ListN Up Playlist: Jasmine Arielle Barnes (May 2, 2024)

ListN Up is a series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice.

Jasmine Arielle Barnes is a Baltimore native, Dallas-based, Emmy award-winning composer who specializes in writing for the voice. She has been commissioned by numerous organizations including the Kennedy Center, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and many more prestigious institutions.

Hello! My name is Jasmine Arielle Barnes and I’m a composer – a super excited composer today – because I get to share this curated playlist with you! The pieces I’ve decided to share with you today are all by living composers, of varying backgrounds, but definitely consists of music that inspires me. You’ll get to hear some pieces of my own today, but my hope is that you hear something new that inspires you too.

“Peace” by Jasmine Barnes, Performed by Lawrence Brownlee and Kevin J. Miller

This first piece called “Peace” was written by me for Lawrence Brownlee and Kevin Miller for an album entitled Rising. This 2024 Grammy nominated album features some of the most incredible Black composers, including Shawn Okpebholo, Damien Sneed, Margaret Bonds, and Jeremiah Evans to name a few. Most of who I named are friends of mine and all are inspirations.

“My People” by Joel Thompson, Performed by Lawrence Brownlee and Kevin J. Miller

The second piece is from the same album, from a good friend of mine, Joel Thompson. This piece, titled “My People,” displays Joel’s depth of genius through his musical storytelling. Joel is easily one of my favorite composers and one of the most influential in the industry.

Machine Head: Ted Burke Poems, III. “Machine Head” by Libby Larsen, Performed by Will Liverman and Jonathan King

The next piece is from an album titled Show Me the Way by Will Liverman and Jonathan King. I have a world premiere song cycle called A Sable Jubilee featured on this album, with text by Tesia Kwarteng, but I won’t be sharing that today. Instead, I’ll share one of Libby Larsen’s pieces called Machine Head. I haven’t met Libby, but I’m a big fan of her work and you’ll find out why in a few moments.

1B by Edgar Meyer, Performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O’ Connor, and Edgar Meyer

The next piece is one of my personal favorites by Edgar Meyer. It’s called 1B and performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor, and Edgar Meyer himself. It’s definitely a wild ride, but exciting and inventive. It blends so many different genres and elements that it became a quick favorite of mine upon first listen. I can’t wait for you to hear it and feel the same!

Rounds by Jessie Montgomery, Performed by Awadagin Pratt and A Far Cry

The next piece is called Rounds by Jessie Montgomery, who is one of my good friends. This piece is not only the piece that made Jessie a recent Grammy Award winner for best contemporary classical composition, but is a real glance into the mind of the insanely talented and bright composer. Rounds is performed by Awadagin Pratt and A Far Cry on the album entitled Stillpoint. Take a listen.

Welcome to the Broken Hearts Club, III. “It’s nice and it hurts,” by Jessica Meyer, Performed by Chabrelle Williams, Johnna Wu, Kobi Malkin, Jessica Meyer, and Caleb von der Swaagh

The next piece is the last movement titled “It’s Nice and it Hurts” from a song cycle called Welcome to the Broken Hearts Club by Jessica Meyer with text by King Weatherspoon. I was fortunate to hear this live when we both had premieres by City Music Cleveland back in 2022, both set to King’s text. On this you’ll hear a good friend of mine, Chabrelle Williams, a fabulous soprano, and you’ll also hear the composer herself along with Johnna Wu, Kobi Malkin, and Caleb van der Swaagh.

A Spark and a Glimmer by Lauren McCall, Performed by Caitlin Edwards, Nancy Ives, and Monica Ohuchi

The next piece is called A Spark and A Glimmer by Lauren McCall from the album entitled Amplify. Lauren and I were a part of the Recording Inclusivity Initiative at All Classical Portland. A brilliant composer that you’ll get to hear a world premiere by on May 12th if you come to the American Composers Forum Composing Inclusion Chamber Concert at Juilliard performed by Juilliard’s Preparatory Division and NY Philharmonic players. Performing A Spark and A Glimmer is another friend of mine, Caitlin Edwards, as well as Nancy Ives and Monica Ohuchi.

Portraits: Douglas and Tubman II. “Do Right” by Jasmine Barnes, Performed by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society

To close off my playlist, I’m ending with a piece I wrote titled “Do Right” from the song cycle Portraits: Douglass and Tubman. This piece is performed by Baltimore Choral Arts Society and, fun fact, there was a documentary made about our connection, the concert’s connection, about myself, and this song cycle by PBS; and we won an Emmy for it! Special shout out to Anthony Blake Clark and TL Benton.



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