Monday 17 December 06:30pm

An evening honoring Jessye Norman

With performances from Harolyn Blackwell, ELEW, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Alicia Hall Moran, Laquita Mitchell, Jared Grimes, Susan Platts, Arthur Woodley, Alicia Graf Mack, Delfeayo Marsalis, Kamal Khan, and the PUBLIQuartet

6:30pm reception • 7:15pm doors • 7:30pm show


National Sawdust honors icon of the operatic stage Jessye Norman with an exclusive peek into Norman’s latest project, Sissieretta Jones: Call Her By Her Name!. Join National Sawdust to hear powerhouse performers from across disciplines and styles in an electrifying evening of masterful interpretations that celebrate the life and career of Sissieretta Jones, a groundbreaking figure in the 19th-century American opera world and the first African American artist to sing in the main hall of Carnegie Hall.

Harolyn Blackwell – soprano
ELEW – piano
David Gonzalez – scriptwriter
Alicia Graf Mack – dancer
Kamal Khan – pianist
Delfeayo Marsalis – trombonist
Darryl “DMC” McDaniels – narrator/hip-hop artist
Laquita Mitchell – soprano
Alicia Hall Moran – narrator
Jared Grimes – tap dancer
PUBLIQuartet – string quartet
Susan Platts – mezzo-soprano
Aaron Severini – arranger
Arthur Woodley – bass
Rachael Worby – music director

Following the performance, hear Jessye Norman discuss the project in conversation with Harolyn Blackwell and Adina Williams, moderated by television journalist and fashion model Gail O’Neill.

$250 ticket ($200 tax deductible) includes pre-concert reception; proceeds will directly support the development of Sissieretta Jones: Call Her By Her Name!.


From Adina Williams — Executive Producer, National Sawdust Curator, and Founder of AdinaWorks Productions:

My mother was the first to tell me of the great Sissieretta Jones. The next reference to her name came to me during my early professional years at Carnegie Hall. Then, about ten years ago, the stars aligned and I met the iconic Jessye Norman by way of our mutual friend Wynton Marsalis. Jessye and I have been dreaming up together Sissieretta Jones: Call Her By Her Name! ever since.

As this year marks dear Sissi’s 150th anniversary, I am especially honored to collaborate on such a significant and timely project with creative and courageous arts incubator National Sawdust.

With the brilliance of all the artists attached to the project, including Harolyn Blackwell and David Gonzalez, I feel that collectively we are developing an important new cultural work so that a voice that shattered barriers has the platform to be heard and Sissieretta Jones can finally speak her truth.

Photo credits:
Sissieretta Jones circa 1895 – Napoleon Sarony
Jessye Norman – Carol Friedman