In wide-ranging and revelatory projects that explore Black American music from a diversity of perspectives, Damien Sneed’s special talent lies in his ability to synthesize many stylistic influences into a compelling and deeply satisfying whole.
A recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Sneed has recently created a concert to celebrate the artistry of Aretha Franklin; penned a musical about Nat King Cole; and composed a chamber opera about the life of Marian Anderson. Cal Performances audiences were first introduced to Sneed’s artistry in the 2019–20 season, when he presented the stirring tribute We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Now, the musician, conductor, arranger, and producer visits with Joy to the World, a Christmas concert that takes the listener through Sneed’s original arrangements of beloved traditional, gospel, jazz, and classical repertoire. Sneed is joined by a stellar cast of eight singers and musicians performing holiday classics such as “Silent Night,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Joy to the World,” excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, and more.
“Sneed has given himself few musical barriers during a career of deep-dive musical exploration” (The Calgary Herald).
The run time for this performance is approximately 95 minutes, without intermission.