GRAMMY-NOMINATED COMPOSER, CURATOR AND ACTIVIST
ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM ‘TOGETHER’ OUT SETPEMBER 8 VIA DECCA CLASSICS
‘NEAR THE CROSS’ SUNG BY J’NAI BRIDGES OUT TODAY
Friday, July 28, 2023 – Grammy-nominated composer Carlos Simon will release his new album ‘Together’ on September 8 globally via Decca Classics. The 10-track project collates and celebrates the multifaceted layers of Simon’s personality, upbringing, and musical understanding, with a creative process that strikes the balance of original compositions, improvisations, and carefully crafted arrangements. In addition to performing on a number of tracks, Simon has enlisted violinist and fellow Decca recording artist Randall Goosby, 2 x Grammy award-winning mezzo J’Nai Bridges (“the ‘Beyoncé of opera” – BET), acclaimed Grammy award-winning baritone Will Liverman and GRAMMY-nominated rising star cellist Seth Parker Woods. The album also features contributions from the Carlos Simon Collective, a group that Simon founded and conducted. Made up of Chicago’s best freelance artists, the collective is headed up by fellow GRAMMY-nominated, acclaimed composer, violinist, educator and friend Jessie Montgomery.
Arriving today is the brand new single “Near the Cross” featuring J’Nai Bridges. A hymn originally written by Fanny Crosby in 1869, “Near The Cross” is Simon’s favorite piece on the album. Growing up, Simon spent many Sundays performing the song on piano at the church in Atlanta where his father was a pastor.
Simon on the album: “‘Together’ is a record that is truly representative of my musical life right now, one of collaboration, improvisation and pure music-making. Many know me as a composer, and during this recording process, it became so clear to me how special it was to be a performer, a conductor and a vessel of mycompositions and arrangements alongside my peers. Some of the tracks are interpretations of my favorite works – particularly ‘Near the Cross’ – and other tracks are simply my takes on favorites from my closest family and friends. Working on this album with the team in Chicago, as well as in New York, has been the truest labor and demonstration of togetherness – something I hope motivates and encourages.”
‘Together’ is the follow-up to Simon’s critically-acclaimed debut ‘Requiem for the Enslaved’. When Carlos joined Georgetown’s Department of Performing Arts as an assistant professor in 2020, he learned about the history of the GU272. One of the largest sales of human beings in U.S. history, the Maryland Province of the Jesuits, who ran Georgetown at the time, sold 272 men, women, and children in 1838. Determined to honour the lives of the enslaved (and their 8,000+ Descendants) through music that evoked the spirit of those in captivity, Carlos composed ‘Requiem for the Enslaved’. The work debuted at the Library of Congress on Nov. 5, 2021, and received a “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” nomination at the 2023 Grammy Awards.
Simon’s passion for social justice shines through in his compositions. His work tackles complex themes that include migration, belonging and community – especially illuminating the transatlantic slave trade, the Jim and Jane Crow era, and the injustice people of African ancestry face today. His music possesses both classical textures and structures in a contemporary aesthetic alongside strong jazz, hip-hop and heavy gospel influences. Earlier this summer, the Minnesota Orchestra premiered what The New York Times called “arguably the most important commission of Simon’s career so far”: ‘brea(d)th,’ Simon’s work that commemorates the murder of George Floyd andhonoursthe ongoing struggle for racial justice in Minnesota and beyond.
‘Together’ Tracklist :
- Prayer “Gather Up” with J’Nai Bridges
- Love Is Stronger Than Pride
- Amazing Grace with Randall Goosby
- Near the Cross with J’Nai Bridges
- Memory of Summer
- Settle (part III from Warmth from Other Suns)
- Angels in Heaven with Will Liverman
- Traveling Song
- Between Worlds with Seth Parker Woods
About Carlos Simon:
GRAMMY-nominated Carlos Simon is a multi-genre composer and performer who is a passionate advocate for diversity in music. Carlos, whose father wanted him to be a minister, describes music making as a pulpit where he can deliver messages and minister to those listening. As winner of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence 2021 and Composer-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center where he was on of the Next 50’, his recent commissions have been granted by the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Kennedy Center, Minnesota Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, PBS and the Washington National Opera as well as his work being set to ballets by Washington National Ballet and American Ballet Theater.
About Randall Goosby:
Randall Goosby is a protégé of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, the youngest ever winner of the junior division of the prestigious Sphinx Competition and First Prize Winner in the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. He’s also the first ever Robey Artist with Young Classical Artists Trust in London.
Goosby is also a passionate advocate for diversity in classical music, a champion for music education, and a performer who seeks opportunities to inspire through music, via initiatives such as Project: Music Heals Us (in response to Covid-19) and London Music Masters. He’s an ambassador for the charity London Music Masters, a role that sees him mentoring students in schools around the UK.
Performing in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, his upcoming concerts include The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Korngold Violin Concerto with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and the Korngold Violin Concerto with the Oslo Philharmonic Choir and Intersections – Black Music & Words at the Southbank Centre in October 2023, a journey reflecting on the relationship between poetry, folk songs and the music of Black composers.
CARLOS SIMON ON THE WEB: