Classical California Ultimate Playlist: Selections From Our Open Ears Series

María Luisa Anido La Nacion’s photo

Voting is open for Classical California Ultimate Playlist, and because we know our Open Ears blog series is one of our most popular features, KUSC arts producer Jeffrey Freymann put together this playlist to inspire your vote. If you think any of these pieces should be on the Classical California Ultimate Playlist, click here to vote or let us know in the comments below.

Eva Jessye: Bless’ My Soul An’ Gone

Traditionally spiritual edited and arranged by Eva Jessye, who was a teacher, singer, and for decades, acclaimed choral director. He led the “Dixie Jubilee Singers” – later renamed in his honor – the chorus in the first production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Julius Eastman: Stay Here

Lincoln Center and members of the ‘activist orchestra’ called The Dream Unfinished post this performance of a work by Julius Eastman, a gay Black American who crossed borders and brought elements of dance and theatrical in his work.

Undine Smith Moore: Scenes from the Life of a Martyr

Introductory narration and two movements from the oratorio written by Undine Smith Moore in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was conducted by Joseph Young, now Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony.

María Luisa Anido: El Misachico

A work named for a religious procession in honor of the saint of Argentine composer and virtuoso guitarist María Luisa Anido, known as ‘The Lady of the Guitar.’

Margaret Bonds: Little David

Spiritually arranged by pianist, composer, and teacher Margaret Bonds. He was the first Black soloist to appear with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, when he was 22, and was later one of Ned Rorem’s first piano teachers. Best known for his tune “Troubled Water,” a piano piece based on the spiritual “Wade in the Water.”

Vote Now on the Classical California Ultimate Playlist


Jeffrey Freymann

Jeffrey is an arts producer for KUSC and our sister station, Classical KDFC, in San Francisco.