Performances, Conversations, and Conference
February 26–28, 2023

Thank you for joining us to make history.

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Watch the Feb. 26 pre-concert talk with Larry Blumenfeld, Darius Brubeck, Arturo O’Farrill, and Wayne Winborne

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music presents a series of concerts and dialogue bringing artists and academics together to dive deep into issues of race and social justice in the modern world. The series launched Feb. 26-28, 2023, centered around The Gates of Justice, jazz legend Dave Brubeck’s rarely presented large-scale sacred composition.

A historic performance of The Gates of Justice took place on Feb. 26 at UCLA’s iconic Royce Hall. For the first time ever, Brubeck’s sons performed as the accompanying jazz trio. Preceding was a program of six recent and socially conscious works by contemporary composers, including six-time Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and music educator Arturo O’Farrill. A second performance of the entire program took place on Feb. 28 at Holman United Methodist Church.

On Feb. 27, a daylong public conference featured prominent scholars and experts exploring the historical and cultural connections of Black and Jewish communities in the United States, intimate analyses of Brubeck’s Gates of Justice, and the contemporary relevance of music to social justice.

“When King said, ‘We must live together as brothers,’ people didn’t hear it. Now they damn well hear it.”
— Dave Brubeck

Day One: Concert and Talk

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023

Schoenberg Hall and Royce Hall at UCLA

2:00 p.m. Pre-concert CONVERSATION, schoenberg hall

Prior to the concert performance on Feb. 26 in Royce Hall, join us for a conversation with composer, teacher, and musician Darius Brubeck, Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and professor of global jazz studies and music at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Arturo O’Farrill, and journalist and critic Larry Blumenfeld (Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast, and others). Darius, the oldest son of Dave Brubeck, is an educator who initiated the first Jazz Studies Degree offered by an African university. He currently tours with the London-based Darius Brubeck Quartet. The conversation will be moderated by Wayne Winborne, the executive director of the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Newark. 

4:00 p.m: Concert, royce hall
Part one:

World premiere of Arturo O’Farrill‘s I Dream a World for trio, string quartet, and singer India Carney
Works performed by Tonality, conducted by Alexander Lloyd Blake:
— Emmy Award-winning composer Joel Thompson‘s America Will Be (Langston Hughes, Emma Lazarus)
— Nick Strimple‘s Psalm 133
— Jared Jenkins‘s Democracy (Langston Hughes) featuring India Carney
— Gerald Cohen‘s I felt my legs were praying (Psalm 35, Abraham Joshua Heschel)
World premiere of Dear Freedom Rider by Diane White-Clayton, written for 11 UCLA student singers who symbolize the first 1961 group of Freedom Riders

Part two:

Performance of Dave Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice
Cantorial soloist: Azi Schwartz, Senior Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue
Baritone/spiritual vocalist: Phillip Bullock
Jazz Trio:
— Darius Brubeck (piano)
— Chris Brubeck (bass)
— Dan Brubeck (drums)
— Tonality
— Members of Los Angeles African-American church and synagogue choirs
— UCLA Chamber Singers
Brass and Percussion: Students of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Conductor: Neal Stulberg, director of orchestra studies and conducting at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Day Two: Conference

Monday, Feb. 27, 2023

UCLA Faculty Center

9:00 a.m: Welcome and First Session

Opening remarks from Professor Anna Spain Bradley, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA

“Historical and Cultural Connections of Jews and Blacks in America”
Hasia Diner (NYU) “Jews and Blacks in America before World War II”
Charles Hersch (Cleveland State University) “Jewish and African American Pursuit of Social Justice in Jazz”
Kelsey Klotz (UNC Charlotte) “The Sounds of Justice: A Musical Understanding of Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice

11:30 a.m.: Keynote Address

Professor Dwight Andrews of Emory University: “Spirituality in Dave Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice

2:00 p.m.: DARIUS, CHRIS, and DAN BRUBECK: “Dave Brubeck and Social Justice”

Moderator: Larry Blumenfeld (Wall Street Journal, Daily Beast, and others)


3:30 p.m.: “Music and Social Justice Today” panel discussion

Darius Brubeck
Larry Blumenfeld
Lorenna Garcia, UCLA music performance student
Susan Nanus, Rabbi, Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Diane White-Clayton
Moderator: Wayne Winborne, Executive Director Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Newark

5:00 p.m.: Reception

Day Three: Concert

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023

Holman United Methodist Church

7:30 pm: A second performance of the entire concert program above, including The Gates of Justice, will take place at Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles.

We are thrilled to welcome a special addition to our Gates of Justice concert on Feb. 28 at Holman United Methodist Church: Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely, longtime civil rights activist, artist, and early Freedom Rider. As a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), she participated in sit-ins, marches (including the March on Washington in 1963), and voter registration campaigns. She was arrested three times and was visited in jail by Martin Luther King Jr. A longtime member and poet laureate of Holman, Peggy leads a life defined by her heritage, commitment to nonviolent direct activism, and hope for continued change. During our concert program on Feb. 28, Peggy will be performing her original poem “Just Leaving:1961” with musical accompaniment by Diane White-Clayton. Please join us for this extraordinary evening!

Performers, Speakers, and Composers

Dwight Andrews
Professor of Music Theory & African American Music at Emory University
Alexander Lloyd Blake
Conductor, composer, singer, and founding artistic director of Tonality
Larry Blumenfeld
Journalist, critic, blogger, editor, lecturer, producer, and curator
Chris Brubeck
Grammy-nominated composer and performer
Dan Brubeck
Renowned jazz drummer
Darius Brubeck
American jazz pianist, composer, author, and retired university professor
India Carney
Singer, songwriter, vocal arranger, vocal coach, actress, and UCLA alumna
Gerald Cohen
Composer of chamber music, choral music, opera, and liturgical music
Hasia Diner
Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History at NYU
Charles Hersch
Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Cleveland State University
Jared Jenkins
Musician and composer
Kelsey Klotz
Lecturer, Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of Dave Brubeck and the Performance of Whiteness
Susan Nanus
Rabbi, Wilshire Boulevard Temple
Arturo O'Farrill
Grammy-winning pianist, composer, and professor of global jazz studies and music at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Azi Schwartz
Senior Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue
Nick Strimple
Composer, conductor, scholar, and author
Neal Stulberg
Director of orchestra studies and conducting at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Joel Thompson
Composer, conductor, pianist, and educator
Award-winning vocal ensemble noted for its adventurous, socially conscious programming, led by Alexander Lloyd Blake
Diane White-Clayton
Vocalist, pianist, composer, conductor and director of the African American Music Ensemble at UCLA
Wayne Winborne
Executive Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, Newark

Chris Brubeck describes how it feels to perform his father's work


Cantor Azi Schwartz speaks about the power of music to heal


Alexander Blake on music and bringing people together


Presented by

MAJE logo


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music logo

Milken Archive logo

Milken Archive logo

Hugo and Christine Davise Fund for Contemporary Music at the UCLA Music Library

Global Jazz Studies Interdisciplinary Program at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy

With support from the Cantors Assembly and The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History