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Ross McKee Foundation Announces Lineup For Upcoming Season Of McKee Signatures

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The series continues Friday, November 26 with four brand new Piano Break performances.

Ross McKee Foundation Announces Lineup For Upcoming Season Of McKee Signatures

Today, Nicholas Pavkovic, Executive Director of the Ross McKee Foundation, announced the upcoming season of McKee Signatures, including Piano Break and Piano Talks. The weekly series kicks off on Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 7 p.m. with the special engagement of Devilish Inspirations: Summoning Witches, Demons, and Black Magic at the Piano. Streaming on the Ross McKee Foundation YouTube channel, the series returns the following week for a celebration of African-American women pianists-composers, featuring programs that integrate performance and educational talks, including Piano Talk with Tammy L. Hall: Convergence (November 4), Piano Talk with Karen Walwyn: Florence Price (November 11), and Piano Break with Paul Cornish: Call Her Genius (November 18).


The series continues Friday, November 26 with four brand new Piano Break performances, before culminating in an in-person concert, Celebration of Robin Sutherland, at Old First Church on Saturday, December 18, 2021. Premiering weekly, viewers can watch all the Piano Break and Piano Talk events on the Ross McKee Foundation YouTube channel for free. Proceeds from Devilish Inspirations help to raise funds in support of Ross McKee Foundation's mission to create opportunities for Bay Area artists with piano performances and education programs.

The series begins with Ross McKee Foundation's biggest online performance to date, Devilish Inspirations, hosted by Edwin Outwater, Music Director at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and legendary drag queen and horror icon Peaches Christ. Ahead of Halloween, the event will take audiences on a chilling tour of the piano repertoire's darkest and most haunting moments. Devilish Inspirations is composed of a series of unique, never-before-seen music videos created by celebrated Bay Area pianists, including Allegra Chapman, Brent Smith, Daniel Glover, Dee Spencer, Jeffrey LaDeur, Keisuke Nakagoshi, Ryan Sheng, Sarah Cahill, and Solomon Ge. Tickets are $25 and are available online at DevilishInspirations.com.

On Thursday, November 4, 2021, Tammy L. Hall gives a talk titled Convergence, the jazz concert and dramatization created and conceived by Hall herself. Featured at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in 2021, Convergence presents an imagined musical conversation between legends Nina Simone and Mary Lou Williams. The following Thursday, November 11, concert pianist and composer Karen Walwyn will explore the work of Florence Price, the first noted African-American woman composer to gain national status. Rounding out the celebration of Black women pianist-composers, Los Angeles-based pianist Paul Cornish will perform pieces from Geri Allen, Latasha Bundy, Julia Perry, Florence Price, and Mary Lou Williams.

Piano Break performances continue with a collection of curated performances, released weekly by Chelsea Wong (November 26), Allegra Chapman (December 2), Jason Chiu (December 10), and Elizabeth Dorman (December 16). The late-fall/winter season will close with the in-person concert Celebration of Robin Sutherland at Old First Church on Saturday, December 18, 2021. The tribute to the late San Francisco Symphony pianist is set to become an annual occurrence, performed by leading Bay Area pianists. Tickets for Celebration of Robin Sutherland are $25 and will be available at oldfirstconcerts.org.

The Piano Break series launched in July 2020, to support pianists by providing new performance opportunities. To date, the series-alongside Piano Talks-has featured more than 40 performances and educational talks, garnering over 30,000 views.


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