Ruth Naomi Floyd Presents Frederick Douglass Jazz Works

Ruth Naomi Floyd Presents Frederick Douglass Jazz Works

An Evening Honoring Juneteenth
Performers sing and play instruments on stage, below a screen on which is projected an image of Frederick Douglass, next to a floor-to-ceiling stained glass window.

Date & Price

Friday, June 21, 2024 at 6:30 pm

Open Air Theatre



$60 (for tickets including the performance and a reception following)

Tickets for this event are sold through Voices Underground. Tickets include all day Gardens Admission.

Illustrated through the artform of jazz improvisational music, the performance illuminates the themes of tragedy, grief, despair, and injustice of American slavery but through the multi-faceted prism of hope, joy, perseverance, and triumph—all with Floyd’s soaring mezzo-soprano voice and Douglass’s own words.


More About Ruth Naomi Floyd

Side portrait of person with brown skin and dark hair, wearing a dangling silver earring.

A vocalist and composer, Ruth Naomi Floyd has created a discography dedicated to a sacred jazz expression. She has been at the forefront of creating vocal jazz settings that express theology and justice for more than 25 years. She leads her own multi-faceted ensemble and her recordings consist primarily of original compositions. Blessed with a soaring mezzo-soprano voice, critics praise Floyd’s music for its distinctive sound of progressive ensemble jazz that is seamlessly blended with messages of hope, faith, redemption, and love. Floyd has recorded and performed with such notable instrumentalists as James Newton, James Weidman, Gary Thomas, John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, George Cables, Bobby Watson, Matthew Parish, Aaron Graves, Mark Prince, Diane Monroe, Byron Lanham, Bryan Carrot, Keith Loftis, Uri Caine, Craig Handy, and many more.

Rooted and grounded in a faith ethos, Floyd has been a presence and worker in areas of the arts and justice throughout her career. Holding these themes in poetic tension within her body of creative work, she has lectured prolifically on the intersection of beauty, theology, justice, culture, and the arts at numerous performance centers, academic settings, and conferences around the world. She believes strongly that music has the power to speak profoundly to the human condition and that the arts are essential to life and spirit.


More about Voices Underground

Voices Underground seeks to increase exposure to the story of the Underground Railroad through creative partnerships, scholarly research, public experiences, and historical memorialization. Our vision is the healing of the American racial imagination through exposure to the truth of American racial history.

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