Multi-genre recording artist and Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient Damien Sneed makes his Carnegie Hall conducting debut for Wynton Marsalis’ “Abyssinian 200: A Celebration” on the legendary Ronald O. Perelman Stage on Sunday, April 26. The new offering features WorldStrides’ Heritage Performance National Jazz Choir accompanied by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra. Participants were selected through a formal application process and invited to experience an opportunity of a lifetime.
Over the years, Marsalis has been a mentor and champion for Sneed’s varied music endeavors. He has worked with Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra since his conducting debut at Jazz at Lincoln Center in April 2008. Sneed and Marsalis also star in the new PBS documentary, Everyone Has a Place by Dennis Scholl of the Knight Foundation and Marlon Johnson, a six-time Emmy award-winning producer and director. The film captures their musical journey of last year’s historic performance of the Abyssinian Mass, composed by Marsalis and conducted by Sneed. The documentary was filmed at Charlotte’s Friendship Missionary Baptist Church during the 16-city national tour. Everyone Has a Place features the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Sneed’s 70-piece Chorale LeChateau.
Tonight, April 23, Sneed will perform in a multi-media concert of music and spoken word titled: “Migration Rhapsody: An Aleatoric Exploration of the Journey North through Music, Poetry, and Personal Narrative at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in conjunction with the Jacob Lawrence “MIGRATION SERIES.” The concert is directed and produced by Terrance McKnight and written by McKnight and Karen Chilton. The concert also features Chilton (narrator), James Davis, Jr. (piano), Nick Finzer (trombone), Ernesto Gomez (harmonica); Ricky Gordon (percussion); Alicia Hall Moran (vocals), Randall Haywood (trumpet), Bill T. Jones (narrator); Joseph Joubert (piano), Kevin Maynor (vocals), Jason Moran (piano), Nicole Phifer (vocals), Bill Sims, Jr. (guitars), Chaney Sims (vocals), Bob Stewart (tuba); Curtis Stewart (violin); Tuffus Zimbabwe (piano) and The Levites featuring Quinn Brown, Chenee Campbell, Lynette Rhett McNeil, Tiffany Stevenson and Matia Washington.
In between Sneed’s two professorships at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Nyack’s Christian College, and the promotions of his new double disc project, Broken To Minister: The Deluxe Edition, Sneed completed a very successful 15-city Broken to Minister Promotional tour and a series of special events including appearances surrounding the 30th Anniversary of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Las Vegas; Spiritual Sketches In Recital with Lawrence Brownlee in Youngstown, OH and more!