Jessye Norman (1945-2019 )

Best known as an opera singer, Jessye Norman also lent her rich, dramatic, and powerful voice to recordings and recitals of spirituals and hymns—including a particularly compelling version of “Amazing Grace,” Christmas carols, and jazz recordings. She never limited herself to any one musical genre, … Read MoreJessye Norman (1945-2019 )

Marie Selika Williams (ca. 1849-1937)

In 1878 soprano Marie Selika Williams, known as the “queen of staccato,” became the first black artist to perform at the White House.  Marie Selika was born c. 1849 in Natchez, Mississippi.  Shortly after her birth, Selika’s family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where, as a … Read MoreMarie Selika Williams (ca. 1849-1937)