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GREAT PERFORMANCES: NOW HEAR THIS: Florence Price and the American Migration

Great Performances
Courtesy of Arcos Film & Music
Florence Price’s sheet music. Follow the trail of one of America’s first recognized Black female composers and piano virtuosos from Little Rock to Chicago to learn how West African music and European hymns inspired nearly all of American popular music.

Premieres Friday, April 15, 2022 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On demand with the PBS Video App

Host Scott Yoo follows the trail of great African American composer Florence Price, learning that West African music and European hymns inspired nearly all American popular music. He begins with the Arkansas archives that house Price’s work, which was originally found in the attic of an abandoned Chicago house.

5 Facts About Florence Price

Then, Yoo joins pianist Karen Walwyn to discover where Price grew up and the spiritual music she was surrounded by in the South before moving to Chicago seeking equality and opportunity. Yoo explores Southern migrants’ musical impact on the city and gospel music with singer Vernon Oliver Price and former choir director Lou Della Evans Reid.

Breaking Down Florence Price's Piano Sonata

Other performances by musicians inspired by Price, include pianist Michelle Cann, blues musician John Primer, opera singers Rod Dixon and Alfreda Burke, showing how powerful Price’s influence remains today.

Places visited: Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Chicago, Illinois

The Lost Manuscripts of Composer Florence Price

Watch On Your Schedule:

"Florence Price and the American Migration" premieres Friday, April 15 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV, at, and on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

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