Los Angeles (September 20, 2022) – The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association presents Rock My Soul, a festival celebrating both historical and present-day collaboration and community formed by Black woman-identifying artists, curated by soprano Julia Bullock and featuring performances by Chaka Khan, Rhiannon Giddens, J’Nai Bridges, Meshell Ndegeocello and many more from October 30 to November 22, 2022.
Inspired by the friendship between composers Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, whose mutual support helped them break down barriers to have their music heard in the classical music world of the early 20th century, Rock My Soul shines a light on the power of creative community.
The phrase “Rock My Soul” has a long lineage and legacy: It is the leading lyric of a traditional Black American spiritual about expanding one’s being in every dimension and direction imaginable. The song title was later utilized by philosopher and educator bell hooks, who communicated about the importance of understanding the pursuit of love, a sense of community, and commitment to continuous exploration. So for me, the sentiment of “Rock My Soul” isn’t an ethereal, intangible endeavor—it’s a call to express yourself, engage with everything within and around you—and find enjoyment while doing it.
The festival Rock My Soul with the LA Phil offers a diverse range of music with messages about historical recognition, liberation and fierce self-empowerment; and highlights artists who speak to our need for accountability as a human collective.
When the LA Phil asked me to curate this festival, I was excited, because the artists that precede and surround me who identify as B/black, American and women have deeply impacted my musical life. However, like many artists, I don’t want to be positioned, even if what I choose to share is geared in a certain social or political direction. That said, there’s no denying how strong bonds in personal relationships, claiming one’s identity, and reflecting and considering past and present circumstances that impacts what art is made and offered.
Rock My Soul focuses on the connection, collaboration and mutual support shared between artists—and celebrates voices who incorporate a vast scope of influences and inspirations in their work.Julia Bullock
Curated by Mercedes Cooper, Senior VP of Programming for Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY, Rock My Soul Humanities programs include a performance by and conversation with Grammy Award-winning musician and Queen Sugar composer Meshell Ndegeocello, the participatory event Movie Soundtrack Yoga led by R&B Yoga founder Lauren Spearman, and a live performance by J’Nai Bridges followed by the film Carmen Jones.
“We are proud to amplify the vast and very special artistry of Black women in collaboration with the LA Phil. This series seeks to rediscover and reflect on the abundant contributions made by Black women, past and present, across musical genres in relation to storytelling. Our hope is that this exploration through music, movement and motion pictures conjures new imaginations for our future voices.”Mercedes Cooper
For additional information about Rock My Soul, please visit: laphil.com/rockmysoul.
TICKETS & SAFETY INFORMATION
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the LA Phil’s website: laphil.com. Programs, artists, prices and dates subject to change. Ticket limits may apply.
Prior to attending, audiences are encouraged to view the LA Phil’s updated safety guidelines posted on the website: laphil.com/safety.