Get to know our FREE Concert Artists!

Before we see you on Saturday for the FREE concert at Yerba Buena Gardens, you’ll want to get to know our artists!

Paul Robeson
Anthony Brown

Anthony Brown | Anthony Brown is a critically acclaimed baritone. Besides the standard classical repertoire, he has made a specialty of performing music of the American experience, especially Negro Spirituals. He has lectured widely on the role and function of the Negro Spirituals. “This music, (he notes) graphically captures the deep despair of the soul and offers hope for deliverance from oppression and suffering… People from all over the world connect with this universal theme. The spiritual is truly a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.”


Dr. Carl Blake
Dr. Blake will accompany Brown on piano. Dr. Blake is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist. He holds three degrees in piano performance: the Bachelor of Music (magna cum laude) from Boston University, the Master of Arts from San Jose State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from Cornell University. He was the first recipient of the Marian Anderson Young Artist Award (presented by Ms. Anderson herself), that led to a year of private study with Pierre Sancan of the Paris Conservatory of Music.  Blake is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholar Awards to teach and perform in Honduras.  He has performed three times at Carnegie Hall in New York City, once in Wigmore Hall in London, and has travelled as an Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.

Candace Johnson

Dr. Candace Johnson –

Dr. Johnson is an inspirational soprano who captivates audiences with her dynamic vocal artistry and her moving dramatic interpretation.  Candace is on the music faculty at the University of California-Berkeley, where she teaches applied voice and a musicology course she designed on Black classical composers and their works. She earned her doctorate in voice performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Shirley Verrett and George Shirley.  Prior to her current appointment, she was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the music department. As a teaching artist, Candace performs opera, recital, and concert works, and specializes in the research and performance of classical works by Black American composers.

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