Rock My Soul Festival

A vibrant celebration of Black women artists in collaboration and community, the Rock My Soul Festival celebrates both historical and present-day collaborations between supportive women artists. Curated by soprano Julia Bullock and featuring performances by Chaka KhanRhiannon GiddensJ’Nai BridgesMeshell Ndegeocello and many more.

Rock My Soul shines a light on the power of creative community. The festival boasts several performance dates and was inspired by the friendship between composers Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, whose mutual support helped them break down barriers to have their music heard in the classical music world of the early 20th century.

Concerts will be staged at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as The Ford Amphitheater and REDCAT between October 30 to November 22, 2022.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association presents Rock My Soul, a festival celebrating both historical and present-day collaboration and community formed by Black woman-identifying artists.

The phrase “Rock My Soul” has a long lineage and legacy: It is the leading lyric of a traditional Black American spiritual about expanding one’s being in every dimension and direction imaginable. The song title was later utilized by philosopher and educator bell hooks, who communicated about the importance of understanding the pursuit of love, a sense of community, and commitment to continuous exploration. So for me, the sentiment of “Rock My Soul” isn’t an ethereal, intangible endeavor—it’s a call to express yourself, engage with everything within and around you—and find enjoyment while doing it.

The festival Rock My Soul with the LA Phil offers a diverse range of music with messages about historical recognition, liberation and fierce self-empowerment; and highlights artists who speak to our need for accountability as a human collective.

When the LA Phil asked me to curate this festival, I was excited, because the artists that precede and surround me who identify as B/black, American and women have deeply impacted my musical life. However, like many artists, I don’t want to be positioned, even if what I choose to share is geared in a certain social or political direction. That said, there’s no denying how strong bonds in personal relationships, claiming one’s identity, and reflecting and considering past and present circumstances that impacts what art is made and offered.

Julia Bullock’s curatorial statement.

Rock My Soul focuses on the connection, collaboration and mutual support shared between artists—and celebrates voices who incorporate a vast scope of influences and inspirations in their work.

Curated by Mercedes Cooper, Senior VP of Programming for Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY, Rock My Soul Humanities programs include a performance by and conversation with Grammy Award-winning musician and Queen Sugar composer Meshell Ndegeocello, the participatory event Movie Soundtrack Yoga led by R&B Yoga founder Lauren Spearman, and a live performance by J’Nai Bridges followed by the film Carmen Jones.

“We are proud to amplify the vast and very special artistry of Black women in collaboration with the LA Phil,” said Cooper. “This series seeks to rediscover and reflect on the abundant contributions made by Black women, past and present, across musical genres in relation to storytelling. Our hope is that this exploration through music, movement and motion pictures conjures new imaginations for our future voices.”

Mercedes Cooper.

The Rock My Soul festival is generously supported in part by Margaret Morgan and Wesley Phoa.

The LA Phil’s Humanities Programs are generously supported by Linda and David Shaheen.

Chaka Khan
Sunday, Oct. 30, at 7:30PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan is a force of nature as a live performer, and an exceptional songwriter and collaborator. The voice of hits “Sweet Thing,” “You Got the Love,” “I Feel For You,” “Tell Me Something Good” and the triumphant “I’m Every Woman” leads off the Rock My Soul Festival.
Chaka Khan
Movie Soundtrack Yoga
Saturday, Nov. 5, at 10AM
The Ford (on stage)
Laying a foundation for creativity and collaboration through wellness, yogis at all levels are invited to join an open-air class led by Lauren Spearman, founder of R&B Yoga. The morning’s playlist will feature songs by Black women from film and television soundtracks.
Lauren Spearmanyoga instructor
Rock My Soul: Symphonies for Youth
Saturday, Nov. 5, at 11AM
Saturday, Nov. 19, at 11AM
Walt Disney Concert Hall
At the LA Phil, we believe in the power of music to spark imaginations and shape young lives. Our Symphonies for Youth (SFY) concerts invite children ages 5 to 11 to soak up the sounds of a world-class orchestra while experiencing the thrill of live performance. Come early for our popular self-guided art activities and fun for all ages throughout the space.
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Linhan Cuiconductor
Program to include symphonic works and new arrangements for voice and orchestra by Florence PRICE and Margaret BONDS. 
A Musical Portrait: Price and Bonds
Saturday, Nov. 5, at 8PM
Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall
From art songs to solo showpieces and symphonic excerpts, Julia Bullock curates an evening showcasing the enduring musical voices of Florence Price and Margaret Bonds.
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Lidiya Yankovskaya, conductor

Julia Bullockcurator

Michelle Bradleysoprano

Jasmin White, mezzo-soprano

Michelle Cannpiano

Nathaniel Gumbsorgan
PRICE Retrospection for OrganPRICE The OakPRICE Symphony No. 4 in D minor             Andante cantabile
             Juba. Allegro
PRICE Selected Songs
PRICE Selected Works for Solo Piano
PRICE (arr. Michael-Thomas FOUMAI)  A Piece for Solo Piano and Orchestra, after Florence Price’s Fantasie nègre No. 1 (world premiere, LA Phil commission)
BONDS (arr. by Jannina NORPOTH) Selected Songs
BONDS Selections from Montgomery Variations

PRICE Organ Suite No. 1
Bryan, Bonds & Price
Friday, Nov. 11, at 8PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Jeri Lynne Johnson leads a program that brings the historic fight for acceptance and dignity by Bonds and Price into conversation with the modern day.
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor

Julia Bullockcurator

Singer to be announced
Program to include
Courtney BRYAN SanctumPRICE/BONDS Selected Songs
Rhiannon Giddens
Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Both with The Carolina Chocolate Drops and in her own solo work, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens has used her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present.
Rhiannon Giddens
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductorResistance Revival Chorus
An Evening with Meshell Ndegeocello featuring the music of Queen SugarWednesday, Nov. 16, at 8PM
BP Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall
Join Meshell Ndegeocello—award-winning singer-songwriter, bassist and composer behind Ava DuVernay’s television series Queen Sugar—for an intimate evening of music and conversation.
Meshell Ndegeocello
Carmen Jones Screening with live performance by J’Nai Bridges
Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 7PM
Set to the music of Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen with updated lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Carmen Jones began its life on stage and was famously translated to film in 1954 with an all-Black cast led by the iconic Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. This rare screening will be preceded by a live musical performance by Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, paying tribute to Dandridge’s towering performance.
J’Nai Bridgesmezzo-soprano
BIZET Carmen Jones (1954)
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Ford
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Los Angeles, CA 90068
REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
For additional information about Rock My Soul, please visit:
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the LA Phil’s website: Programs, artists, prices and dates subject to change. Ticket limits may apply.
Prior to attending, audiences are encouraged to view the LA Phil’s updated safety guidelines posted on the website:

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a Peabody Award-winning narrative change collective. The organization catalyzes its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance.
Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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