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  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Rock My Soul Festival Curated By Julia Bullock Celebrates Black Women Artists In Collaboration And Community
  • Sep. 20, 2022

    Featuring Chaka Khan, Jasmin White, Jeri Lynne Johnson, J’Nai Bridges,
    Lidiya Yankovskaya, Linhan Cui, Los Angeles Philharmonic,
    Meshell Ndegeocello, Michelle Bradley, Michelle Cann, Nathaniel Gumbs,
    Resistance Revival Chorus, Rhiannon Giddens and many more 

    Humanities Events Curated by Mercedes Cooper for Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY,
    a Peabody Award-Winning Narrative Change Collective

    Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Ford and REDCAT
    October 30 to November 22, 2022

    Chaka Khan, Rhiannon Giddens, J’Nai Bridges and Meshell Ndegeocello

    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.

    Julia Bullock’s curatorial statement:

    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.

    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,” said Cooper. “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.”

    The Rock My Soul festival is generously supported in part by Margaret Morgan and Wesley Phoa.

    The LA Phil’s Humanities Programs are generously supported by Linda and David Shaheen.




    Chaka Khan
    Sunday, Oct. 30, at 7:30PM
    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan is a force of nature as a live performer, and an exceptional songwriter and collaborator. The voice of hits “Sweet Thing,” “You Got the Love,” “I Feel For You,” “Tell Me Something Good” and the triumphant “I’m Every Woman” leads off the Rock My Soul Festival.

    Chaka Khan


    Movie Soundtrack Yoga
    Saturday, Nov. 5, at 10AM
    The Ford (on stage)

    Laying a foundation for creativity and collaboration through wellness, yogis at all levels are invited to join an open-air class led by Lauren Spearman, founder of R&B Yoga. The morning’s playlist will feature songs by Black women from film and television soundtracks.

    Lauren Spearman, yoga instructor


    Rock My Soul: Symphonies for Youth
    Saturday, Nov. 5, at 11AM
    Saturday, Nov. 19, at 11AM
    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    At the LA Phil, we believe in the power of music to spark imaginations and shape young lives. Our Symphonies for Youth (SFY) concerts invite children ages 5 to 11 to soak up the sounds of a world-class orchestra while experiencing the thrill of live performance. Come early for our popular self-guided art activities and fun for all ages throughout the space.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Linhan Cui, conductor


    Program to include symphonic works and new arrangements for voice and orchestra by Florence PRICE and Margaret BONDS. 


    A Musical Portrait: Price and Bonds
    Saturday, Nov. 5, at 8PM
    Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2PM
    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    From art songs to solo showpieces and symphonic excerpts, Julia Bullock curates an evening showcasing the enduring musical voices of Florence Price and Margaret Bonds.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Lidiya Yankovskaya, conductor
    Julia Bullock, curator
    Michelle Bradley, soprano
    Jasmin White, mezzo-soprano
    Michelle Cann, piano
    Nathaniel Gumbs, organ


    PRICE Retrospection for Organ
    PRICE The Oak
    PRICE Symphony No. 4 in D minor
                 Andante cantabile
                 Juba. Allegro
    PRICE Selected Songs
    PRICE Selected Works for Solo Piano
    PRICE (arr. Michael-Thomas FOUMAI)  A Piece for Solo Piano and Orchestra, after Florence Price’s Fantasie nègre No. 1 (world premiere, LA Phil commission)
    BONDS (arr. by Jannina NORPOTH) Selected Songs
    BONDS Selections from Montgomery Variations
    PRICE Organ Suite No. 1


    Bryan, Bonds & Price
    Friday, Nov. 11, at 8PM
    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Jeri Lynne Johnson leads a program that brings the historic fight for acceptance and dignity by Bonds and Price into conversation with the modern day.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor
    Julia Bullock, curator
    Singer to be announced

    Program to include

    Courtney BRYAN Sanctum
    PRICE/BONDS Selected Songs


    Rhiannon Giddens
    Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8PM
    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Both with The Carolina Chocolate Drops and in her own solo work, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens has used her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present.

    Rhiannon Giddens
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor
    Resistance Revival Chorus


    An Evening with Meshell Ndegeocello featuring the music of Queen Sugar
    Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 8PM
    BP Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Join Meshell Ndegeocello—award-winning singer-songwriter, bassist and composer behind Ava DuVernay’s television series Queen Sugar—for an intimate evening of music and conversation.

    Meshell Ndegeocello


    Carmen Jones Screening with live performance by J’Nai Bridges
    Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 7PM

    Set to the music of Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen with updated lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Carmen Jones began its life on stage and was famously translated to film in 1954 with an all-Black cast led by the iconic Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. This rare screening will be preceded by a live musical performance by Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, paying tribute to Dandridge’s towering performance.

    J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano


    BIZET Carmen Jones (1954)


    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012


    The Ford
    2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Los Angeles, CA 90068


    REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater
    631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    For additional information about Rock My Soul, please visit:


    Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the LA Phil’s website: 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:


    Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a Peabody Award-winning narrative change collective. The organization catalyzes its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance.


    Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.

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