Georgetown University Assistant Professor and Kennedy Center composer-in-residence Carlos Simon‘s debut album on Decca/Universal, entitled Requiem for the Enslaved, will be released on June 17 ahead of the Juneteenth Federal Holiday. The new work was commissioned by Georgetown to honor 272 enslaved people who were sold for $115,000 by the Maryland Jesuits, the founders of the university, in 1838 to rescue it from bankruptcy.
The Requiem honors the passing of those people, infusing the traditional Catholic requiem mass with music from African-American spirituals, spoken word and hip hop traditions, and more. Simon, the son of a New Orleans preacher, draws on both his gospel music heritage and his training in Western composition, and will release the work ahead of a busy Summer and Fall that includes a new commission by Minnesota Orchestra paying tribute to George Floyd, as well as world premieres by the National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and more.
The album is available for pre-order now, and will be available on all major steaming platforms.