Lift Every Voice Recording Celebrates Black History Month and Carnegie Hall's Honor! Festival


As Black History Month 2009 is being celebrated Sony Classical releases Lift Every Voice - Honoring The African American Musical Legacy, a newly compiled two-CD anthology of seminal performances of more than 60 years of recordings drawn from a variety of musical genres, including classical, gospel, Spirituals, contemporary pop, blues, jazz and more. With such artists as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Luther Vandross, Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle, Lift Every Voice represents the breadth and depth of the black musical experience in America. The collection will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, February 17.

This significant new musical retrospective, the second of an ongoing Carnegie Hall Presents/Sony Masterworks series of recordings, features historic live performances and studio recordings from a cavalcade of great African American artists, each of whom has performed at Carnegie Hall: Marian Anderson, Harry Belafonte, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Nancy Wilson, Wynton Marsalis and Bill Withers.

Lift Every Voice is being released in conjunction with the Carnegie Hall's Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy, a New York City-wide festival, curated by Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessye Norman and featuring more than 20 events celebrating African American culture with a wide array of performances, panel discussions, and events at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater and other New York City locations.

Honor! is scheduled to run from Wednesday, March 4 through Monday, March 23, 2009. For more information on the Honor! festival, please visit:

Throughout its history, Carnegie Hall has established a reputation for presenting some of the greatest African American artists. In June 1892, a year after opening its doors, Carnegie Hall presented soprano Sissieretta Jones, the first in a long unprecedented run of groundbreaking events including Marian Anderson's 1928 debut, John Hammond's fabled "From Spirituals to Swing" concerts in 1938 and 1939 introducing blues, jazz and boogie woogie to the mainstream, as well as early watershed performances by W.C. Handy and Fats Waller (1928), Benny Goodman's integrated orchestra (1938), Miles Davis' "Birth of the Cool" (1949), John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk (1957) and much more. Significant African American artists appearing at Carnegie Hall in the last decade have included Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige, Mos Def and many others.

Lift Every Voice resonates with the same the profound vitality, diversity and influence of Carnegie Hall's commitment to African American music and artists and includes the following performances:

  Disc 1
  1. Matilda - Harry Belafonte (recorded in 1955)
  2. Ol' Man River - Paul Robeson Jr. (from "Show Boat," recorded
  3. On Children - Sweet Honey In The Rock
  4. I  Will Move On Up A Little Higher-Mahalia Jackson (recorded
  5. So What - Miles Davis (recorded 5/17/1958)
  6. Let The Bright Seraphim from Handel's Samson, HWV 57-Kathleen
     Battle/Wynton Marsalis/Orchestra of St. Luke's (recorded 09/28/1990)
  7. Du Bist Die Ruh, Op. 59, No. 3 - Roland Hayes (Composer Franz Schubert)
  8. Bach's Erbarme dich from St. Matthew Passion-Marian Anderson (recorded
  9. Un bel di from Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly-Leontyne Price
     (recorded 7/10-20/1962
  10. Die Nachtigall from Alban Berg's Sieben fruhe Lieder-Jessye Norman,
      London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Pierre Boulez (recorded
      07/21/1987 and 09/09/1988

  Disc 2
  1. A House Is Not A Home - Luther Vandross (recorded 01/01/1981)
  2. Night In Tunisia - Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra (recorded
  3. Come Sunday - Part IV - Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson (recorded
  4. Come Home - Andrae Crouch (recorded 2005)
  5. Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers (recorded 01/01/1971)
  6. A-Tisket A-Tasket (Live) - Ella Fitzgerald (recorded 07/05/1973,
     Carnegie Hall)
  7. 99 Miles From L.A. - Johnny Mathis (recorded 06/16/1975)
  8. Guess Who I Saw Today - Nancy Wilson (recorded 01/01/1960)
  9. Soulville - Aretha Franklin (recorded 02/08/1964)
  10. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free - Nina Simone (recorded

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