The Legacy Show

The Legacy Show is a multimedia concert of music by African-American composers performed by violinist Tami Lee Hughes and pianist Byron Burford-Phearse. The program features classical music infused with a variety of styles, including spirituals, blues, gospel, hip-hop, and jazz. Portraying cultural themes of the Antebellum Period, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era, and Modern Times, the program includes poetry and visual media. Poems, by such writers as Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, introduce each piece. Visual media, which is projected onto a large screen during the music performances, provides images of people and places thematically related to the music. A specialcomponent of the program is Songbirds, a tribute to African-American women written by Grammy-nominated music producer and Rock and Roll "Hall of Famer" Kerwin Young.

The program also includes Duke Ellington Suite, an homage to one of jazz's great legends, arranged exclusively for The Legacy Show by Ozie Cargile. The Legacy Show is more than a concert. It is a musical, cultural, and historical journey guided by the work of prolific American creative artists. Each artist has a story influenced by his or her experiences. The Legacy Show reaches into the heart of these stories to celebrate the exuberance of life, and the spirit of triumph over tragedy. The Legacy Show is for everyone, and it is food for the soul.

The Legacy Show's mission is to celebrate and preserve the legacy of African-American composers who have contributed to American music, and to highlight the cultural themes represented in their work. Some works in the program, including the spiritual Some Time I Feel Like A Motherless Child, are familiar to audiences. Other works, including Filter, which fuses classical, blues, and hip-hop, may be less familiar. The Legacy Show, however, demonstrates the diversity of African-American musicians and their cultural impact. The integration of poetry and visual media encourages audiencesto make deeper connections between the music and its history. The Legacy Show hopes to inspire listeners to explore diverse voices in Creative Arts, and, to provide them with an unforgettable concert experience.

Tami Lee Hughes

Tami Lee Hughes

Critics rave violinist TAMI LEE HUGHES “rises to considerable technical challenges,” playing with a sound “reminiscentof Perlman.” Since making her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra, she has extensively toured the United States, Europe, and Central America, championing the music of African-American composers. Her solo album, Legacy: Violin Music of African-American Composers, was heralded as one of the top ten albums of 2011 by All Music Guide, garnering acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Her work has been broadcasted on radio stations around the world and continues to serve as a significant artistic and cultural record of American music.

Additional credits in classical music include appearances in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center as a member of the acclaimed Sphinx Virtuosi Chamber Ensemble; appearances as section violinist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, and Charleston SymphonyOrchestra among others; a live broadcast concert on Chicago’s WFMT radio station for the Dame Myra Hess MemorialConcert Series; and featured artist in the Ritz Chamber Players Concert Series. An artist of versatility, Hughes also has numerous credits in popular music, film, and television. She performs as violinist for The Only Good Indian, a 2009 Sundance Film Festival motion picture, and has recorded as studio violinist for Grammy Award-winning artists Aretha Franklin, Fred Hammond, and Donnie McClurkin. She has also performed live in concert with Smokey Robinson and on television with Grammy Award-winning artist Kirk Franklin.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Hughes earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota and Master and Doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan. Her teachers include Sally O’Reilly, Paul Kantor, and Camilla Wicks. 

Byron Burford-Phearse

Byron Burford-Phearse

Pianist BYRON BURFORD-PHEARSE has performed around the world since completing his studies as a full scholarship student at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Burford-Phearse has been featured on recordings, chamber music recitals, and radio broadcasts, including performances from the Centre d’Arts Orford featured on CBC in Canada. As chamber musician, Burford-Phearse has performed extensively across the United States with the CORE Ensemble. 

Burford-Phearse has made solo and chamber music appearances at the Hot Springs Music Festival, the Centre d’Arts Orford in Montreal, the International Keyboard Festival in New York City, and the École Normale de Musique in Paris as part of the European American Musical Alliance. As an accompanist, Burford-Phearse has collaborated with such critically acclaimed vocalists as Suzanna Guzman, Alvi Powell, Robert Sims, and Angela M. Brown. He has also collaborated with a myriad of instrumentalists, including violinist Tami Lee Hughes in the groundbreaking concert The Legacy Show.

Burford-Phearse holds degrees and diplomas from the University of Michigan, the Royal Academy of Music (London), and the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He currently resides in New York City.