One of the saddest losses this year was that of Dr. Maya Angelou. The woman and her work have been inspirational to me ever since my teens. Luckily, I’m not the only one whose life she touched, and her work is being reanimated in a whole new way. Presenting Caged Bird Songs, a collection of 13 soul-stirring Angelou poems set to music.
The album’s name is clearly inspired by her autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Dr. Angelou’s vocal recordings are placed on tracks created by RoccStar and Shawn Rivera of the R&B group Az Yet, and beautifully capture her famous rhythmic delivery with Jazz, Soul, and Hip-Hop orchestrations.
Here’s the video for Harlem Hopscotch. Despite its age, this poem with it’s playful allusion to cultural adversity is all the more relevant today in the wake of tragedies like Ferguson and Eric Garner.
Produced with the help of Oprah Winfrey’s OWN and directed/choreographed by Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo, the video is a dancing delight with twists and jerks. Well known names in dance make appearances including Nia Peeples, Quest Crew, Derek Hough, Ian Eastwood, Zendaya, and reigning Dancing With The Stars champions Alfonso Ribeiro & Witney Carson.
For other tracks of the album, visit here: http://cagedbirdsongs.com/#about