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NYFOS Continues 2014-15 Mainstage Series with HARLEM RENAISSANCE Tonight

Fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the New York Festival of Songbrings back one of its most beloved shows, HARLEM RENAISSANCE, tonight, December 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm as it continues the 2014-15 Mainstage series at Merkin Concert Hall.

The hit program celebrates the explosion of African-American music and literature between the two World Wars. Awakening the world to the creative power of black America,Eubie Blake, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Billy Strayhorn, and W. C. Handy led the way in jazz clubs and on Broadway, while J. Rosamond Johnson, William Grant Still, and Florence Price created a haunting repertoire for the recital stage. The program also features readings from the era's iconic poets and novelists, including Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

NYFOS first presented this critically acclaimed program in the 2001-02 season. "NYFOS may be the most reliably excellent musical organization in New York. What orchestra, ensemble or opera company can make every show so special or count on such meticulous research, such infallible humor and such a sure sense of style?" wrote critic Justin Davidson in Newsday. The production went on to tour the U.S., with stops in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, and DC (Library of Congress).

Julia Bullock, the "ravishingly visceral" soprano (The New York Times), is the new addition to the cast. A fast-rising star who won the 2014 Naumburg International Vocal Competition and the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, she first met Blier while at Juilliard and subsequently joined the NYFOS family in 2012 through itsEmerging Artists residency at Caramoor. One of NYFOS' most exciting new artists, she performed in April at its Gala honoring Leonard Bernstein and has previously appeared in the 2013 NYFOS Mainstage program "Song of the Midnight Sun" and on tour in 2012 with NYFOS for "Dvorak and the American Soul."

Bullock is joined by original cast members tenor Darius de Haas and baritone James Martin. De Haas and Martin, both longtime NYFOS friends and collaborators, were praised in the original production, de Haas for his "impeccable charisma and technique," and Martin, "who croons with the best of them and does a mean soft-shoe besides, veered from the solemn to the silly without breaking a sweat" (Newsday).

The trio of singers will be joined by NYFOS artistic director Steven Blier and associate artistic director Michael Barrett on piano.

Tickets are $40-$55 for the public, $10 for students. A limited number of advance purchase $20 Real Deal tickets are available. Tickets can be purchased online atwww.kaufmanmusiccenter.org or by calling the Merkin box office at (212) 501-3330. A complementary wine reception with the artists will follow the performance.

Photo Credit: Brent Arnold



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