The Atlanta Music Project, also known as AMP, presents “Music of the African Diaspora,” a festival now in its second year.
“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with Dantes Rameau, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Music Project. They were joined by Aisha Moody, co-founder and director of AMPlify, the choral music program of the Atlanta Music Project.
“Music of the African Diaspora” will be virtual, and the events begin Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. and run through Sunday.
“It was founded in 2010, and we provided intensive, tuition-free music education in under-resourced neighborhoods to youth — kindergarten all the way through college,” said Rameau.
He continued, “Our mission is to empower underserved youth to realize their possibilities through music.”
What’s included in the “Music of the African Diaspora” festival:
“This year, of course, we are virtual, so it feels a bit different because instead of seeing our full orchestra and choir on stage, you’ll see what we’ve been working on behind the scenes at AMP. We’ve been giving students more individualized attention. You’ll hear from many of our soloists in the AMP Academy, which is our private lessons program. You’ll hear chamber music ensembles, which we have created due to COVID. Students meet in small groups weekly to work on their craft,” said Moody.
She continued, “In addition to that, you’ll see something very special, which is a teaching-artists concert called ‘Studio Sessions.’ And I know that’s going to be a hit for everyone.”
How the music choices were selected this year:
“Due to everything that our world, our country, our youth have been dealing with, we’ve really been centering student voices, thoughts, and needs in order to make sure that we’re serving them correctly. They really had a strong desire to do what we’ve done in the past with the African Diaspora, which is focus on a variety of artists. But they wanted to make sure that those who don’t always get the spotlight, do get a bit of spotlight this year. They also wanted to throw in a bit of fun music just to make people smile because they know that people need smiles right now. You’re going to hear some Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Duke Ellington, etc. Music of the African Diaspora is a variety of music. It’s not all sounds of struggle. There’s also sounds of triumph, and music that got people through with solidarity,” said Moody.