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Damien Sneed & Friends live at Dizzy's Club

When Damien Sneed performed this concert on Jan. 28, 2021, the doors of Dizzy's Club were still closed to the public. Instead, the pianist and vocalist connected to his virtual audience via livestream, sharing stories of his upbringing in Augusta, Ga. and anecdotes about the gospel and blues music he performs. Throughout the performance, Sneed, accompanied by Michael Olatuja (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums), infuses the traditional songs with a virtuosic jazz sensibility, invigorating them with scatting, dizzying runs and masterful improvisation.

The concert is a conversation that explores the expression of sorrow, joy and faith through music. Selections include songs from Sneed's childhood, when he sought to understand why the lyrics of hymns and other African-American traditional music are sometimes at odds with the uplifting sounds and tones with which they were performed. The answer, of course, is that spirituals are born from a history of oppression. Despite that legacy, their unwavering faith, hope and optimism vanquish grief. True to this tradition, when guest vocalist Anitra McKinney joins Sneed on stage, their vocal performances are exhilarating. Sneed successfully brings us together to enjoy a show that is exciting, thought-provoking and thoroughly restorative.

To learn more about Damien Sneed, check out his radio episode on Jazz Night in America.


Damien Sneed, piano and vocals

Michael Olatuja, bass

Jonathan Barber, drums

Anitra Raquel McKinney, vocals

Set List

"Wade in the Water" (Traditional)

"Walk with Me'" (Traditional)

"The Lord Will Make A Way" (Traditional)


Line Producers: Raynel Frazier, Yunie Mojica; Production Manager: Sarah Peterson; Broadcast Sound Engineer: Rob Macomber; Camera Director & Operator: Jim Sapione; Camera Operator: Roland Chassagne; Editor: Nikki Birch; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Lead Producers: Nikki Birch, Alex Ariff; Supervising Editor: Ben de la Cruz; VP Music and Visuals Music: Keith Jenkins; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundmann.

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