Dean of African American composers, William Grant Still is the composer most associated with the Harlem Renaissance. His First Symphony combines classical form with the blues progressions and rhythms of popular African American music. The symphony will be performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with Thomas Wilkins as conductor.
In the Roaring Twenties, there was a great outburst of African American art and culture centered in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. Composer William Grant Still was a big part of this, writing for jazz bands and radio shows before moving to Los Angeles to work in films. He filled his symphonies with the sound of the blues and African American spirituals.