Welcome to And Still We Sing… Missa Afro-Brasileira: A Syncretism of Voice & Dance, presented by Luminato Festival Toronto and The Nathaniel Dett Chorale. As we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the esteemed Nathaniel Dett Chorale, we extend our deepest gratitude to you for joining us for what promises to be an unforgettable evening.

Under the indomitable leadership of Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, The Nathaniel Dett Chorale stands as a beacon of excellence, being Canada’s first professional choral ensemble dedicated to the rich tapestry of Afrocentric musical genres. From classical to spiritual, gospel to jazz, folk to blues, their profound impact resonates not only across our city but also reverberates worldwide.

Our partnership with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale has been marked by moments of profound artistic synergy. Together, we welcomed Little Amal at the Esplanade during Walk with Amal Toronto in 2023. Now, we eagerly present this ground-breaking performance as a testament to the ongoing collaboration between our organisations.

Celia Smith
CEO, Luminato Festival Toronto

Land and Ancestor Acknowledgement

Today we honour and acknowledge that we stand on the traditional land of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Anishinabek, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples. This territory is governed by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Treaty. In the Spirit of that Treaty, we seek to place at the centre of our gatherings the values of respectful reciprocity, diversity, peace, responsibility, and mutual aid.

We acknowledge all Indigenous nations and African diasporic communities unjustly harmed by generations of imperial domination, subjugation, colonialism, displacement, and cultural genocide – wounding tribes, families, elders, children, and natural resources, from the continent of Africa and around the globe.

We acknowledge the brilliance, courageous leadership and presence of Black communities for hundreds of years on this territory. We offer gratitude for all who labour, both past, present, and future, to make Tkaronto a safer and more just environment for racialised peoples. We acknowledge centuries of Black and Indigenous solidarity, collaboration, love, mutual support and resilience. We commit ourselves to confronting, challenging, and uprooting racism and colonialism at all levels of our personal, social, and collective spaces.

We acknowledge all who came before us, all Black and Indigenous Ancestors of the territories we inhabit, and we extend our gratitude and respect.

“I have come to you tonite because no people
have been asked to be modern day people
with the history of slavery, and still
we walk, and still we talk, and
still we plan, and still we hope,
and still we sing”

~ Sonia Sanchez
from ‘Reflections After the June 12th March for Disarmament’

Greetings Friends, and welcome to And Still We Sing… Missa Afro-Brasileira: A Syncretism of Voice & Dance presented by Luminato Festival Toronto and The Nathaniel Dett Chorale. The excerpt by the celebrated poet and activist Sonia Sanchez, referenced above, gave birth to the title ‘And Still We Sing’ that has been the impetus for the Spring concert series of The Nathaniel Dett Chorale since its inception. To this overarching theme we have always chosen a subtitle to further expand the general idea.

As The Nathaniel Dett Chorale culminates its 25th Anniversary Season and a Pan-African retrospective of repertoire drawn from our 25-year history, we are delighted to present Missa Afro-Brasileira: A Syncretism of Voice & Dance featuring the world premiere of original choreography created by BaKari Ifasegun Lindsay & The A-Feeree Project. To this profound work by Brazilian composer Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca, we have added two song cycles by the Canadian composer Sid Robinovitch and the Catalanian composer Xavier Montsalvatge that further underscore the themes of Pan-African culture and spirituality.

We are equally delighted to welcome back to the Nathaniel Dett Chorale family the incomparable Measha Brueggergosman-Lee who first helped us to introduce the music of our namesake R. Nathaniel Dett to the public in 1998 and sang with the ensemble in its first season; and we congratulate her heartily on being the recipient of the 2024 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is grateful to our patrons and funders for all the support we have received over the past 25 years, and tonight we acknowledge especially the support of the Ontario Arts Council. We trust that you will be moved and inspired by this evening’s performance, and we look toward another quarter-century of building bridges through the medium of Afrocentric choral music… and still we walk, and still we talk, and still we plan, and still we hope, and still we sing.

