February was preoccupied with organizing three projects to be completed this year or early next. First and foremost is Songs of Slavery and Emancipation. As many of you reading this know, we are at a critical phase, moving from research and compilation of the repertoire to the organization of musicians, arrangements and recording of the music. This involves forming new relations with different institutions and individuals. I will be traveling to Berea, Kentucky at the end of March to meet the director of the music department of Berea College. We hope to formulate plans to record most of the music at Berea. I’ll have more to report upon my return in April.
The second big project is the recording of Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People. After a year performing a repertoire of 20 songs, Yvonne and I decided we needed to have a recording to share with people. Already many of our performances are on YouTube and that’s fine. But they are not all the songs, together in one place. We hope to get this accomplished by the end of May.
Finally, we’re working together with producer Greg Landau to make a recording of my own compositions which have been neglected, over the last few years, due to work on Songs of Freedom, Songs of Slavery and Emancipation and Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People. Late last year, Yvonne and I made home recordings of some of the tunes and sent them to Greg for his appraisal. Greg had the inspired idea to do the recording in Cuba with musicians he’s worked with before. This will be an international effort involving US, Swiss and Cuban musicians. It will furthermore be internationalist in its perspective, calling for solidarity among the world’s people in the fight against oppression and exploitation.
More news will be forthcoming shortly.