You're in for a true delight! During its debut Annual Black History Month Festival, the Planetary Music Movement (PMM) is thrilled to celebrate the life, compositions, and musicianship of Thomas Wiggins. PMM's co-lead, Dara Hankins, and founding member of The Dream Unfinished, Kyle Walker, will open your eyes to "Blind Tom's" legacy.
One of America's hidden gems during the 19th century, Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins was "a virtuosic pianist, gifted composer, and one of the most in-demand musicians of his time." In 1849, Thomas was born into slavery with blindness and autism. These tremendous disadvantages, however, were no match for his musical genius, which paved the way to him being the very first Black musician to perform a headliner at the White House - at the age of 10 no less! And Thomas' timeless works contributed to the romanticism era of the 19th-century.
A "bold, innovative artist with a social conscience," Dara Hankins is a poised cellist who "believes in promoting equity through music and is an advocate for social justice." Yo-Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Bell, Kirk Whalum, and Lalah Hathaway are among the many renowned artists with whom Dara has performed. Embracing interdisciplinary collaboration, Dara is a remarkable orchestral musician, soloist, chamber musician, and teaching artist.
Critically-acclaimed pianist, Kyle Walker, is a strong advocate for social justice and equality who "believes music can speak to social issues better than verbal language can." In addition to being one of its founding members, Kyle is a chamber music producer of The Dream Unfinished; this activist orchestra uses "classical music as a platform to engage audiences in dialogues surrounding social and racial justice."