Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ledisi joins Department of Music’s choral experience Wayne Redefined
Department of Music Lecturer Brandon Waddles, Ph.D., continues his vision to redefine the choral ensemble experience for Wayne State University music students by welcoming Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ledisi to the program’s Wayne Redefined creative experience.
During the exclusive virtual event “The Songwriter’s Initiative: The Singer Speaks,” Ledisi will lead the Wayne State choral ensembles in a livestreamed discussion on songwriting. The event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m. on the Department of Music’s Facebook page.
“For all that I have learned within the formal halls of musical academia, that much more have I been educated about in music pits, soundstages and recording studios,” said Waddles. “My vision is to educate, engage and expand the artistic mindsets of Wayne State’s choral groups about the endless possibilities of the ensemble concept.”
This virtual engagement opportunity is the next iteration of Waddles' effort to join professional artists with the department’s choral ensembles for a unique experience that focuses on many techniques within the musical arena. Waddles has collaborated with a diverse cast of artists including Ledisi, whom he most recently served as music director.
“As our current situation calls the nation to reevaluate our approach to education, I believe our university shall lead the way in reevaluating our commitment to our community, creative and otherwise,” said Waddles. “Wayne State will redefine.”
Ledisi is a 13-time Grammy-nominated powerhouse vocalist with a career spanning almost two decades. Since arriving on the scene in the late 1990s, she’s garnered three Soul Train Music Awards, an NAACP Theatre Award and six NAACP Image Award nominations. Most recently, Ledisi received two LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award nominations, including Featured Actress in a Musical. A singer-songwriter, music producer, author, playwright and film producer, Ledisi is passionate about being an advocate for the arts, lobbying for young musicians and protecting the rights of creatives. A playwright and author, she released her first book, Better Than Alright: Finding Peace, Love and Power, in collaboration with Essence magazine. Her latest book, Don’t Ever Lose Your Walk: How to Embrace Your Journey, was recently released through her own Chinweya Publishing. Ledisi’s first play, The Legend of Little Girl Blue, debuted at The Wallis in Beverly Hills, California, with 19 sold-out nights; it is set to premiere on a bigger stage in spring 2021. She launched her latest studio album, The Wild Card, in August 2020 under her new record label, Listen Back Entertainment/BMG, of which she is CEO. For more information, visit ledisi.com.
Da’Stanza Murphy, CFPCA Information Officer
Leah Celebi, Department of Music Academic Services Officer