Hassan Hakmoun, Foday Musa Suso, Lawrence JKS Tamusuza, Obo Addy, and more. (Note from John Pitman: Obo Addy taught music at Lewis & Clark College prior to his death in 2012.)

Do you have any other favorite classical music recordings by black composers or musicians? Email us at to let us know!

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Intern: Winter 2018


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