A Conversation with Lee Pringle

In recent years, some of you might have heard me lecturing about the fascinating subject of African-American musicians in early Charleston and their unsung contribution to our Lowcountry cultural gumbo. This week I’m proud to host Lee Pringle for conversation about his upcoming festival, Colour of Music, which quite literally puts the spotlight on contemporary classically-trained black musicians. If you’d like to learn more about the festival and its mission, please join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14th in the CCPL auditorium at 68 Calhoun Street.

Lee Pringle, found of the Colour of Music festival

Lee Pringle, founder of the Colour of Music festival

Lee Pringle is a Lowcountry native whose career took him to far-away places before he returned to Charleston to pursue his musical dreams. You may have heard him with the renowned Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Gospel Choir, which he founded some fourteen years ago, as well as the CSO Spiritual Ensemble and CSO Spiritual Ensemble Chorale. Music is Lee’s passion, and he stands out among his peers by being well-steeped in both classical and vernacular traditions.

The Colour of Music festival, about to begin its second season, is the fruit of many years of planning. Its purpose is to celebrate the contributions of black musicians and composers who work in the tradition of “classical” art music. Such contributions go back to the eighteenth century, when Joseph Boulogne, also known as Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799), attracted much attention in Europe for his incredible talents as both a violinist and composer. Boulogne’s works, like those of many other subsequent classically-trained black musicians, have been overlooked by generations of audiences and musicologists, but the tide is rapidly changing.  The Colour of Music is the first, and at present only festival dedicated to celebrating the talents of black artists, past and present, who contribute so much to our global cultural gumbo.

This year’s Colour of Music festival runs October 17-23, and includes a variety of artists, ensembles, and musical idioms. We encourage you to check it out, and to come to the Charleston County Public Library to hear Lee Pringle talk about his musical mission.

Time: Tuesday, October 14th 2014 at 6 p.m.

Place: CCPL Auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, 29401

For more information, please contact Dr. Nic Butler at butlern[at]ccpl.org or 843–805–6968.