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Sounds of Faith: A Special Holiday Concert Exploring Traditions
December 20, 2019
This week we feature selections from the December 8, 2019 Sounds of Faith concert at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Courtesy Orfeia
Exploring America’s Religious Diversity Through Music December 20, 2019
On this special episode, we feature selections from the December 8, 2019 Sounds of Faith concert at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History along with interviews with Dr. Peter Manseau the Lilly Endowment Curator of Religious History. Manseau explains how music transcends the separation often found in museums and creates a different way for the public to understand American’s complicated religious history.  Performances from Orfeia showcase Bulgarian and Balkan songs from Koleda, an ancient pagan holiday from Eastern Europe along with traditional Hanukkah songs performed by Senior Cantor Arianne Brown from the Addas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC.

Dr. Peter Manseau, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution
Dr. Peter Manseau
Lilly Endowment Curator of Religious History


Cantor Arianne Brown, courtesy Arianne Brown
Cantor Arianne Brown
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, couresy of the Simsonian Institution
From Hebrew to Gospel by way of Islam: When Music Becomes the Religious Experience December 20, 2019
Cantor Arianne Brown describes how at an early age religious the music of her tradition deepened her spiritual practice and led her to study at Jewish Theological Seminary where she became a professional Jewish musician. We hear her favorite liturgical hymns of the season including Sephardic selection sung in Ladino, an ancient language from Spain that evolved before the expulsion of Jews in the 15th Century.  Next, we enjoy Calypso Carroll, performed by Howard University's premier vocal jazz ensemble Afro Blue.


Afro Blue
 
According to Dr. Hussein Rashid a religious literacy expert and cultural competency consultant who teaches at the New School in New York,  if you don’t appreciate the religious and spiritual dimension of music you miss the depth of the genre.  That focus guided artistic director and conductor Charlie Young who led the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra performance that concluded the Sounds of Faith concert series.  This segment includes longer selections from the evening program and closes with “We the King” performed by Afro Blue. 
 

Dr. Hussein Rashid