D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor
Artistic Director, The Nathaniel Dett Chorale

A Syncretism of Voice and Dance

Tuesday June 11, 2024, 8:00 PM
Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning
273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale
D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, Artistic Director
Dakota Scott-Digout, Collaborative Pianist

BaKari I. Lindsay, The A-Feeree Project
and Measha Brueggergosman-Lee


Welcome & Opening Remarks

Canciones Por Las Americas | Sid Robinovitch (b.1942)
Dakota Scott-Digout, piano
1. Noche de Lluvia
2. Sensemayá
3. Olvido

Cinco Canciones Negras | Xavier Montsalvatge (1912-2002)
Measha Brueggergosman-Lee, soprano
Dakota Scott-Digout, piano
1. Cuba Dentro de un Piano
2. Punto de Habanera (Siglo XVIII)
3. Chévere
4. Canción de Cuna Para Dormir a un Negrito
5. Canto Negro


Missa Afro-Brasileira | Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca (1933-2006)
Nikan Ingabire Kanate, soprano; Sarah Mole, alto
Adam Wicks, tenor; Matheus Coelho, bass
BaKari I. Lindsay & The A-Feeree Project, dance
Kyrie II
Nós vos Louvamos
Gratias Agimus
E Se Encarnou (Et Incarnatus)
Et Unam Sanctam
Et Vitam
Benedito Aquele
Agnus Dei
Dona Nobis

Program Notes

Each of the three movements of Canciones Por Las Américas reflects a different aspect of the Latin American experience. The first movement is the most traditional, having a definite Spanish flavour. The second echoes the African heritage of the text’s Cuban author, while the third is of a more contemporary nature, expressing the inward psychological orientation of the modern world.

Although in this context the “Americas” of the title refers specifically to the Latin domain, it could be extended to include all of the Americas, both North and South, where the intermingling of all these currents is an ever-present feature of cultural life.

Sid Robinovitch

Xavier Montsalvatge’s Cinco Canciones Negras have reached a wide audience, thanks to the universal popularity of the charming lullaby Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito. The songs, written in 1945–6, have become one of the most frequently performed works of the composer, who was born in Gerona in 1912 and wrote—apart from songs, operas and ballets—several fine orchestral and instrumental pieces.

The set seems all of a piece from the poetic point of view, a cleverly chosen anthology, beginning with a distinguished poem by Rafael Alberti which bemoans the all-pervasive influence of the United States on the dying cultures of Central America. In a very subtle way the work addresses various issues of colonialism and racialism—a roundabout but clear message from a Catalan humanitarian living in Franco’s Spain.

Cuba dentro de un piano, a song in which recitative, melody and declamation alternate freely, is held together by a swaying habanera rhythm; Punto de habanera, subtitled ‘A humorous flirtation à la 18th century’, describes how a young Creole girl walks alluringly down the street, as sailors feast their eyes on her. Montsalvatge uses the tempo and rhythm of the Cuban guajiras to depict the gait of the young ‘criolla’. The poem is by Néstor Luján y Fernández, a journalist of remarkable versatility who wrote on art, bullfighting, politics, sport and gastronomy. 

Chévere introduces a darker, more violent note. The poet Nicolás Guillén, himself a mulatto, often wrote poems in the language and rhythm of Cuba’s poor blacks. A lifelong revolutionary activist in Cuba, he was jailed in 1936 for the publication of ‘subversive material’; exiled in 1953 by the Batista government, he returned after Castro’s triumph in 1959. He is best known for his popular songs in which he introduces African rhythms and Yoruba words which are often used for their sound value, especially in refrains. Chévere describes a young black who vents his anger by brandishing a knife—the succession of violent chords in the accompaniment gives a vivid picture of the slashing blade.

Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito unfolds over a rocking habanera bass line and owes much of its magic to the gentle syncopations between voice and piano. The work closes with Canto negro, another poem by Nicolás Guillén that teems with African rhythms, Yoruba words and syncopated dance rhythms.

Richard Stokes © 2013

Foreword from Missa Afro-Brasileira

Ever since Pope John encouraged the use of folk and popular music in the liturgy, I have wanted to compose a Brazilian Mass, working with the same choral “language” based on Brazilian folklore that I used in my arrangements and compositions.

Religious syncretism is a reality in Brazil, especially in African worship ceremonies, which combine authenticity and respect for the traditional faith that was brought by the slaves, and Catholicism introduced here by the Portuguese. In this work, I tried to express the religious feelings of Brazilians, who are a mixture of European, Negro and Indian ancestry.

In the “Candomble” from Bahia, the black god “Oxala” is the Lord; “Yemanja,” the deity of the ocean and rivers, is Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception; “Omulu,” who rules over epidemic diseases, is Saint Lazarus; “Xango” is Saint Jerome; and “Yansa,” the goddess of the tempests and winds, is Saint Barbara.

I have tried to abolish barriers between sacred, classical and popular music and to portray the primitive force, the impulse and warmth, of the Afro rhythm; I have combined the tenderness of the lullaby with popular forms such as “marcha rancho” and “samba-canção,” and employed the modes of the Brazilian Northeast.

