Trailblazing soprano Julia Bullock, mixing Schubert, Billie Holiday, Fauré, Nina Simone

Posted on: April 18, 2018

“Nearly 80 years ago … African-American contralto Marian Anderson famously sang at the Lincoln Memorial,” writes Tom Jacobs in Monday’s (4/16) Pacific Standard (Santa Barbara, CA). “The next trailblazer in that distinguished lineage may be Julia Bullock. At age 28, the biracial, St. Louis-born soprano Julia Bullock is rapidly establishing herself not only as a superb singer, but also as something more…. In her recent recital in Santa Barbara, California … Bullock—after singing music of Schubert, Fauré, and Samuel Barber—performed bluesy numbers co-written and originally sung by such legends as Billie Holiday, Alberta Hunter, and Nina Simone. Bullock: I’ve been in love with the work of Nina Simone and Billie Holiday since I was 15. I had just started listening to my mother’s vinyl records…. The palpable pain that poured out of Billie Holiday took me aback.… I’d say the performer who first influenced me was Tina Turner.… The women whose voices I fell in love with … were all great communicators. There was a passion and ferocity in their delivery, a clarity in their sound, and a focus of intention.” Read Symphony’s 2017 interview with Bullock here

Posted April 18, 2018