Rhiannon Giddens, Young Paris, and Toshi Reagon Announced as Guest Artists for A Time Like This: Music for Change


March 11 Concert Hosted by Def Jam Poet/Emcee Lemon Andersen, Will Also Feature Broadway Vocalist Carrie Compere and Singers Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Emily Eagen, and Emeline Michel

Culmination of Citywide Creative Learning Project Showcases New Songs Inspired by the Music and Movements of the 1960s, Written by New Yorkers of All Ages

Songwriters Share Their Stories and Perform Alongside Celebrated Artists

Blog Image - Rhiannon Giddens.jpeg

Carnegie Hall today announced that Rhiannon Giddens, Toshi Reagon, and Young Paris will join Broadway’s Carrie Compere (The Color Purple) as guest artists for A Time Like This: Music for Change, a special concert on Sunday, March 11 at 3:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage hosted by Def Jam Poetry veteran Lemon Andersen and featuring a nineteen-piece band led by Kenny Seymour (Amazing Grace, Memphis). The performance also features singers Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Emily Eagen, and Emeline Michel.

A Time Like This: Music for Change will highlight new music created by New Yorkers of all ages as part of a citywide creative learning project from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute focusing on the protest songs and musical anthems of the 1960s. Participants have grappled with the most pressing social issues of our time, creating new music that is a rallying cry for unity and the power of music to change the world. The concert is part of Carnegie Hall’s The ’60s: The Years that Changed America festival, running from January 14 – March 24.

Many of the songwriters themselves will take the stage to perform their own original music, including Emma Thompson-Haye, a 16-year-old New York City high school student, who will sing Afro Americana, a statement about race in our society. Rob Pollock, a guitarist and songwriter, will perform “Testify,” a piece inspired by those who fought for justice during the 1960s and beyond. Hannah Coleman, Noga Cabo, and Christopher Bell will sing songs they created as part of Carnegie Hall’s Future Music Project, a free afterschool program for New York City teens held in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing. Young songwriters from Brooklyn will present an original song entitled Let ‘Em Say that utilizes samples from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s 1967 classic, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” while focusing on their own experiences and hopes for the future. The Wadleigh High School Choir, directed by Kim Walton, will sing an original song entitled “Break the Chains,” and the concert will also feature Songs of Solomon, directed by Chantel Wright, and the Future Music Project Ensemble, a collective of young musicians from across New York City. In total, over 150 people will take the stage for what will be a celebration of the voices and stories of New Yorkers.

The concert will also feature artists who have helped participants craft new music through in-depth songwriting workshops. Haitian singer Emeline Michel will perform Shooting Stars, a song she co-wrote with a mother from the Bronx as part of Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project. Singer/songwriter Emily Eagen will perform “Yes We Can,” an anthem for change written by kindergarten students from P.S. 51 Elias Howe in Manhattan. Jazz vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles will perform “One and the Same,” a piece by Sandhya Kilambi, a 17-year-old songwriter in the city. Iconic songs from the ‘60s will anchor, encourage, and inspire the newly composed songs on the program.

A Time Like This: Music for Change also kicks off the third Create Justice forum (March 11–13), a national initiative led by Carnegie Hall and the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network that focuses on the intersection of arts and juvenile justice reform. The concert will include songs written by youth in justice settings as well as from men participating in Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

The March 11 concert builds off nine years of Carnegie Hall’s partnership with city and state agencies to offer songwriting workshops in schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and justice settings. More than 500 songs are written each season. A Time Like This: Music for Change will showcase this rich body of music in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage for the very first time.

About the Artists
Lemon Andersen is a Tony Award-winning playwright, poet, spoken word artist, youth empowerment activist, brand creative, and television writer. His most recent play, ToasT, debuted in April 2015 and was commissioned by the Public Theater in New York City and the Sundance Institute. He is currently a writer for Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It for Netflix. Lemon’s performances and writing have been hosted in venues ranging from Theatre on the Square (San Francisco), Gammage Performing Arts Center (Arizona), Spoleto Festival (Charleston), Arts & Ideas Festival (New Haven), the Chicago Theatre, and the Kodak Theatre (Los Angeles). County Of Kings, Lemon’s coming-of-age autobiographical memoir produced by Spike Lee at the Public Theater, was met with critical acclaim by The New York Times and was awarded Grand Prize at the New York Book Festival. His appearance on Def Poetry Jam, produced by Russell Simmons on Broadway, ran for six seasons on HBO and earned Lemon a Tony Award.

