Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration
Jason Moran, producer and piano
Alicia Hall Moran, producer and mezzo-soprano
Tania León, conductor
Donna Jean Murch, narrator, author of Living for the City
Imani Winds, chamber ensemble
St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church Ensemble
Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet
Howard Wiley, saxophone
Thomas Flippin, guitar
Juliette Jones, violin
Allison Loggins-Hull, flute
Curtis Stewart, violin
Harriet Tubman, featuring
Brandon Ross, guitar
Melvin Gibbs, bass
JT Lewis, drums
and ensemble strings
In a series of “gripping portraits of a vast social upheaval” (Chicago Tribune), Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran’s deeply personal presentation Two Wings explores the Great Migration of six million Black Americans from the rural South to northern cities, the West, and beyond.
The husband and wife duo—he a MacArthur Fellow and acclaimed jazz composer and pianist, she a celebrated classical vocalist and composer—trace their family histories through the music that accompanied these brave travelers throughout the 20th century, from Harlem Renaissance-era jazz tunes, gospel hymns, bebop standards, and Broadway show tunes, to classical and chamber music and the Morans’ own compositions. The program even passes through California, where both families put down roots and where Hall Moran was born.
Two Wings also references influential texts by Black authors, historians, and poets. The production, in its West Coast premiere, was recreated especially for Cal Performances audiences, with a star-studded roster of performers, writers, thinkers, and special guests.
An Illuminations “Place and Displacement” event.
Made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and Patron Sponsors Dalia and Lance Nagel.
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