Kim Davenport, Pianist
Growing up with parents who were musical and artistic, my earliest memories are illustrated with abstract art, and the first sounds I heard were of avant-garde jazz and contemporary classical music. In my work as a pianist and collaborative artist, I have had many exciting opportunities to collaborate with composers, premiere new works, publish new music, and otherwise do my part to contribute to classical music as a living, breathing artform.
Self-reflection over the past several years of my work as a teacher and performer, though, has brought me to the obvious and painful realization that my own training and education was full of gaps – especially when it comes to exploring and celebrating the music of composers of color. And I am not alone – in this moment, all who are working as performers and teachers, eager to share classical music with new generations, have a lot of work to do to break down the white supremacy embedded in our music-making.
All of this is shared as context for the music I have chosen to share on this program – eight pieces by eight different black composers, representing a wide array of styles and time periods. Each piece spoke to me in its own unique way, and I feel that together, they begin to share just some of the phenomenal, diverse, and vital contributions made to the piano repertoire by black composers.
In addition to solo piano works by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Robert Nathaniel Dett, Margaret Bonds, Adolphus Hailstork, and Jonathan Bailey Holland, I am delighted to collaborate with flutist Drew Shipman in sharing works for flute and piano by William Grant Still and Jasmine Barnes. Drew’s socially progressive programming and powerful musicianship have inspired me immensely over the past few years, and I don’t know that I would be sharing this program without his support – please join me in wishing him well as he heads off to graduate study at Northwestern University this fall!
Finally, it is difficult to put into words how meaningful it is for me that my mother’s work will be part of the artistic experience for those who attend this concert. A skilled musician as well as an artist, she is a rock of support for me for each new project I take on, providing feedback and inspiration every step of the way. The works she shares during this program were inspired directly by the program itself, and we hope that they provide an additional lens through which to experience the musical statements made by the featured composers.
Kim Davenport is a musician, teacher, researcher and writer with diverse and intertwined interests. As a performer, Kim is primarily interested in sharing new and under-represented works, resulting in a wide range of solo and chamber performances, recording projects, and collaborations with composers throughout her professional career. She holds a Masters in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and undergraduate degrees in music from the University of Washington.
She was the pianist for Duo Alea (1999-2019), the ensemble she formed with her clarinetist father Michael; the Duo's performances and recordings featured local and world premieres of several important works for bass clarinet & piano. Since her father's passing, she carries on the work of Alea Publishing, the independent music publishing firm they founded to promote new works for the bass clarinet by composers from around the world. In 2020, Alea Publishing launched the Dolphy Prize, an annual award for new works for bass clarinet by black composers.
As a teacher, Kim works with piano students of all ages in her private studio, as well as teaching a range of music courses at both the University of Washington Tacoma and the University of Puget Sound. In her university courses, she is passionate about bringing the world of classical music to life for students from a wide variety of personal and academic backgrounds, with a focus on interdisciplinarity and challenging white supremacy in classical music's past and present.
Kim is also an avid researcher of local history, with a particular focus on Tacoma's musical past. She serves as Communications Manager for Tacoma Historical Society, and has written numerous journal articles and books on a variety of local history topics. Her blog, www.TacomaMusicHistory.org, shares her and her students' research, and her most recent book, "Sounds of our City: Twenty-One Musical Tales from Tacoma History," was released in Spring 2021.
Drew Shipman, Flutist
Drew Shipman is a flutist and recent graduate from the University of Puget Sound, where he studied flute with Karla Flygare. He will pursue his Master of Music degree in Music Education at Northwestern University this fall. Drew has performed in master classes with renowned flutists including Amy Porter, Christina Jennings, Erika Boysen, Laura Dwyer, and Greg Patillo, as well as with members of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.
While at Puget Sound, Drew was awarded the Schneebeck Music Scholarship and the Delwen and Genevieve Jones Music Scholarship. As a winner of the 2018 University of Puget Sound Concerto/Aria competition, Drew performed Leonard Bernstein's Halil for flute, strings, and percussion with the UPS Symphony Orchestra. Drew crafted the piano reduction of David Maslanka's Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble and premiered it with Jinshil Yi in spring 2019; he performed the work with the Puget Sound Wind Ensemble in spring 2021.
Laurie Davenport, Artist
Laurie Davenport is a Tacoma artist who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. She is inspired to work with images and designs derived from observing the people and places of daily life. She has had several solo shows over her career which have included organizing and participating in multimedia concerts and concurrent art exhibit/concert events. Since returning to Tacoma, Laurie has worked in both art and graphic design, winning the Grand Cinema's Tacoma Film Festival Poster Contest in 2008 among other awards and projects. Since early 2020, she has been sketching daily and posting the sketches on Instagram and Facebook (@lauriedavenportart); some of those sketches have migrated into paintings over the past year.
She was born in Tacoma, grew up in Seattle and has been living and working in Tacoma's Lincoln District since 1999. She received her B.A. from UW Seattle where she studied music; she was an active teacher and cellist for many years before making the choice to work solely as a visual artist. Many of her works focus on music and musicians. Laurie also works in communications for a local legal aid organization and is an advocate for causes and organizations dedicated to ending racism, poverty and homelessness. For every piece of art she sells, she donates half the price to a charity of the buyer's choice.
Chevalier de Saint-George
Adagio in F minor
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
From 24 Negro Melodies, Op.59 No.22
ft. Drew Shipman, flute
Jonathan Bailey Holland
Robert Nathaniel Dett
Barcarolle - Morning
From In the Bottoms
William Grant Still
Summerland, from Three Visions
ft. Drew Shipman, flute