Oakland Symphony’s first guest-curated “Playlist” concert, with radio host W. Kamau Bell

Posted on: January 8, 2018

“Oakland Symphony Music Director Michael Morgan admits he’s stymied by W. Kamau Bell’s playlist,” writes Lou Fancher in Thursday’s (1/3) San Francisco Classical Voice. “Invited to launch the orchestra’s new guest-curated Playlist series [on January 19], the Bay Area-based sociopolitical comedian, author, and host of three radio podcasts and the Emmy-nominated CNN docuseries, United Shades of America, selected a 12-song playlist. Among Bell’s eclectic choices: Nina Simone’s … ‘Mississippi Goddamn,’ … Moses Hogan’s ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot,’ … and the retro-romantic ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’ from Tears for Fears…. [Says Bell], ‘You can’t just read the news all day, you need inspiration. All the people in the Paramount sitting together to take in this great music, experiencing it, people of all ages; it’s not going to be your average night out at the symphony.’ … Not all of Bell’s suggestions suit an orchestra. ‘That’s why we have Jazz Mafia for the Prince and Coltrane,’ says Morgan…. Additional guest artists invited by Morgan include Zakiya Harris with the band Elephantine, appearances by Moorea Dickason, the Oakland Symphony Chamber Chorus, and Oakland-based T Sisters covering Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds.’ ”

Posted January 8, 2018