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Zakiyyah named Boston Children’s Chorus season partner

Celina Colby
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Zakiyyah named Boston Children’s Chorus season partner
Artist and activist Zakiyyah. PHOTO: SARA ESPINOSA

In celebration of its 20th anniversary season, Boston Children’s Chorus has partnered with local artist and activist Zakiyyah to bring original works and educational experiences to Boston. The programs and performances will channel the multi-genre and human rights lens of Zakiyyah’s work.

Throughout the 2022-2023 season, Zakiyyah will lead BCC singers in workshops and discussions, working directly with the young performers to hone their vision and skills. The artist will perform in the “Becoming King” concert celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Boston Symphony Hall on Jan. 16, weaving her spoken word and poetry into the concert. Additionally, she will compose an original work for the chorus as part of their Opus Nuovo Initiative that will debut at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester in May.

Artist and activist Zakiyyah. PHOTO: SARA ESPINOSA

Andrés Holder, BCC’s executive director, says, “The opportunity to collaborate with an artist of Zakiyyah’s caliber is a privilege for our organization. We are grateful to have her artistic lens through many different threads of our work during our 20th anniversary season. I am particularly eager to watch Zakiyyah partner with BCC’s singers in the creation of a new piece for youth chorus.”

Zakiyyah is an artist and activist who uses her music and visual media talents to advocate for marginalized communities through her production company, Black and Bold Productions. She’s a classically trained singer and actress with expertise in opera, hip-hop, jazz and R&B, but she’s best known for “Hip-Hopera,” a genre of her own creation that fuses the beats of hip-hop with the classical structures of opera.

But her work goes well beyond the stage. Using her degree in political science and sociology from Wellesley College, she worked in politics for City Councilor Tito Jackson and Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins, performed at the United Nations and created a women’s self-defense program that travels through Boston and neighboring cities educating and assisting women in self-defense techniques.

Education is at the core of Zakiyyah’s mission, so this new collaboration and opportunity to work with young artists is a natural fit. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to lend my artistic voice to the 20th season of BCC and to learn with and from the young voices who make this work possible,” she says. “BCC has done so much incredible work already, and I’m excited to witness the fruit that this dynamic collaboration will bear.”

arts, Boston Children"s Chorus, music, Zakiyyah