The lecture series continues during Black History Month as Emancipation Park Conservancy teams up with the Society of Performing Arts to host Behind the Curtain with Mr. Damien Sneed, award winning recording artist.
This year, Sneed embarks on a 36-city North American tour, We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was signed into law and made a federal holiday in 1983. Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Damien Sneed’s We Shall Overcome showcases repertoire from across the African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches. Damien will discuss the creative process behind this amazing work.
The production ties together a living lineage of music and culture that includes traditional gospel, modern gospel, classical, jazz, Broadway, and spirituals. From Aretha Franklin to Wynton Marsalis; Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder; Nina Simone to Donny Hathaway; and traditional spirituals and music from “the Wiz,” Damien’s unique understanding of each genre allows him to fluidly cover so much musical ground in a single performance. We can't wait to hear more about what went on Behind the Curtain in this production.
The tour stops through Houston, TX on Sunday, February 9, 2020, and we're excited to have Damien join us at Emancipation Park on February 10th. Tickets for the show can be purchased on the Society of Performing Arts website but RSVP with us for an intimate conversation with Damien about this amazing production!
Special Thanks to our Event Partner
Award Winning Recording Artist
Damien Sneed is a pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, and arts educator whose work spans multiple genres. Sneed has worked with jazz, classical, pop, and R&B legends including the late Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee, and many others. The multi-genre recording artist is a recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which is presented annually to emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music.
Joining Sneed on the We Shall Overcome tour is an ensemble of multi-genre vocalists and instrumentalists including Chenee Campbell (vocalist), Markita Knight (vocalist), Anitra McKinney (vocalist), Alicia Peters-Jordan (vocalist), Annalisha Jacobs (vocalist), Tekesha Russell (vocalist), Linny Smith (vocalist), and Aaron Chisholm (vocalist), along with classical recording artists Patrice Eaton, Audrey DuBois Harris, Brandie Sutton, and Kierra Hogan, who will all appear on select tour dates. The musicians include Mark Clark (drums), John Matthew Clark (bass), and Marquéz Cassidy (organ and keyboard). Sneed recently joined the acclaimed staff of the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) as Music Director and Composer in Residence and serves as cover conductor for HGO mainstage productions under Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director. He has been commissioned to compose new work for Houston Grand Opera which will have its world premiere on March 5, 2020, at the Cullen Theater.
For more information on Damien Sneed, visit www.damiensneed.com.
Chair, Department of Music
Texas Southern University
Jason Oby has performed as a soloist in opera, oratorio, and as a recitalist at venues throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. Some highlights include performances as one of the acclaimed Three Mo’ Tenors wherein he toured performing excerpts from opera, Broadway, jazz, and Motown. Oby has also received recognition for his work as an opera singer, recitalist, oratorio and concert soloist and choral conductor.
His international performing credits include successful concert tours as a conductor or as a soloist in Japan, Hungary, The Czech Republic and Romania. Among the many favorable press reviews for his singing is this comment from the Washington Post: “Special praise is in order for Jason Oby’s golden tones… he has a first-rate sound: sweet, accurate, and flexible, a real pleasure to listen to.” The New Yorker Magazine described his voice as “mellifluous.” Continuing as a regular performer with numerous local and regional performing arts organizations, Oby’s singing is regularly heard on the local public broadcasting affiliate and on television.
He is a Professor of Music (voice) at Texas Southern University in Houston where he serves as Chairman of the Department of Music, and Interim Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences. Oby is also the Artistic Director of The Houston Ebony Opera Guild and as such he conceives, plans, produces and frequently performs in many of their active season of performances.
In preparation for your visit, consider arriving early to allow yourself ample time to park and select from our open seating. Parallel parking is available along Emancipation Avenue and Hutchins Street. Traditional spots can be found alongside Tuam Street, and an additional parking lot is also located directly across from the baseball field at 2274 Tuam Street.
The event will take place inside of the Emancipation Park Cultural Center.
Emancipation Park Conservancy (EPC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on the preservation and protection of the heritage, cultural and historical integrity of Emancipation Park through culturally competent programming and events. Nestled in the center of the Historic Third Ward community of Houston Texas, Emancipation Park was founded in 1872 by four former slaves. In an early act of cooperative economics among Blacks, the four men pooled $800 together with the help of various community members to purchase the ten acres of land the park still sits on today.
Through the Emancipation Conversations Lecture Series, EPC will establish a forum that fosters invigorating, inviting and transformative conversations through interactive lectures. The discussions will feature innovative and iconic community leaders, influencers and humanitarians across various disciplines including the arts, literature, business, science, philanthropy and politics.
For any questions pertaining to Emancipation Conversations, please contact Iman Garrett-Price directly at email@example.com or 832.883.5115.
To learn more about Emancipation Park Conservancy, visit our website at www.epconservancy.org. Keep up with our events and programs by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @epconservancy.
Thank You For Your RSVP!
We look forward to having you join us at Emancipation Conversations: Behind the Curtain with Damien Sneed. The event will take place inside of the Emancipation Park Cultural Center. Should you need to update your RSVP or have any questions, please contact Iman Garrett-Price directly at 832.883.5115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Emancipation Park Conservancy visit us at www.epconservancy.org
Follow Us on Social Media: @epconservancy