One of America’s first recognized Black female composers and piano virtuosos on GREAT PERFORMANCES: Now Hear This “Florence Price and the American Migration” – April 15 at 9 pm

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Great Performances: Now Hear This “Florence Price and the American Migration”
Premieres Friday, April 15 at 9 p.m. on PBS, and the PBS Video app

Host Scott Yoo follows the trail of great African American composer Florence Price, learning that West African music and European hymns inspired nearly all American popular music. He begins with the Arkansas archives that house Price’s work, which was originally found in the attic of an abandoned Chicago house.

Then, Yoo joins pianist Karen Walwyn to discover where Price grew up and the spiritual music she was surrounded by in the South before moving to Chicago seeking equality and opportunity. Yoo explores Southern migrants’ musical impact on the city and gospel music with singer Vernon Oliver Price and former choir director Lou Della Evans Reid. Other performances by musicians inspired by Price, include pianist Michelle Cann, blues musician Jonn Primer, opera singers Rod Dixon and Alfreda Burke, showing how powerful Price’s influence remains today.

Places visited: Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Chicago, Illinois