Josephine Baker: A Portrait

Josephine Baker : A Portrait
Julia Bullock, soprano
Tyshawn Sorey, percussion
International Contemporary Ensemble
Peter Sellars, director

In June of 2016, the Ojai Music Festival and that year’s Music Director Peter Sellars offered the world premiere of a song cycle by Tyshawn Sorey with spoken text written by Claudia Rankine,  Josephine Baker: A Portrait, performed by soprano Julia Bullock, Tyshawn Sorey, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).  The work, which has continued to evolve through each of its subsequent performances worldwide, was described in a New York Times article as “a ritual of mourning, a reminder of Baker’s racial struggles and civil rights activism, and of the era of police brutality and Black Lives Matter in which we currently live.”  It is presented here as an acknowledgment of this horrific moment and of centuries of such horrific moments.  With deepest gratitude for their permission to shine a light on this important work again now, we acknowledge Julia, Tyshawn, Peter, and all of their artistic collaborators.


Resources to Combat Racism 
There are many ways to enact change, including accessing resources for your own personal learning and understanding. Here are some examples to consider:
(List as of June 5, 2020)

Black Lives Matter

Californians for the Arts Anti-Racism Resources 

The National Museum of African American History and Culture—Talking About Race

PBS: Race Matters 

New Music USA: How Can Artists Respond to Injustice