Close Search

Event Program




Meshell Ndegeocello


Abraham Rounds

Christopher Bruce

Jebin Bruni

Justin Hicks

Jake Sherman

Kenita Miller-Hicks

StaceyAnn Chin

Tonight’s program will run approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.

The Artists

More Information

Program Notes

Inspired by the way author James Baldwin used the written word to commune with others and give them strength, Ndegeocello conceived the various stages of this multi-year project to connect with and share the message of Baldwin’s words with audiences. The earliest incarnation of this ongoing exploration, Can I Get a Witness?, was created in collaboration with, and directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, just after the 2016 election, at Harlem Stage in New York City.

In 2020, fueled by the Black Lives Matter movement that was gaining renewed visibility, and the closures of performance venues throughout the country, Ndegeocello, working with artists Chris Bruce, Jebin Bruni, Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller, Abraham Rounds, Julius Rodriguez, and Jake Sherman furthered work on the project through the creation of an audible collage for a newly created phone line that anyone could dial to hear spoken word, music, and audio inspired by Baldwin.

In this evening’s performance, Ndegeocello continues to dive into Baldwin’s words, allowing audiences to experience his thoughts, writings, and wisdom.

Ndegeocello says “There is so much wisdom in Baldwin’s writing that is so timeless and general, but the connection to his work is personal. I just want to offer the opportunity for audiences to connect to it.”

Funding Credits

This program is made possible by the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust, the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, The Achelis and Bodman Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Michael Tuch Foundation, the Vidda Foundation, the Lemberg Foundation, and The Grodzins Fund.

This program is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Music programming also receives support from an endowment established by The Bydale Foundation, Mary Flager Cary Charitable Trust, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Christopher and Barbara Dixon, the Herman Goldman Foundation, William and Angela Haines, Walter and Marge Scheuer, and Zabar’s.

Symphony Space thanks our generous supporters, including our Board of Directors, Producers Circle, and members, who make our programs possible with their annual support.


It’s a truly extraordinary moment to be here for the 21/22 Symphony Space season! We are so grateful to the independent venue operators who banded together to initiate the Save Our Stages campaign, which became the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. Through the leadership of Senator Chuck Schumer, and with bipartisan support from many Senators and Representatives, the creative community was bolstered by this special funding. All of us at Symphony Space extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every individual who recognized the unmistakable power and importance of the arts in this most critical moment.

Symphony Space Staff

Kathy Landau Executive Director
Peg Wreen
Managing Director
Isaiah Sheffer
Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director (1978-1988)
Artistic Director (1988-2010)
Founding Artistic Director (2010-2012)
Allan Miller
Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director (1978-1988)

Darren Critz Director of Performing Arts Programs
Sofia Frohna, Assistant Producer of Performing Arts Programs

*in memoriam

Your generosity makes possible a vibrant array of music, literature, film, family, and arts education programs!