Join us Sunday, November 29 at 7pm PST for our next online concert and celebration:
Thanksgiving on Strings
When: Sunday, Nov. 29 - 7pm PST
To read about the musicians, continue to read the blog post below.
Thank you for joining us and for supporting Barbara Day Turner and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra. We are so grateful for you!
Since that is rather a rare event, we thought we'd devote this blog post to sharing a little bit about the history of Notes for Nourishment (NFN) concerts, for those who might be interested:
Those of us who know the beloved and internationally renowned conductor Barbara Day Turner (affectionately known as BDT) are very grateful for the difference she makes in every community where she works and lives, while making music truly "live" as well. She is an award-winning recording artist who has conducted opera and symphony orchestras internationally. Here in the USA she has been an important presence in the growth of Opera San Jose (California) , Utah Festival Opera (Logan Utah) and Aquilon Music Festival (Oregon) as well as summer festivals in Maine and elsewhere, while her current, and longstanding, position is as Founder and Music Director of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra (SJCO).
But what does all of that have to do with our ongoing series of Notes for Nourishment online concerts? As some of you have already experienced, each of the monthly concerts on Listen For Life's award-winning Notes for Nourishment (NFN) series collects donations to benefit a nonprofit that is nourishing the hungry, homeless or hurting. These concerts have raised thousands of dollars for over 56 different nonprofits in recent years - food banks, domestic violence shelters, artificial limb creators, homeless shelters, innovative school meal programs, medical treatment facilities, scholarships, and more. And since all nonprofit music organizations and orchestras are struggling financially at the best of times, much less during a pandemic, the four internationally active performers on our next Notes for Nourishment concert (whose careers have all been abundantly impacted by Maestra BDT) decided to choose her orchestra, the SJCO, as the beneficiary organization for all donations received during their November 29 online video concert, honoring the Maestra for her unrelenting dedication to the world of music and musicians. So we've entitled the concert "Thanksgiving on Strings".
Barbara Day Turner will not be appearing on the short, family-friendly 45-minute broadcast of exciting, favorite pieces for piano and strings - she will be watching it from home along with (hopefully) all of you.
To view the "Thanksgiving on Strings" broadcast (7pm PST on Sunday evening November 29) you simply need to access a YouTube link which will be posted on this blog AND on both of these sites (below) before the broadcast:
ListenForLife.org OR NotesForNourishment.org
Our next blog post will share bios about the four performers on this concert. Meanwhile, though, here below is some interesting background lore about the SJCO. We hope that this concert will inspire attendees of all ages and locations to not only come enjoy the music but also donate what you can for this worthy cause. Donations made (online) during the concert are entirely secure, and handled through ListenForLife.org (sponsoring the NFN ONline concerts) on the official fundraising platform Flipcause.com. 100% of the proceeds from the concert, once processed, will be given to Maestra BDT and the SJCO for their needs, plans and projects as they continue to impact the quality of life for all demographics in the greater Silicon Valley community.
The San José Chamber Orchestra is a professional string-based ensemble of 19+ players. Many performances feature one or more commissions or world premieres by award winning composers with critically acclaimed guest artists as featured soloists. San José Chamber Orchestra is the recipient of five ASCAP/League of American Orchestras Adventurous Programming Awards, has produced seven CDs of American music and commissioned and/or premiered over 170 new works in 26 seasons. The San José Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1991 out of the desire of local musicians for an opportunity to play chamber orchestra repertoire and explore music written by living composers. Its formation was sparked by a challenge in the METRO newspaper from the late drummer Sammy Cohen to music director Barbara Day Turner, announcing that an orchestra was forming (unbeknownst to her) and privately saying to "stop being lazy and get started". The San José Chamber Music Society graciously sponsored the first concert and a board was formed shortly thereafter.
Among the orchestra's highlights: Appearance of their senior youth orchestra at a private event for the Dalai Lama. Prestigious Koussevitzky commissioning awards for new works by Hyo-Shin Na and Pablo Furman… Performing with William F. Buckley, Jr… Recording at Skywalker Ranch… More than a dozen years of creative programming with the renowned Choral Project; Six years of partnering with sjDANCEco at the California and Hammer Theatres in San José and at ODC Dance in San Francisco… Collaborations with the Klein International String Competition and the Merola Opera program…Creating music with performers on both non-Western and classically non-traditional solo instruments, including the komungu, erhu, sitar, waterphone and accordion.
