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The Ballad of The Brown King ... destined to become an annual tradition.

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Months ago after much investigation, I made the discovery of the christmas cantata, "The Ballad of The Brown King" by Margaret Bonds with text of Langston Hughes. However, trying to find the actual music caused many a sleepless nights and countless hours of research. Well it all paid off with our 2 SOLD OUT shows on Sunday, Dec. 3rd. Response from. the audience members included, "I was blown away", "This was the most delightful experience", "You must make this an annual tradition", "What a refreshing and inspired way to launch the holidays", "How is it possible no one has ever heard of this piece?". Our cast of nearly 20 musicians and singers were giddy with the shared experience of bringing to life a work that inspired each of us with the freshness and beauty of Margaret Bonds' composition. While most of us are familiar with Langston Hughes, far fewer are aware of one of his closest friends, composer, Margaret Bonds. I encourage you to explore her life and her work. She was a maverick back in her day and I would say her efforts to preserve the works of African American composers would be considered at the forefront of what many are trying to accomplish today. It was a great honor to dedicate our performances to the great Rosalyn Carter. Her passing is a great loss to the world but her contributions to peace and the betterment of the earth will be felt for generations to come.


Musikiwest, (a 501 c(3) organization) presented this event made possible by your donations and support of events held in SandBox. We are honored to have been awarded a Community Arts Grant by The Arts Council for Monterey County. We were blessed to have such incredible singers and musicians from the Bay area join us for this production.


Our community engagement continued on Monday, Dec. 4th when our Musikiwest acclaimed super hero musicians, Nancy Zhou, Daniel Dastoor, Katie Kadarauch and Michelle Djokic engaged with hundreds of students from the North Monterey County High School and Middle School presenting our scripted open rehearsals addressing conflict resolution through the collaborative nature of chamber music. These visits to the classrooms were made possible by generous grants from the Pebble Beach Company Foundation and Yellow Brick Road.


Musikiwest is once again honored to be included in the 2023 MC Gives campaign . Thank you in advance for your support for our efforts here at SandBox and outside in the classrooms. Every gift regardless of size makes a huge difference.


Here is a brief clip of the magic that happened in The Ballad of The Brown King this past weekend.


And here is photo from our musicians in the classroom of the North Monterey County High School.


Please enjoy a safe and peaceful holiday. Wishing you all good health filled with great music and art in 2024!

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