Lawrence Brownlee Announces ‘Rising’ Tour

By David Salazar

Lawrence Brownlee has announced “Rising,” a project aimed at commissioning new works by African-American composers.

Per an official press statement, Brownlee has commissioned new works by such composers as Damien Sneed, Brandon Spencer, Jasmine Barnes, Joel Thompson, and Shawn E. Okpebholo. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance inspired their works, including Alice Dunbar Nelson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and James Weldon Johnson.

The program also includes music by Carlos Simon, Margaret Bonds, and Robert Owens, Jeremiah Evans. Brownlee will perform alongside pianist Kevin J. Miller.

“These past years have been a trial, both for humanity as a whole, and the African-American population here in the United States. But through all these many challenges we have faced, I have also seen moments of strength, inspiration, hope, and great beauty,” Brownlee said in the press statement. “It is those themes of uplift, elevation, and rebirth that we have tried to focus on with this new project ‘Rising,’ taking poems from the giants of the Harlem Renaissance, and working with some of today’s most talented African-American composers, to create something that speaks not just to our struggles, but to our triumphs.”

Brownlee will tour “Rising” throughout the U.S. in March and April, appearing in cities such as Boston, Atlanta, Princeton, Wilmington, Ithaca, Muncie, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.