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Program One

About the Artists

You and your students will meet New York City–based artists who represent three different musical genres and cultural traditions; many have reinvented these deeply rooted traditions to make them their own. Together, you will learn songs and dances that you will perform along with the artists during the digital concert experience at the end of your semester.

Ilusha Tsinadze

Ilusha, Georgian Folk

Ilusha Tsinadze is a singer, guitarist, composer, and arranger born in Tbilisi, Georgia. After studying jazz in college, his passion shifted to the music of his homeland. In 2011, Ilusha released his debut album, Deda Ena (Mother Tongue), which featured his own distinctly personal interpretations of Georgian folk songs along with compositions of his own. The music video for his song “Mokhevis Kalo Tinao” went viral in Georgia and has since won him wide acclaim and national fame in the country. He has performed with his Brooklyn-based band around the world, allowing audiences to experience his emotional renditions of Georgia’s beautiful and little-known musical traditions.

Browse Unit: Georgian Folk with Ilusha

Imani Uzuri

Imani Uzuri, Freedom Songs

Called a “postmodernist Bessie Smith” by The Village Voice, composer, vocalist, and cultural worker Imani Uzuri has collaborated with an eclectic array of artists including Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Vijay Iyer, Carrie Mae Weems, and Robert Ashley. Her breakthrough album The Gypsy Diaries was released to critical acclaim. In 2016, Imani made her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut and was a featured performer on Black Girls Rock! on BET. She also composed and co-wrote lyrics for a new musical GIRL Shakes Loose, which was selected for the 2016 O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, and is currently composing a contemporary opera, Hush Arbor. She recently collaborated with The Public Theater on a concert tour of community centers, shelters, and prisons, and is Founder and Artistic Director of Revolutionary Choir.

Browse Unit: Freedom Songs with Imani

Emeline Michel

Emeline, Haitian

Haitian songstress Emeline Michel is internationally acclaimed for fusing pop, jazz, blues, and traditional Haitian rhythms into deeply moving, joyful music delivered through charismatic live shows. A master entertainer, Emeline has shared her message with audiences for more than 20 years, including appearances at the United Nations, Montreal’s International Jazz Festival, and MTV’s Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief. Hailed by the New York Times as a “diplomat of music” and “the dancing ambassador with a voice serene and warm like the breeze,” she is now based in New York City, where she runs her own production company, Production Cheval de Feu, and remains an important voice for social issues concerning women and children worldwide.

Browse Unit: Haitian with Emeline

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