This lecture-recital will highlight selected arrangements of Louisiana Afro-Creole folk songs of the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries that utilize a Creole patois. These songs reveal a distinct, yet diverse approach to the ethnomusicological heritage of the African experience in the New World. The study explores selected songs of Camille Nickerson, Efrem Zimbalist, Julien Tiersot, W. T. Francis, and Mina Monroe (with Kurt Schindler) while noting various societal influences shaping the subject matter and compositional elements they employ. The main objective is for this lecture-recital to introduce and critically discuss specimens from this little-discussed repertory, both published and unpublished, thus helping to define a neglected corner of Afro-American song. The lecture-recital also serves as a performer’s guide, providing information helpful to others seeking to explore the diversity of historical Afro-American cultural contributions.
Phyllis Lewis-Hale, Jackson State University, United States