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Excerpts

"Press On," composed by Floyd as part of the Frederick Douglass Jazz Works...captures the composer's beautiful voice at its deepest expression. Combining lyricism with insight and yearning, this selection truly made me want to hear more of Floyd's work. She is a composer to watch.

 

~ Linda Holt, Broad Street Review

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"Press On"

Best Vocal Recital Award, San Francisco Classical Voice Audience Choice Awards for 2019- 2020 for the Frederick Douglass Jazz Works concert at Biola University.

Video: "Press On" from Frederick Douglass Jazz Works performed at Biola University in February 2020.

"Press On"

  • Composed by Ruth Naomi Floyd
  • Vocals: Ruth Naomi Floyd
  • Tenor Saxophone: Keith Loftis
  • Piano: James Weidman
  • Double Bass: Matthew Parrish
  • Drummer: Mark Prince
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Below are select excerpts from a Frederick Douglass Jazz Works performance. Press the PLAY button that appears in the middle of the pictures below to hear the music & oratory excerpts.

Discography

Paradigms for Desolate Times
1994
1994
With New Eyes
1997
1997
Walk and Not Be Faint
1999
1999
Fan Into Flame
2002
2002
Root to the Fruit
2006
2006
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Selected Press Observations

The Times London
Los Angeles Times
Downbeat
Jazz Times
Jazziz
Billboard

Straight No Chaser
Newsday
Cadence Magazine
Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Style Magazine

Philadelphia City Paper
The Bi-College News
Trentonian
Christian Herald
The Black World Today

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Selected Performance Reflections

"The Frederick Douglass Jazz Works" - centering around its namesake, his legacy and his message - the vocalist, composer, and critical artist is calling forth something more from all who dare bring their ears and hearts."
~ The Rev. Charles "Chaz" Howard, chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania, and an editor and writer. WHYY in partnership with PBS and NPR.

"This body of work is extremely dense and yet Ruth Naomi Floyd presents it in an accessible manner that takes us on a stunning, aural and historical journey. "Frederick Douglass Jazz Works" illustrates Ms. Floyd's strengths as a composer, vocalist and historian. The complex music compositions, Fredrick Douglass' timely and biting words, the beauty of Ms. Floyd's voice, and the brother and sisterhood that Ms. Floyd's shares with her ensemble reminds us of the importance and relevance of Douglass' mission.
~ Natalie Francis, audience member

"Ruth's undying commitment to the revolutionary, prophetic and incisive words of Douglass are swaddled in her own very inspired composer's ear. Here's to all the FDJW programs to come!"
~ V. Shayne Frederick, Orator & Vocalist

Ruth Naomi Floyd and her ensemble are in the process of recording the Frederick Douglass Jazz Works!
Release date to be determined.

“I used to contrast my condition with the blackbirds, in whose wild sweet songs I fancied them so happy! Their apparent joy only deepened the shades of my sorrow. For this young slave the singing of the blackbirds did not lie.”
~ Frederick Douglass

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