PULLMAN, Wash. — Beginning in February, Northwest Public Radio and the Classical Music Service of NWPR will broadcast a series of programs commemorating Black History Month.
A four-part series of concert specials, “Beyond Category: African-American Artists in the Concert Hall,” will be performance-centered, concert-hall presentations of significant African-American artists’ most ambitious works. Each special will be aired on Mondays 8-10 p.m. and are hosted by NWPR’s Korva Coleman.
Â· Feb. 4: Duke Ellington and the Harlem Renaissance
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs some of Ellington’s greatest symphonic works for the concert hall, including “Harlem,” “The River” and “Les Trois Rois Noir (Three Black Kings).” The program also features works by other composers from the Harlem Renaissance influenced by Ellington.
Â· Feb. 11: Wynton Marsalis: All Rise
This concert features Marsalis’ first major work for symphony orchestra, the follow-up to his Pulitzer prize-winning “Blood on the Fields.” The concert, recorded in Prague, features the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Morgan State University Choir.
Â· Feb. 18: Harry Belafonte: The Long Road to Freedom
In the early 1960s, Belafonte began a project to document the entire musical history of the African Diaspora in America. The result, 30 years in the making, is “The Long Road to Freedom.” In this program, Belafonte introduces both the remarkable music and the behind-the-scenes story of its creation.
Â· Feb. 25: Bobby McFerrin: Witness 2002
The multi-talented McFerrin showcases his composing, conducting and vocal skills with the acclaimed annual “Witness” concerts. “Witness 2002” is a panoramic survey of works from, and inspired by, African-American writers and composers. The program covers everything from a new arrangement of the overture to Will Marion Cook’s 1902 Broadway hit “In Dahomey,” to world-premieres of works by McFerrin and classical artist Patrice Rushen.
NWPR and the Classical Music Service of NWPR also will feature several historical documentaries on Fridays at 7 p.m. They include:
Â· Feb. 8: Radio Fights Jim Crow
Before Rosa Parks’ historic refusal to give up her bus seat and before the famous freedom marches, African-Americans fought racial discrimination through the medium of radio. Recognizing the power of the airwaves, black journalists, educators, artists and activists created radio programs challenging the stereotypes projected in popular shows of the time.
Â· Feb. 15: Remembering Jim Crow
Correspondent Stephen Smith examines the neglected “middle years” of America’s segregation story, through the voices of people both black and white that lived through it. Remembering Jim Crow draws on new, original fieldwork by Duke University’s “Behind the Veil” oral history project.
Â· Feb. 22: Democracy’s Denial: Revolutions in Wilmington
This program chronicles pivotal events in Wilmington, N.C., history. It artfully frames the Wilmington story in economic, political and social/sexual terms. The program also examines contemporary Wilmington’s efforts to address its history through public forums and partnerships, and raises questions about the continuing impact its past has on modern-day race relations.
NPR is a non-profit news and cultural radio programming service with 600 stations nationwide. It serves a weekly audience of nearly 15 million listeners nationwide. NWPR is a service of Washington State University.
For more information, contact Roger Johnson, NWPR station manager, at (509) 335-6551.