The musical talents of African American females will take center stage at the Annual Black History Concert hosted by the Georgia Laster Association of Musicians (G.L.A.M.) Inc. on Saturday, February 25, at 3 p.m., in the fellowship hall of Knox Presbyterian Church, located at 5840 La Tijera Blvd., in Los Angeles.
According to G.L.A.M. President Yolanda West, the presentation of “Black Women in Music: Our Treasurers” will contain tributes to several legendary artists. The honorees include Mary Cardwell Dawson (1894-1962), founding director of the National Negro Opera Company; Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), an amazing jazz pianist and prolific composer and arranger; Rhiannon Giddens (born 1977), a Grammy and MacArthur award-winning musician who sings and plays fiddle, banjo and viola; Elayne Jones (1928-2022), a barrier-breaking timpanist who became the first Black principal in a major America orchestra in 1972; Leslie Uggams (born 1943), Tony Award-winner and Grammy and Golden Globe nominated singer and actress; Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), a pioneering composer, pianist, arranger and teacher; Adelaide Hall (1901-1993), a jazz singer, entertainer and major figure in the Harlem Renaissance; and Alberta Hunter (1895-1984), an influential 20th century jazz and blues singer/songwriter.
“The concert will feature performances from jazz vocalist Sylvia Boyd, soprano Gertrude Bradley, baritone Ralph Cato, vocalist Martha La Croix, percussionist Joseph Mitchell, pianist Althea Waites and the Watts-Willowbrook Ensemble saluting the contributions of our honorees,” West said. “Also, Dr. Hansonia Caldwell-Harriford, a renowned musicologist, and Rosemarie Cook-Glover will narrate the program.
Cook-Glover and Melissa Cook are the co-chairs of G.L.A.M.’s 2023 Black History Concert Planning Committee. Other officers include Gertrude Bradley, G.L.A.M. vice president.
The concert is free and open to the public due to generous sponsorship of City National Bank and Hollywood Piano, added West. Current COVID-19 protocol will be observed, which encourages – but not requires – the wearing of masks.
G.L.A.M. was formed in Los Angeles in 1961. The organization is an affiliate branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM), which was founded in 1919. G.L.A.M. endorses NANM’s mission, which is to promote, preserve, and support all genres of music created or performed by African Americans, by providing financial support, and opportunities to perform for young musicians.
“Both G.L.A.M. and NANM are supported by people of cultural ideals and music groups of high standards. All care deeply for the fine art of music and for musical culture throughout the country,” noted West. “They lend their gift of music to people of all ages, races and creeds who come together to participate in the total experience of music.”
To learn more, call Yolanda West at (310) 963-9418 or Gertrude Bradley at (323) 717-5321. To donate, visit https://www.glamincla.org/donate.