The Mass is longer than usual because I have set the official text of the Catholic Church which was in use at the time of its composition (1971); the Mass then was more extensive than that used today. Both Latin and Portuguese texts are provided, to be sung simultaneously or alternately. This superposition or alternation of idioms is due more to a phonetic need than to a wish to reestablish the use of superposition of idioms which was prevalent in the Middle Ages.

Portuguese, especially as it is spoken in the part of Brazil where I live (Minas Gerais), has a euphonious sound, and the consonants are very mild. I employ it in the tender melodies. The sound of Latin is needed for the strong parts, and I use Afro rhythms with their percussive effects.

Brazil means contrast, mixture, syncretism; the new, side-by-side with the old; modern architecture co-existing with colonial churches. To reflect all these aspects in a structural unity and at the same time maintain unity in an overall effect, I have employed a basic theme that each time is utilized in a different harmony. This theme is also developed in an almost narrative way in the Credo. I have also tried to create a formal interrelation between parts like the Christe and the Sanctus.

There is a feeling of sadness, a deep nostalgia, in Brazilian music, especially in the “samba-canção” (samba song), where farewells, yearnings and unrequited love are represented. In the most dramatic “He was crucified,” I employed a samba-canção for the tenor solo, while the choir imitates a “chorinho” (a little instrumental ensemble of old popular music in Brazil). This part is related formally to the “Cordeiro de Deus” (also a samba-canção in the tenor part) which is the Portuguese translation of the Agnus Dei.

The climate of the “Dona Nobis Pacem” (man’s request to God) is linked to “And Peace on Earth to men of good will” (“E paz na Terra aos homens de boa vontade”). In the Gloria I could not end the Mass in this manner because of the uncertainties of the world in which we live. Instead of ending with pianissimo in the “Dona Nobis,” I chose the fortissimo exclamation of the Agnus Dei, which represents an anguished cry to God, asking Him for guidance and help.

Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca

Texts (with translations)

Canciones Por Las Americas

Noche de Lluivia | Rainy Night
~ Juana de Ibarbourou (1892-1979) (Uruguay)

Espera, no te duermas.
Quédate atento a lo que dice el viento
Ya lo que dice el aguaque golpea
Con sus dedos menudosen los vidrios.

Todo mi corazón se vuelve oídos
Para escuchar a la hechizada hermana,
Que ha dormido enel cielo,
Que ha visto el sol
Y baja ahora, elástica y alegre.

Cómo estará de alegre el trigo ondeante!
Con qué avidez se exponjará la hierba!
Cuántos diamantes colgarán ahora
Del ramaje profundo de los pinos!

Escuchemos el ritmo
de la lluvia.
Apoya entre mis senos
Tu frente taciturna.
Yo sentiré el latir de tus dossienes,
Palpitantesy tibias.

Espera, no te duermas. Esta noche
Somos los dos un mundo,
Aislado por el viento y por la luvia
Entre las cuencas tibias de una alcoba.

Wait, do not sleep.
Listen to what the wind
is saying
And to what the water says tapping
With little fingers upon the windowpanes.

All my heart is listening
To hear the enchanted sister
Who has slept in the sky,
Who has seen the sun,
And now comes down, buoyant and gay.

How gay the waving wheat
will be!
How eagerly the grass
will thrive!
What diamonds will cluster now
In the deep branches of the pines!

Let us listen to the rhythm
of the rain.
Cradle between my breasts
Your silent forehead.
I will feel the beating of your temples
Palpitant and warm.

Wait, do not sleep. Tonight
The two of us are a world,
Isolated by wind and rain
In the warmth of a bedroom.

(Canto para matar una culebra) | (Chant to kill a snake)
~ Nicolás Guillén (1902-1989) (Cuba)


La culebra tiene los ojos de vidrio;
la culebra viene y se enreda en un palo;
con sus ojos de vidrio, en un palo;
con sus ojos do vidrio.
La culebra camina sin patas;
la culebra se esconde en la yerba;
caminando se esconde en la yerba,
caminando sin patas.


Tú le das con el hacha, y se muere:
¡dale ya!
¡No le des con el pie,
que te muerde,
no le des con el pie, que se va!
Sensemayá, la culebra,
Sensemayá, con sus ojos,
Sensemayá, con su lengua,
Sensemayá, con su boca,

¡La culebra muerta no puede comer;
la culebra muerta no puede silbar;
no puede caminar, no puede correr!
¡La culebra muerta no puede mirar;
la culebra muerta no puede beber;
no puede respirar,
no puede morder!

Sensemayá, la culebra . . .
Sensemayá, no se mueve . . .
Sensemayá, Za culebra . . .
Sensemayá, se murio!


