Lokumbe: Dear Mrs Parks (Detroit Symphony Orchestra/ Thomas Wilkins) (Naxos: 8.559668)
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Dear Mrs. Parks features a massive ensemble comprising full orchestra plus choir and four vocal soloists. Influenced by blues, jazz, African music and Gospel music, it pays homage to Rosa Parks in the form of imaginary letters to the civil rights heroine.
Hannibal Lokumbe's career in music spans over four decades. He is the recipient of numerous awards including a Bessie award, the NEA, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has composed works for the Kronos Quartet, the Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Houston symphonies.
"Lokumbe's inspired text elevated what might have been a trivial civics lesson into an organic sound world of poetic mysticism, pulsating percussion, work dong laments, optimistic spirituals, rhapsodic instrumental obbligatos and dynamic squalls of expression." Detroit Free Press