Songs of Freedom: Mitchell, Lincoln, and Simone
Ulysses Owens Jr., musical director | Theo Bleckmann, Alicia Olatuja, Joanna Majoko, vocalists
In a program first presented under the auspices of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the 1960s are explored through the work of three prolific artists: Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln, and Nina Simone—all of whom have made an indelible mark in music with their unique expressions of freedom. Mitchell composed and sang about the freedom of love, Lincoln expressed freedom of her individuality and race through her lyricism, and Simone demanded freedom politically through song.
To deliver this vast repertoire, Grammy Award-winning drummer and music director Ulysses Owens, Jr. leads three vocalists: Theo Bleckmann, a Grammy–nominated jazz singer of eclectic tastes and prodigious gifts; Alicia Olatuja, “a singer with a strong and luscious tone" (New York Times); and Joanna Majoko, a naturally gifted and multicultural artist born to German and Zimbabwean parents.
This program is generously supported by the Koret Foundation. The Koret Jazz Project is a multiyear initiative to support, expand, and celebrate the role of jazz in the artistic and educational programming of Stanford Live.