Carrie Compere is thrilled to be a part of A Time Like This: Music for Change. Carrie is currently on tour with The Color Purple (Sofia), and The Golden Apple (Lovey Mars/The Siren). Broadway: The Color Purple (Sofia) and Holler If Ya Hear Me. National tour: Shrek The Musical. Off-Broadway: Lightning Thief (Sally Jackson), Sistas: the Musical, and Lord Tom. Regional: Smokey Joe’s Cafe (TUTS). Television: Seven Seconds, NYC 22, Gurland on Gurland, and Show Boat: Live from Lincoln Center.

Singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, playing banjo and fiddle. Giddens’s 2014 Grammy-nominated solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn, blends gospel, jazz, blues, and country, and showcases her dazzling vocal prowess. Giddens’s follow-up album Freedom Highway, largely comprised of original songs, was released to widespread critical acclaim in February 2017, launching with a concert at Sing Sing Correctional Facility as part of Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program. She performed at the Obama White House and duets with country star Eric Church on his powerful anti-racism hit “Kill a Word.” Last year she received the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Singer of the Year and the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo and in 2017 won the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” award. In 2018, Giddens will be the guest curator for the Cambridge Folk Festival. Giddens also has a recurring role on the recently revived television drama Nashville.

Born in Paris to Congolese immigrant parents who later moved to New York, Young Paris is influenced by hip-hop and Afrobeats. He started his music career in 2013, and began to attract significant attention with the 2014 EP Rap | Electronic. In 2016, he signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, released his debut album, African Vogue, and began working with some of Afrobeats biggest acts, including Tiwa Savage, Skales, and Reekado Banks. His latest EPs, Let Me Love You and Afrobeats, dropped in late 2017. Rapper/Producer Young Paris brings a thoroughly modern African sensibility to hip-hop, incorporating both traditional rhythms and EDM elements into his sound. Brought up between three countries and raised in an arts-rich environment, his father being the founder of the Congolese National Ballet and his mother a playwright, he is inspired as much by the Congo’s thriving fashion scene as by its traditional music. Young Paris started out as a model and dancer, appearing in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and launching his own diversity-celebrating lifestyle brand, MELANIN.

Toshi Reagon is a singer, composer, curator, and producer with a profound ear for sonic Americana–from folk to funk, from blues to rock. Her many collaborators include Lizz Wright, Carl Hancock Rux, Allison Miller, Meshell Ndegeocello, and her mother Bernice Johnson Reagon. In addition to touring as a solo artist and with her band BIGLovely, Toshi’s current projects include Celebrate The Great Women of Blues and Jazz, a 16-piece all-women’s performance featuring some of New York’s best instrumentalists and vocalists; The Blues Project, a 2015 Bessie Award winning dance, theater, and music piece produced in collaboration with Dorrance Dance; the opera Zinnias – The Life of Clementine Hunter; and Meshell Ndegeocello’s Can I Get A Witness: The Gospel of James Baldwin. Toshi recently developed an opera based on Octavia Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower, which debuted in fall 2017 and was recently featured at the Public Theater. In 2011, Toshi created Word* Rock* & Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives, a festival that brings together musicians, filmmakers, heath practitioners, dancers, activists, writers, community organizations, and everyday brilliant people each September. Toshi has co-composed music for two Peabody Award-winning films, received an NYFA award for music composition, a Black Lily Music and Film Festival Award, OutMusic’s Heritage Award, a NEFA National Theater Project creation and touring grant, and is a National Women’s History Month Honoree. She was named a 2015 Art of Change Fellow by the Ford Foundation, and is the first University of North Carolina Mellon Foundation DisTIL fellow.