About the conductor: Maestra Barbara Day Turner is the founder and music director of the San José Chamber Orchestra, and its family of youth orchestras. An ardent advocate for new music, she has premiered more than 140 new works just with SJCO. She has conducted the world premiere of operas by Henry Mollicone, Craig Bohmler, George Roumanis and Alva Henderson and has over 100 operas and musicals in her repertoire. Abroad, Maestra Day Turner has conducted opera in Berlin and the Thuringian Symphony Orchestra in Germany as well as the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Mexico. Maestra Turner’s discography includes 6 recordings with SJCO, the PBS award-winning DVD of George Roumanis’ opera Phaedra, the Naxos release of Alva Henderson’s opera Nosferatu, and a recent critically acclaimed Naxos release of varied works by Howard Hersh entitled Angels and Watermarks. She is a frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera national auditions, annually serves as a judge for the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and serves on the board of directors of the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy and the advisory board of Opera Neo in San Diego.
Optional donations made online during the livestream broadcast on November 1st will benefit the important programs happening at Medicine Wheel Living Park to counteract their contaminated water supplies and chemically polluted farming grounds caused by corporations based near the reservations.
The MWLP project (sponsored by the Tribal Trust Foundation) was started after one reservation in the Dakotas experienced 17 teen suicides in just one year. This project involves all youth of the tribes in creating alternative farming and water supply methods, planting fruit trees and vegetable gardens, and renewing their sense of purpose/self-esteem. It has been highly successful but they need to raise considerable funds for a shelter and educational center. Our musicians are passionate about wanting to help them achieve this goal.
This November 1st concert is part of the free monthly Notes for Nourishment online global concert series, a project of the global non-profit foundation ListenForLife.org which "inspires and empowers musicians of all cultures to use their gifts in the service of others".
This particular concert honoring Indigenous Peoples' Day is being sponsored by an award-winning online educational series, TravelsWithMusic.com which features musicians around the world who act as tour guides into their cultures and are working to preserve and pass on their instrumental traditions.
November is Indigenous Awareness Month and in honor of that, our next NFN LIVE ONline concert streams worldwide this Sunday November 1st @ 1pm PST (Calif, USA timezone) featuring a wonderful array of Native American and indigenous music artists from across the USA and Canada, performing LIVE from their various locations!
To attend the concert, simply go to this YouTube link below, just before 1pm PST on Nov 1st.
Optional donations collected during the online concert will benefit two wonderful organizations selected by the performers: Medicine Wheel Living Park and Jana's Kids.
The concert will be hosted by Listen for Life artist Jehnean Washington, who most recently performed so beautifully on our Notes for Nourishment videoconcert on September 21 celebrating International Peace Day.
Interested in learning about each of the scheduled performers for November 1st? Jehnean kindly provided all of these bios below:
We as Indigenous people always look to our elders for their guidance and teachings. We respect them and give them their rightful place of honor. Today we are joined by Grandmother Rene Smokeyz. She is an elder from the Paiute nation and she will open our program traditionally with a traditional song and her precious and revered words of wisdom.
2019 Native American Music Awards "Artist of the Year" Singer, Songwriter, Grammy Member, ASCAP Member, Photographer, Shelley Morningsong (N. Cheyenne) has recorded seven sensational Native American Contemporary albums and has emerged as one of New Mexico’s finest Native performers. Going back to the start of her career, right out of the gate, she won Debut Artist of the Year for her very first album “Out of the Ashes “in 2006. She has received five Native American music awards since, among other awards and accolades, including Native American Music Awards “2019 Best Blues Recording for her newest CD called Simple Truth” also “2017 Artist of the Year for Love Medicine” also “2011 Record of the Year” for Full Circle“ She has an alto voice that pulls from the depths of her cowboy boots, and songs with lyrics that cut to the heart. She has played guitar since she was a youngster when she also learned to play the classical flute. Since then, she’s mastered the Native flute.
Carolina Hoyos is an accomplished writer, singer, song writer, and actress. She began as a childhood concert pianist before spending 3 seasons on “MTV Hits”. She plays Antonella in Nicolas Winding Refn's highly anticipated Amazon series "Too Old To Die Young" and made cameos in "Under the Silver Lake", “Gene Simmons: Family Jewels” and Pharrell Williams’s video of the Oscar-Nominated song “Happy”. She has shared the stage with Eddie Van Halen, Ryan Adams, and members of Guns N’ Roses. Carolina was named a Fellow in La Skins Fest Native American TV Writers Lab, earned a coveted spot on the LA County Artist Roster and is a West Hollywood Directing Artist Grantee. She also performs regularly with comedy troupes Dad Jeans and Nightpantz and is a member of Theater Artist Ensemble Native Voices at The Autry.
