Friday Music Series Spring 2021

Leah Claiborne, piano

Dr. Leah Claiborne, Assistant Professor of Music at the University of the District of Columbia, curated for Black History Month this previously recorded program featuring selections from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s 24 Negro Melodies for piano, including “I’m Troubled in Mind,” “No more Auction Block for Me,” “Going Up,” “Steal Away,” “Wade in the Water,” and “The Angels Changed my Names.” The video shown for the February 5 class session also includes the participation of Prof. George Shirley, Joseph Edgar Maddey Distinguished Professor of Voice at the University of Michigan.

Pablo Fagundes, harmonica

This video presented to class on February 12, “Som lá em Casa nas Embaixadas” or Music at Home in the Embassies, is part of a series of pandemic concerts produced by harmonica player Pablo Fagundes in the foreign embassies of Brazil’s capital, Brasília. Each socially distanced performance features music from the country of the embassy in question, in combination with the virtuosic instrumental approach to choro and Brazilian jazz for which Brasília is widely celebrated. In this performance, Fagundes’s quartet plays music of Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, as well as music associated with Belgium. This includes compositions written and performed by the great Belgian harmonica player Toots Thielemans, and the Belgian-born Roma guitarist Django Reinhardt. The selections are interspersed with a conversation conducted in Portuguese between Fagundes and Belgian Ambassador to Brazil, Patrick Herman. The conversation touches on the shared cultural affinities of the two nations. 

The quartet includes Pablo Fagundes, harmonica; Hamilton Pinheiro, bass; Pedro Almeida, drums; and Misael Silvestre, keyboards. The performance begins around the 4:12 mark.

Paul Bratcher Trio

Jazz pianist and GU Music Program Prof. Paul Bratcher, director of the GU Jazz Ensemble, played the music of civil rights for the February 19 class with Eric Harper, bass and Mark Hunsberger, drums. Program includes “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” (Spiritual), “Only Time Will Tell” by Paul Bratcher, “Seven Steps to Heaven” by Miles Davis, “I Have A Dream” by Herbie Hancock, and “Wade in the Water” (Spiritual).

Andrew Finn-MacGill

Multi-genre award-winning fiddler, composer, and producer Andrew Finn Magill has been featured on NPR, MTV, and has over a million streams on Spotify. He is a 2009 Fulbright Fellow, 2019 North Carolina Arts Council Fellow for jazz composition and was signed to Ropeadope Records in 2018 for his Brazilian fusion project “Canta, Violino!” This video was presented for class February 26, and includes a Bossa Nova Medley of “Triste,” “Wave,” and “Girl from Ipanema” by Antonio (Tom) Carlos Jobim; a Maxixes Medley of “Graúna” by João Pernambuco and “Tempo de Criança” by Dilermando Reis; French musette/Brazilian choro: “L’Indifference,” a French melody that comes from the gypsy jazz genre (manouche jazz) forged by Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt; and a Brazilian Samba medley of “Timoneiro” by Paulinho da Viola, “Folhas Secas” by Nelson Cavaquinho, and “Aquarela do Brasil” by Ary Barroso.

EducarteBrazil Meets Ireland

Forró, frevo, reels, jigs, and the button accordion. Exploring connections between the popular music and dances of Brazil and Ireland, this video for the March 12 “Live Music in the Context of a Pandemic” featured ethnomusicologist Paddy League, Ph.D., ethnochoreologist Kate Spanos, Ph.D., and accordion master musician Rob Curto.

Modern Musick

The early music ensemble Modern Musick has been in residence at Georgetown University’s Music Program since 2012. Presented on March 19, this program with with Risa Browder, violin; John Moran, cello; and Dongsok Shin, harpsichord; includes Bach’s Sonata in G (BWV 1027/1039); Marais’s Sonnerie de Sainte-Geneviève du Mont de Paris; Corelli’s Violin Sonata, op. 5, no. 3; and Bach’s Sonata in G for violin & BC (BWV 1021).

Oh, He Dead

The acclaimed DC-based indie soul band Oh, He Dead’s lead singer C.J. Johnson and vocalist/guitarist Andy Valenti presented this concert from Valenti’s house in NE DC for April 9 class.

Claudia Chudacoff, violin
Kathryn Brake, piano 

Violinist Claudia Chudacoff serves as concertmaster of both the National Gallery Orchestra and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, and in 2015 retired from her position as concertmaster of the U.S. Marine Band’s White House Chamber Orchestra, in which she served during four Presidential administrations. Characterized as a “compelling and imaginative performer” by The Washington Post, pianist Kathryn Brake has performed as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestras.

Their April 16 program featured “Blumenstucke Op. 19 for piano solo” by Robert Schumann; “Prelude for piano solo” by Kaija Sariaaho; “Rhapsody no. 1. for violin solo” by Jessie Montgomery; “Secret and Glass Gardens for piano solo” by Jennifer Higdon; and “Sonata in A Major, Op. 100 for violin and piano” by Johannes Brahms.

Past Performances