New Yorkers are in for a classical treat during Black History Month as the dynamic duo of Roderick Demmings, Jr. and Karl Van Richards present Double Treble, an exciting concert featuring duets for piano and organ on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church. This is Double Treble’s Big Apple debut and their only New York City stop on their 2015 nationwide concert tour.
For the duo, the New York concert is a special one because in addition to the big European works, they are including in the program works by African-American composers and composers of African descent in recognition of Black History Month. “The concert will open with the William Tell Overture as arranged by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, arguably one of the most outstanding pianists of color from 19th century America. We will also include in the tribute works such as “Deep River” by Samuel Coleridge Taylor giving homage Pictured above Karl Van Richards and Roderick Demmings, Jr. to the negro spiritual tradition and a fanfare on the pipe organ “We Shall Overcome” in celebration of the monumental contribution of the Civil Rights movement,” noted Demmings, Jr. and Richards.
Other works to be included in the program are Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no.2 made infamous in the Tom and Jerry cartoon and Double Treble’s own transcription of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” perhaps the most celebrated fusion of African-American blues with European classical music.
With this young and energetic duo, concert goers attending Double Treble should expect the unexpected. “The concert is not only entertaining but educational as well, not in a lecture-recital format, but rather in a witty two-man show way. It is a recital filled with humor, dialog, audience participation, challenges and of course virtuosic music making at the highest level,” noted Demmings, Jr. and Richards. Patrons attending this concert will enjoy collaboration of four-hands at one piano, four hands and four feet at the organ as well as the combination of piano and organ together.
While this is Double Treble’s first New York appearance, both individuals have graced the New York stage previously with Demmings, Jr. performing on the PBS program “From The Top” at Carnegie Hall and Richards performing in musical theater projects at Pace University.
Since the group’s formation in June 2014, Double Treble has performed at the 95th convention of the National Association of Negro Musicians in Los Angeles, California; Unity Church in West Palm Beach, Florida; Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas at and was a special guest at the “Classics in June” concert at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica. Following their New York appearance, Double Treble will continue its national tour which will take them to Aurora and Chicago, Illinois; Charlotte, North Carolina; Washington D.C. and a return appearance in Kingston, Jamaica.