Li’l Shadd: A Story of Ujima

My music was included in a concert reimagining* of the picture book Li’l Shadd: A Story of Ujima, that paired the story with music by composers of African descent. The book was originally commissioned by the Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum, and the reimagining was created for the Regina Symphony Orchestra as an online education tool for their RSO in Schools program: “This story chronicles one of Saskatchewan’s first settlers of African descent, Dr. Alfred Schmitz Shadd. The concert features music by composers of African descent, performed by the Regina Symphony Chamber Players. The story is narrated by Sharon-Ann Brown. This education program includes the concert, which is available for online streaming, as well as a teacher’s guide with detailed background on the story, activities and information the contributions Black composers have made to classical music.” *The teachers’ guide download icon is below the video embed in the link.

(Excerpt of Madra for string quartet, 3:42-4:47)

I’m grateful to have been included in this project, and it was a special thrill to find my bio in the guide on the same page as the esteemed Florence Price!

By elmahboob

Bruce A. Russell aka Ibrahim El Mahboob (b. Kingston, ON, 1968) is a composer and self-taught pianist living and working in Toronto (Tkarón:to, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat). He studied at York University with James Tenney and Phillip Werren. He has composed music for the Madawaska String Quartet, Modern Times Stage Company, McMaster Dancers and choreographers Pam Johnson and Tracy Renee Stafford. Interest in his work increased in 2020, with performances by Arraymusic, Prism Percussion, Second Note Duo, San Juan Symphony and Idaho Falls Symphony. He was host of Radio Music Gallery, and has written for Musicworks and I Care if You Listen. His interests are in 20th and 21st century concert music especially postminimalism, and music of the African diaspora including notated and non-notated forms. He is a parent of three and is employed in the financial sector.

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