The newest project by pianist Lara Downes, SOME OF THESE DAYS is a musical reflection on freedom and equity, through the music that has taken us from slavery through the ongoing struggle for civil rights and social justice. This multi-genre collection of African American Spirituals and soliloquies reveals a nuanced past while bringing us firmly into a present-day recognition of relevance to the social movements of our time. “This is music that is sweet and rich, and strong with grit, dark with history,” says Lara. “Music that can’t exist without the contradictions of race and privilege that define American history and American life.“
Speaking to the complicated history of race in America, Some Of These Days reflects our collective experience in the continued struggle for equity, freedom and equal justice.
Representing diverse musical tradition across genres spanning classical, jazz, folk and R&B, Some Of These Days features performances by a myriad of guest artists, including Alicia Hall Moran, PUBLIQuartet, and The Chapin Sisters, in arrangements by H. T. Burleigh, Hall Johnson, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Nina Simone, Billy Taylor, and Lara Downes.
Some Of These Days reclaims and reinvents the oldest indigenous form of American folk music, while considering its profound social relevance to the culture of the American present and future. As Lara describes, “This music pulls at so many parts of me — and pulls them together. The part that is a strong woman; the part that is an audacious artist. The part that is a brown girl. The part that is my father’s daughter with roots back in St. Philip’s Church in Harlem. This is my history.”
About Lara Downes
Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, an iconoclast dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of live music for diverse audiences. A trailblazer on and off-stage, she follows a musical roadmap that seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory.
Her newest album, Holes in the Sky (Sony Masterworks 2019), is a genre-fluid collection of music written and performed by some of today's leading female artists and celebrates the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present, and future of American music.
Downes has enjoyed creative collaborations with a range of leading artists, including folk icon Judy Collins, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, baritone Thomas Hampson, poet Laureate Rita Dove, and Grammy-award winning artist Rhiannon Giddens. Her close partnerships with prominent composers span genres and generations, with premieres and commissions coming from Jennifer Higdon, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and many others.