The snake has eyes of glass;
The snake coils on a stick;
With his eyes of glass on a stick,
With his eyes of glass.
The snake can move without feet;
The snake can hide in the grass;
Crawling he hides in the grass,
Moving without feet.


Hit him with an ax and he dies;
Hit him! Go on, hit him!
Don’t hit him with your foot
or he’ll bite;
Don’t hit him with your foot,
or he’ll get away.

Sensemayá, the snake,
Sensemayá, with his eyes,
Sensemayá, with his tongue,
Sensemayá, with his mouth,

The dead snake cannot eat;
the dead snake cannot hiss;
he cannot move, he cannot run!
The dead snake cannot look;
the dead snake cannot drink;
he cannot breathe,
he cannot bite.

Sensemayá, the snake . . .
Sensemayá, does not move . . .
Sensemayá, the snake . . .
Sensemayá, he died!

Olvido | Oblivion
~ Octavio Paz (1914-1998) (Mexico)

Cierra los ojos y
a oscuras piérdete
bajo el follaje rojo de tus párpados.
Húndete en esas espirales
del sonido que zumba y cae
y suena allí, remoto,
hacia el sitio del tímpano,
como una catarata ensordecida.

Hunde tu ser a oscuras,
anégate la piel,
y más, en tus entrañas;
[que te deslumbre y ciegue
el hueso, lívida centella,
y entre simas y golfos
de tiniebla
abra su azul penacho
al fuego fatuo.

En esa sombra líquida del sueño
moja tu desnudez;
abandona tu forma, espuma
que no sabe quien dejó
en la orilla;
piérdete en ti, infinita,
en tu infinito ser,
ser que se pierde en otro mar:
olvídate y olvídame.

En ese olvido sin edad ni fondo,
labios, besos, amor, todo renace:
las estrellas son hijas de la noche.

Close your eyes and
get lost in the dark
under the red foliage of your eyelids.
Sink into those spirals
of sound that hums and falls
and sounds there, remote,
towards the site of the eardrum,
like a deafened waterfall.

Sink your being into darkness,
drown your skin,
and more, in your bowels;
May it dazzle you and blind
your bone, livid spark,
and between chasms and
gulfs of darkness
open its blue plume to the

In that liquid shadow of sleep
wet your nakedness;
abandon your form, foam
that no one knows who left
on the shore;
Lose yourself in yourself, infinite,
in your infinite being,
a being that is lost in another sea:
forget yourself and forget me.

In that oblivion without age or depth,
lips, kisses, love, everything is reborn:
the stars are daughters of the night.

Cinco Canciones Negras

Cuba Dentro de un Piano | Cuba Inside a piano
~ Rafael Alberti (1902-1999) (Spain)

Cuando mi madre llevaba un sorbete de fresa por sombrero
y el humo de los barcos aún era humo de habanero.
Mulata vuelta abajeram…
Cádiz se adormecía entre fandangos y habaneras
y un lorito al piano quería hacer
de tenor.
…dime dónde está la flor
que el hombre tanto venera.
Mi tío Antonio volvía con su aire de
La Cabaña y el Príncipe sonaban por los patios de El Puerto.
(Ya no brilla la Perla azul del mar de las Antillas.
Ya se apagó, se nos ha muerto.)
Me encontré con la bella Trinidad…
Cuba se había perdido y ahora era de verdad.
Era verdad,
no era mentira.
Un cañonera huído llegó cantándolo en guajira.
La Haban ya se perdió.
Tuvo la culpa el dinero..
Calló, cayó el cañonero.
Pero después, pero ¡ah! después
fué cuando al SÍ
lo hicieron YES.

When my mother wore a strawberry
ice for a hat
and the smoke from the boats was still Havana smoke.
Mulata from Vuelta Abajo…
Cadiz was falling asleep to fandango and habanera
and a little parrot at the piano tried to sing tenor.
…tell me, where is the flower
that a man can really respect.
My uncle Anthony would come home
in his rebellious way.
The Cabaña and El Príncipe resounded in the patios of the port.
(But the blue pearl of the Caribbean
shines no more.
Extinguished. For us more.)
I met beautiful Trinidad…
Cuba was lost, this time it was
and not a lie.
A gunner on the run arrived, sang Cuban songs about it all.
Havana was lost
and money was to blame…
The gunner went silent, fell.
But later, ah, later
they changed SÍ
to YES.

