Tyehimba Jess with Janice A. Lowe

About this Event

Millie and Christine McKoy Sisters' Syncopated Sonnets in Song is a collaboration by poet Tyehimba Jess and composer Janice A. Lowe. This song cycle of duets is a musical setting of the contrapuntal, interstitial text of the Millie-Christine poems in Jess’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Olio.

Millie and Christine McKoy were conjoined African American twins who were born into slavery in North Carolina in 1818. Trained as children to sing, dance, play string instruments, and speak multiple languages, the sisters, billed as “the two-headed nightingale” and “the eighth wonder of the world,” were presented as a traveling curio and performance act. After emancipation, the sisters continued to perform and eventually became successful enough to purchase the plantation on which they had been enslaved.

Composed and conducted by Janice A. Lowe, with text by Tyehimba Jess and music by Janice A. Lowe, the chamber song cycle is performed by Meredith Wright, soprano; Olithea Anglin, mezzo-soprano; Janice A. Lowe, piano; Melanie Dyer, viola; Yohann Potico, bass guitar; and Tyehimba Jess, poet.

photo of Tyehimba Jess with Janice A. Lowe
Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and Olio. Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Midland Society Authors Award in Poetry; received an...

Tyehimba Jess full bio

photo of Tyehimba Jess with Janice A. Lowe
Janice A. Lowe

Janice A. Lowe is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and poet who creates solo and collaborative music–text hybrids. She is the author and composer of Leaving CLE: poems of nomadic...

Janice A. Lowe full bio

photo of Tyehimba Jess with Janice A. Lowe
Olithea Anglin

Olithea Anglin has performed in The Tenth Muse with Tyehimba Jess (92Y), Underground! The Ben Folds Musical (NYU Immersive Theater), and Desegregation Remix: 3 Women Sing the Borders (Kelly Writers...

Olithea Anglin full bio

photo of Tyehimba Jess with Janice A. Lowe
Melanie Dyer

Melanie Dyer is a violist who moves across free jazz, jazz, orchestral, and experimental music. She has studied with William Lincer, Lee Yeingst, John Jake Kella and Naomi Fellows. Recently she...

Melanie Dyer full bio

photo of Tyehimba Jess with Janice A. Lowe
Yohann Potico

Yohann Potico was born in France. A bassist and producer, he has been part of the New York music scene for more than 10 years. He was a member of the indie rock trio California King, with whom he...

Yohann Potico full bio

photo of Tyehimba Jess with Janice A. Lowe
​Meredith Wright

Meredith Wright is a vocalist, teacher, and dance enthusiast who lives and works in New York City. She has performed in multiple productions at La MaMa ETC in New York and abroad. She is a member and...

​Meredith Wright full bio

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