With his violin, fiddle, Native flutes, and Irish whistles, Arvel weaves a powerful tapestry of music and stories. Classically trained as a violinist, Arvel Bird's compositions and performances are a confluence of styles informed by his extraordinary love of diversity—from traditional Celtic tunes and bluegrass standards to his original Native American folk and Celtic rock orchestrations. Arvel has toured worldwide to Scotland, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and in prestigious locations including the Sky Dome in Toronto, Ontario, Royal Albert Hall in London, England, Smithsonian Museums in DC and NY, Hochstein Performance Hall in Rochester, NY and the Kennedy Space Center in Cocoa, FL just to name a few -- with symphonies, chamber orchestras, large festivals and more, logging over 500,000 road miles. He is a prolific songwriter. Five of his releases have earned him international music awards.
Carlos Reynosa has delighted multicultural audiences for 35 years. He infuses his native roots into his videos, photos, and music to offer a unique, progressive perspective. His mastery of flute and song reaches deep within the soul. From prayer to rock and roll, it needs to be experienced.
Carolyn M. Dunn, PhD., is an indigenous poet, playwright, musician, singer, director and actor whose identity includes Cherokee, Muskogee Creek, Seminole and Choctaw Freedman descent on her father's side, and Tunica-Choctaw-Biloxi and French Creole on her mother's. She is a founding member of The Mankillers, an all-women drum from Northern California whose cd’s All Woman Northern Drum and Coming to Getcha were released on Without Rezervation Records.Dr. Dunn is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University, Los Angeles, and is Artistic Director of Oklahoma indigenous Theatre Company in Oklahoma City.
Jana is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is originally from Robeson County, North Carolina. Jana is a two-time Grammy nominee and nine-time Nammy winner. Her music is steeped in R&B and gospel roots, which introduced her to the mainstream. Jana has always stayed true to honoring and showcasing her Native roots in her music and songwriting. From the Lumbee nation; Jana Mashonee.
Jehnean Washington, host, performer, and co-producer of this concert, is a multi-talented artist. She is descendant from the Yuchi, Seminole and Shoshone nations and hails from the house of the storyteller. She is from the hodulgulgee clan and comes from a long line of singers, and musicians. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Jehnean has worked professionally for over 30 years, not only as a singer/song writer and musician but also in the entertainment industry’s venues of film, television, radio, voice overs, concerts, and live theater. Jehnean has performed with the prestigious Mahenwahdose productions theater company as well as with and acting as assistant artistic and musical director for the legendary American Indian Theater Company. She is an Ensemble member of Native Voices at the Autry in Los Angeles, California and is a recognized and archived actress, voice over artist, singer, songwriter, musician and storyteller with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Her original arrangement and rendition of the "Trail of Tears Song" can be heard on the Grammy nominated album, "Song of America" and she is a featured singer on the NAMMY award winning album SIIB. She also wrote, performed, and produced the Native American rock anthem “I Fly With You” and “The Greeting Song.” In her musical career she has performed and shared the stage in many different arenas of music. From rock legends like Buffy Sainte-Marie (Oscar Winner for the song Up Where We Belong) and Bobby Kimball ( lead singer of Toto), to the opera company The Industry, directed by Yuval Sharron, to singing and training with Cherokee opera singer Barbara McAlister. Jehnean is also the owner CEO of the Los Angeles based film company Lighthorsewoman Productions. She co-wrote of the award-winning screenplay for the movie RAVE. “One of my greatest joys in life is singing. It is the universal language the world can come together and enjoy.”
Pura Fé, whose name means "Pure Faith," was born in New York City and an heir to the Tuscarora Indian Nation. She is an artist, an activist, and much more. Her musical journey, running the gamut from folk to mainstream through an artful use of the blues, reflects the concerns of an artist who grew up in the Motown era, while citing Buffy Sainte-Marie, Charley Patton and Joni Mitchell as her true mentors. And, more widely, “traditional music from all over the world, wherever the spirit is connected to our roots.”
Pura Fé has studied and performed with The American Ballet Theatre Company, has been in several Broadway musicals and TV commercials. She has sung for The Mercer Ellington Orchestra, countless Jazz, R&B, Rock bands and has stamped her distinct vocals on many recordings, demos, jingles, music videos and movie soundtracks & trailers throughout her career. She is a founding member of the internationally renowned native woman’s a capella trio, Ulali, and is recognized for creating a new genre, bringing Native contemporary music to the forefront of the mainstream music industry.
Pura Fé won a Nammy (Native American Music Award) for Best Female Artist for ‘Follow Your Hearts Desire’. She also won an L’académie Charles Cros Award (French Grammy) for Best World Album for her ‘Tuscarora Nation Blues’ album.