Kenny Seymour has developed a reputation as a consummate professional for his creativity, talent, versatility and all around great musicianship. He has worked with some of Broadway’s top producers, composers, playwrights, choreographers and directors, as well as many up and coming directors of film and television. His credits include: Broadway/Off-Broadway: Ain’t Too Proud: The Life & Times of the Temptations (Music Supervisor/Music Director/Arranger), Tony Award-winning Best Musical Memphis (Music Director/Conductor), Amazing Grace: An Epic Musical (Orchestrator), Half Time: A New Musical (Dance Music Arranger/Electronic Music Producer), MARLEY: A Premiere Musical (Music Supervisor/ Arranger/Orchestrator), Tallest Tree In The Forest (Music Director/ Arranger/Incidental Music), Scary Musical (Orchestrator), Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues (Music Supervisor/ Orchestrator), The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse (Dance Music Arranger), Hot Feet: The Music of Earth, Wind & Fire (Synth Programmer). Film/TV: Melinda (Composer/Sound Design), Guitar Man (Composer/Sound Design), Yemoja: Rise of the Orishas (Composer), Oya: Rise of The Suporishas (Composer), Talking with the Taxman About Poetry (Composer & Recipient of the 2013 Global Music Award for Best Original Score), The Fringe (Composer). Music Arranger/Orchestrator for shows on Fox, BET, NBC as well as the Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama. Mr. Seymour has performed around the world, from the legendary Apollo Theatre and Carnegie Hall to the Montreux Jazz Festival. Education: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, Manhattan School of Music, and Berklee College of Music.


Program Information
Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Lemon Andersen, Poet and Emcee
Rhiannon Giddens, Guest Artist
Toshi Reagon, Guest Artist
Young Paris, Guest Artist,
Carrie Compere, Guest Artist
Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Guest Artist
Emily Eagen, Guest Artist
Emeline Michel, Guest Artist
Noga Cabo, Songwriter and Guest Artist
Hannah Coleman, Songwriter and Guest Artist
Rob Pollock, Songwriter and Guest Artist
Emma Thompson-Haye, Songwriter and Guest Artist
Kenny Seymour, Music Supervisor and Director

A Time Like This Band
·· George Farmer, Bass Guitar
·· Clayton Craddock, Drums
·· James Shipp, Percussion
·· Mauricio Herrera, Percussion
·· John Walsh, Trumpet
·· Nick Marchione, Trumpet
·· Chris Washburne, Trombone
·· Jason Marshall, Woodwinds
·· Mazz Swift, Violin
·· Skye Steele, Violin
·· Pala Garcia, Violin
·· Erica Dicker, Violin
·· Jessica Meyer, Viola
·· Jocelin Pan, Viola
·· Hamilton Berry, Cello
·· Marika Hughes, Cello
·· Saskia Lane, Bass
·· DJ Mode, DJ

The Wadleigh High School Choir
··Kim Walton, Director

Songs of Solomon
··Chantel Wright, Director

Future Music Project Ensemble
·· Hannah Coleman, Vocals
·· Christopher Bell, Piano
·· Ian Ackerman, Guitar
·· Tyler Almquist, Guitar
·· Malo Ingledew, Guitar
·· Noga Cabo, Guitar and Vocals
·· Ed Horan, Piano
·· Matthew Chiu, Vocals
·· Seuss Fu-Rubin, Reeds
·· Asia Hickman, Alto Saxophone
·· Diego Flores, Clarinet
·· Myea Patterson, Vocals
·· Ean Valte, Bass
·· Yeshak Pellot, Drums

nicHi Douglas, Stage Director
Dan Scully, Projection Designer
Stacey Boggs, Lighting Designer
Josh Reid, Sound Designer

Leadership support for this concert is provided by an anonymous donor.

Support for The 60’s: The Years that Changed America is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

A Time Like This: Music for Change is part of the culminating forum of Create Justice.

Lead funding for Create Justice is provided by an anonymous donor.

Major funding is provided by Ameriprise Financial, MetLife Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information
Tickets, priced at $20–$55, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For information on discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.

Kaile Shilling