Salon 21 is honored to host pianist Dr. Leah Claiborne as we celebrate Black History Month. Negro Melodies of America is a performance that highlights piano works by Black composers who have used arrangements of Negro Melodies, or “Spirituals,” in their compositions. Spirituals combine the influences of West African rhythms and melodies with the influences of European Christian Hymns to portray the hardships African slaves endured in America. This genre opens a door to a time capsule during a dark period in American history. These melodies speak to the soul of humanity and as its name suggests, is arguably some of the most spiritually powerful music that ever emerged from this country. Dr. Claiborne will be performing selections from Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s 24 Negro Melodies as well as other Black American composers who have arranged Spirituals for solo piano.