In the recording studio

Maya Angelou's liner notes for William Chapman Nyaho's Senku:

Chapman Nyaho has employed good research, exquisite musicianship, and courage, in selecting music for this debut CD. His research led him to find marvelous but little known composers in Africa, the Caribbean, England and the United States.

Chapman Nyaho, a famed concert pianist, chose compositions, which allowed him to display his virtuosity. He is able to offer music, light, and sunny, which brings to mind the games of childhood's summer and in this same CD, music as majestic as the thrilling great chords found in "Deep River, I want to crossover into campground."

Chapman Nyaho's magnificent courage can be seen in his willingness to find the music, to select the music, and then offer the music to an audience, which for the most part, had never heard of these composers. That was wondrously brave.

This CD will provide moments of discovery so delicious, that the listeners will be made to laugh out loud and to compliment not just Dr. Chapman Nyaho, but themselves at their good fortune in finding these composers and this pianist.

I wish happy harmonies to Dr. Chapman Nyaho and I know the listeners will enjoy this CD and they should not be surprised if they start whistling the melodies, immediately.

Maya Angelou

William Chapman Nyaho, Concert Pianist

Nyaho's CD recordings

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Piano Music by Composers of African Descent

Senku: a Fanti (Ghana) term for a keyboard instrument

Piano Music by Composers of African Descent is extremely varied. The composers show an influence of both African and Western cultures. The African elements may manifest themselves on a melodic, harmonic and rhythmic level, whereas the structure of the work may be more easily identified as Western. On the other hand, composers may use 20th century Western compositional techniques with the general musical aesthetic being African. The melodic, harmonic and percussive qualities of the piano make it the perfect vehicle for the expression of this inter-cultural music.

Contents of Senku:

Joshua Uzoigwe (NIGERIA) (1946-)
Talking Drums
1 Ukom
2 Ilulu
3 Egwu Amala
Sample (0:46)

Oswald Russell (JAMAICA) (1939-)
Three Jamaican Dances
4 No. 1
5 No. 2
6 No. 3
Sample (1:01)

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (USA) (1932-)
7 Scherzo (9:42)
Sample (0:49)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (ENGLAND)

8 Deep River (6:20)
from 24 Negro Melodies Op. 59 no. 10
Sample (0:51)

Margaret Bonds (USA) (1913-1972)
9 Troubled Water (4:52)
Sample (0:55)

Gamal Abdel-Rahim (EGYPT) (1924-1988)

10 Variations on
an Egyptian Folksong
Sample (1:22)

Robert Nathaniel Dett (USA)

"In The Bottoms" Suite
11 Prelude: Night
12 His Song
13 Honey: Humoresque
14 Barcarolle: Morning
Sample (1:03)
15 Dance: Juba
Sample (Full Cut, 2:16)

Gyimah Labi (GHANA) (1950-)
16 Earthbeats Op. 22 (9:29)
From Six Dialects in African Pianism
Sample (0:48)

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from MSR Classics

More information on composers and musicians of African descent can be found at Africlassical.com

Click here to purchase
from MSR Classics

Piano Music by composers of African Descent

This disc is subtitled "Piano music by composers of African descent," and presents no fewer than six world premiere recordings. It provides a welcome glimpse into the workings of black composers resident both in Africa and beyond. The first five composers whose works we hear are all based in Africa itself. From there, we move to Cuba, Haiti, Guadeloupe, and the U.S.A.

Contents of Asa:

Fred Onovwerosuoke (b.1960) Nigeria
Studies in African Rhythm (8:38)
1 Udje (1:23)
Sample (0:25)
2 Jali (1:18)
3 Okoye (1:28)
4 Iroro (1:37)
5 Ayevwiomo (1:15)
Sample (0:28)
6 Agbadza (1:25)

Robert Kwami (1954-2004) Ghana
7 January Dance (2:51)
Sample (Full Cut, 2:21)

Isak Roux (b.1959) South Africa
8 Preludes in African Rhythm - Township Guitar (5:25)

Bongani Ndodana (b.1975) South Africa
Flowers in Sand (9:51)
9 Part 1: After the First Rain (5:28)
10 Part 2: Colours in the Dunes (4:17)

Halim El Dabh (b.1921) Egypt
11 Coma Dance (5:08)
Sample (0:50)

Amadeo Roldan (1900-1939) Cuba
12 Preludio Cubano (1:51)
Sample (0:51)

Ludovic Lamothe (1882-1953) Haiti
13 La Dangereuse (5:03)
Sample (0:49)

Alain-Pierre Pradel (b.1949) Guadeloupe
14 Sept Pieces Creole - Pomme Cannelle (2:41)

Florence Price (1887-1953) USA
Dances in the Canebrakes (9:03)
15 Nimble Feet (2:14)
16 Tropical Noon (1:43)
Sample (0:35)
17 Silk Hat and Walking Cane (2:30)
Sample (0:51)

Wallace Cheatham (b.1946) USA
Three Preludes (5:08)
18 Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (0:52)
19 Poor Mourner's Got a Home (1:43)
20 My Lord Didn't It Rain (2:30)
Sample (0:57)

C. Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004) USA
21 Toccata (2:35)
Sample (0:40)

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from MSR Classics

More information on composers and musicians of African descent can be found at Africlassical.com

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"These kinetic pieces easily get under one's skin and they sound like they are fun to play. The older pieces by composers such as Ludovic Lamothe, a Haitian born in 1882 (the same year as Stravinsky) are charming, but it is the fresh-off-the-press tunes that interest me most."
—American Record Guide review of Asa