for Bass-Baritone and Piano/Jazz Combo

An Evening-Length Song Cycle on the Poems of Langston Hughes

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Duration: 25 minutes min.

Commission: Commissioned by Roland Burks, Bass-Baritone


Songs of a Wayfarer in America is a song cycle of six poems selected from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. These poems were selected for portraying important events of Hughes’s life and key subjects encountered in his poetry – his life story, growing up poor in the south, being a part of the Harlem renaissance, suffering racism and his political activism, his successes and disappointments, youth and old age, life and death. The music of Me and my Song incorporates Jazz idioms in the traditional song-cycle structure, with the intent of bringing these two genres together to create a an evening-long concert of the poems, orchestrated for Jazz orchestra.

Poems used with permission from Harold and Ober, publishers of the collected poems of Langston Hughes