Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait


Tyshawn Sorey: Perle Noir: Meditations on Josephine

Julia Bullock, soprano; International Contemporary Ensemble; Tyshawn Sorey, drums, piano and percussion

Conceived by Peter Sellars
Arrangements and new music: Tyshawn Sorey
Texts: Claudia Rankine

Read a New York Times preview/interview: Reimagining Josephine Baker’s Music in the Era of Black Lives Matter

Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait is a unique and poignant evening honoring the brilliance, daring, public courage and private tragedies of the icon who created a singing, dancing declaration of independence and blazed a trail of irresistible challenge and charm in France in the 1920’s.

Da Camera’s celebration of musical and cultural roots kicks off with rising-star soprano Julia Bullock finding inspiration in legendary singer Josephine Baker. Julia Bullock has been hailed as an “impressive, fast-rising soprano…poised for a significant career” by The New York TimesShe has captivated audiences with her versatile artistry and commanding stage presence. Bullock makes her Houston debut in Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait, with new music and arrangements for the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble by celebrated composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey and texts by poet and 2016 MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine.

“a serious entertainment conceived by Peter Sellars which showcases the exceptional talents of the soprano Julia Bullock and the multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey, who has weaved together a musical tribute to Josephine Baker—the incandescent African-American chanteuse who not only dazzled the denizens of Paris but taught them a lesson in moral courage.” – The New Yorker


“Her soprano mellow and flexible, somber yet with a crucial undercurrent of youthful hopefulness, Ms. Bullock was a magnetically still presence – until a sensational climactic break into sinuous Baker-esque choreography” – The New York Times