Celebrate Black History Month At The Bese Saka Festival

Duo Paloma

HAINES CITY, FL. – The Sankofa Chorale of the Dr. J. Owens Academy of Fine Arts, Inc. will continue to celebrate Black History Month at the Bese Saka Festival. This festival embraces and focuses on highlighting the preservation of America’s original music, the spiritual. The spiritual will continue to be front and center in the month of March in an outstanding concert entitled “The Spiritual: From Roots to Fruits,” the music of the African American ancestors. You will hear the root music of this deeply moving art form, the spiritual, which birthed the creative fruits of the tasteful and freely improvisational jazz.

The concert will be presented at the Parkview Christian Life Center in Haines City, Florida at 3520 Baker Avenue on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 7:00 PM. Tickets are currently available through Eventbrite: “Bese Saka” – adult tickets $20.00 and youth tickets under 17 $10.00. Tickets may also be purchased from members of the Sankofa Choral.

The Owens Academy takes great pride in dedicating this concert in memory of Mrs. Edna Hargrett. She was the long time choral director during the 1960’s, 70’s 80’s and maybe more at Jones High School in Orlando, Florida. Not many choir directors rated superior every year at choral festivals (MPA). Mrs. Hargrett was and is still remembered by her students and colleagues as a superior choral director. Her Legacy lives on every day through her students.

This once in a life time concert will feature the following artists and choirs: Kimberly Melton Hernandez – mezzo soprano; Dr. Robert Sims – lyric bass; Dr. Gale Jones Murphy – Festival Pianist; Dr. Jessie Owens – Director of the Sankofa Chorale; Andrea Green – Director of the Jones High School Chorus; Michael Mitchell – Director of the Chattanooga Choral Society of Tennessee; Duo Paloma: Dr. Joanna Sobkowska – pianist, Dr. Longineu Parsons – trumpet (FAMU instructors); and Dr. Mark Butler – Director of The Florida A & M University Concert Chorale.

Contact: Dr. Jessie Owens, Founder – J. Owens Academy of Fine Arts, Inc. and Artistic Director of the Sankofa Chorale – Melodicjess@aol.com; and William Saunders – UGE/Planning Producer – 813.325.2539

Duo Paloma: Musical Journey, Trumpet and Piano In Unity Duo Paloma presents music of various cultures from the Americas, Europe, and the African diaspora. Performances by these two virtuoso musicians include works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Manuel De Falla, Margaret Bonds, William Grant Still, as well as traditional trumpet works by Henri Tomasi, Raphael Mendez, Eugene Bozza and others. Duo Paloma also performs original compositions by Longineu Parsons. Duo Paloma proposes a program of art songs by Debussy, Ravel and African American composers Margaret Bonds, William Grant Still and Leslie Adams. There is also an im-provisational element added to these compositions that will show a diversity of musical expression which demonstrates the universality of being human. Paloma is Italian for dove, a symbol of peace. Duo Paloma performs with the intent of bringing peace to the world by showing through music that differences are opportuni-ties for growth, not reasons to fight. This performance will lead to a discussion with the audience on performing different genres from different cultures and the importance and benefits of doing so.

JOANNA SOBKOWSKA MM Chopin Academy, Warsaw, Poland MM, DM Florida State University Born in Warsaw, Poland, Dr. Sobkowska has served on the faculties of Universidad del Cauca in Popayan, Colombia and Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia. Her piano repertoire includes masterworks of the Classic and Romantic eras (Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin among others), as well as numerous works from the twentieth century repertoire (Ravel, Poulenc, Prokofiev, and many contemporary composers). As a chamber music pianist and accompanist she has appeared with many prom-inent musicians in a broad repertoire ranging from Baroque music to the premiers of new compositions. As a soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Sobkowska has performed on the concert series of the Warsaw Philharmonic, Poland, at the Festival Internacional del Piano in Bucaramanga, Colombia, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, the FSU Festival of New Music in Tallahassee, Florida, and CASMI International Summer Program in Prague, Czech Republic. Currently, Dr. Sobkowska is Associate Professor of Music at Florida A&M University.

LONGINEU PARSONS B.S. Florida A&M University MM, PhD University of Florida, Longineu has been hailed by critics internationally as being one of the world’s finest trumpet players. He also performs on recorders, flute, percussion and is a vocalist. Longineu performs classical and jazz on trumpet and his compositions include orchestral works and chamber music as well as jazz and world music. He is the protégé of the great cornetist, Nat Adderley. Longineu has performed in some thirty countries in North, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He has performed for such dignitaries as the King of Morocco, the President of Gabon, the Royal Family of the Netherlands, the President of Austria, the U.S. Ambassador to France, The Royal Family of Monaco and for UNESCO. Longineu has performed and recorded with such greats as Cab Calloway, Nat Adderley, Cecil Taylor, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Herbie Mann, Frank Foster, Mal Waldron, Philly Joe Jones, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, David Murray, Billy Harper, and many others. He is currently Professor of Music at Florida A&M University where he teaches Trumpet and Composition.