Music, Poetry and Perspectives: A Celebration of African American Culture

Syndee WintersThe Geneva Music Festival (GMF) is excited to announce “Music, Poetry and Perspectives: A Celebration of African American Culture,” which will take place during the second week of the 2018 Season. From June 3 through 9, GMF will feature diverse performances of music, poetry and monologues representative of African American culture, including one artist’s perspective on the Civil Rights Movement.

“The African American culture has brought us amazing artists, who have left a legacy in both their enduring works and their influence on future artists,” says Director of the GMF Geoffrey Herd. “We look forward to celebrating not just the music, but the poetry and lives of a select few as part of our new season.”

On Sunday, June 3, the Cavani Quartet will return to Geneva to kick off Music, Poetry and Perspectives: A Celebration of African American Culture. Cavani will present a variation on their “Collage: Music and Poetry” project, a collaboration with poet Mwatabu Okantah.

The celebration continues with a performance by pianist Michelle Cann, a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. She made her orchestral debut at age 14 and has since performed with various orchestras including the Florida Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra. Just prior to the start of the GMF, she will solo with the Knoxville Symphony on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement. Cann regularly appears in recital and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, China and South Korea at premiere concert halls including the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Watch one of her performances on video.)

Wrapping up the week, are two spectacular jazz events. On Friday night, June 8, Syndee Winters joins the festival to present her one-woman show, “LENA: A Moment with a Lady,” that tells the story of Lena Horne through a series of monologues and music. A trailer for her show can be seen online.

On June 9, percussionist T.S. Monk, son of jazz legend Thelonius Monk (called the “architect of modern jazz” by the Kennedy Center), takes part in GMF as part of his father’s centennial celebration. See him perform on video.

A full schedule for the 2018 Geneva Music Festival is available online at, and will be updated regularly as new performances are confirmed or additional information about events is available.


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