Punto de Habanera (Siglo XVIII) | Habanera Strain (18th Century)
~ Néstor Luján (1922-1995) (Spain)

La niña criolla pasa con su miriniaque
¡Qué blanco!
Hola, crespón de tu espuma;
¡marineros, contempladla!
Va mojadita de lunas
que le hacen su piel mulata.
Niña, no te quejes,
tan solo poresta tarde.
Quisiera mandar al agua
que no se escape de pronto
de la cárcel de tu falda,
tu cuerpo encierra esta tarde
rumor de abrirse de dalia.
Niña, no te quejes, tu cuerpo de fruta está
dormido en fresco brocado.
Tu cintura vibra fina
con la nobleza de un látigo,
toda tu piel huele
a limonal y a naranjo.
Los marineros te miran
y se te quedan mirando.
La niña criolla pasa
con su miriñaque blanco.
¡Qué blanco!

The Creole girl goes by in her white
How white!
The billowing spray of your crepe skirt!
Sailors, look at her!
She passes gleaming in the moonlight
which darkens her skin.
Young girl, do not complain,
only for tonight
do I wish the water
not to suddenly escape
the prison of your skirt.
In your body this evening
dwells the sound of opening dahlias.
Young girl, do not complain, your ripe body
sleeps in fresh brocade,
your waist quivers
as proud as a whip,
every inch of your skin is gloriously
with orange and lemon trees.
The sailors look at you
and feast their eyes on you.
The Creole girl goes by
in her white crinoline.
How white!

Chévere | The Cool Guy with a Knife
~ Nicolás Guillén (1902-1989) (Cuba)

Chévere del navajazo,
se vuelve él mismo navaja;
pica tajadas de luna,
mas la luna se le acaba;
pica tajadas de canto,
mas el canto se le acaba;
pica tajadas de sombra,
mas la sombra se le acaba,
y entonces pica que pica
carne de su negra mala.

The dandy of the knife thrust
himself becomes a knife:
he cuts slices of the moon,
but the moon is fading on him;
he cuts slices of song,
but the song is fading on him;
he cuts slices of shadow,
but the shadow is fading on him,
and then he cuts up, cuts up
the flesh of his evil black woman!

Canción de Cuna para Dormir a un Negrito | Lullaby for a Little Black Boy
~ Ildefonso Pereda Valdés (1899-1996) (Uruguay)

Ninghe, ninghe, ninghe,
tan chiquitito, el negrito
que no quierre dormir.
Cabeza de coco,
grano de café,
con lindas motitas,
con ojos grandotes
como dos ventanas
que miran al mar.
Ciera esos ojitos,
negrito asustado;
el mandinga blanco
te puedo comer.
¡Ya no eres esclavo!
Y si duermes mucho
el señor de casa
promete comprar
traje con botones
para ser un “groom”.
Ninghe, ninghe, ninghe,
duérmete, negrito,
cabeza de coco,
grano de café.

Lullay, lullay, lullay,
tiny little child, little black boy
who won’t go to sleep.
Head like a coconut,
head like a coffee bean,
with pretty freckles
and wide eyes
like two windows
looking out to sea.
Close your tiny eyes,
frightened little boy,
or the white devil
will eat you up.
You’re no longer a slave!
And if you sleep soundly,
the master of the house
promises to buy
a suit with buttons
to make you a ‘groom’.
Lullay, lullay, lullay,
sleep little black boy,
head like a coconut,
head like a coffee bean.

Canto Negro | Black Song
~ Nicolás Guillén (1902-1989) (Cuba)

¡Yambambó, yambambé!
Repica el congo solongo,
repica el negro bien
congo solongo del Songo
baila yambó sobre un pie.
serembe cuserembá,
El negro canta y se ajuma.
el negro se ajuma y canta,
el negro canta y se va.
Acuememe serembó, aé;
yambambó, aé.
Tamba, tamba, tamba, tamba,
tamba del negro que tumba;
tamba del negro, caramba,
caramba, que el negro tumba;
¡Yambá, yambó, yambambé!

Yambambó, yambambé!
The congo solongo is ringing,
the black man, the real black man is
congo solongo from the Songo
is dancing the yambó on one foot.
Serembe cuserembá,
The black man sings and gets drunk,
the black man gets drunk and sings,
the black man sings and goes away.
Acuememe serembó, aé;
yambambó, aé.
Bam, bam, bam, bam,
bam of the black man who tumbles;
drum of the black man, wow,
wow, how the black man’s tumbling;
yambá, yambó, yambambé!

Missa Afro-Brasiliera
(De Batuque & Acalanto/Afro-Brazilian Rhythms & Lullabys)



Kyrie eléison
Christe eléison
Kyrie eléison


Senhor, tende piedade de nós
Cristo, tende piedade de nós
Senhor, tende piedade de nós


Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy


Gloria in excelsis Deo. Et in terra pax hominibus bonae
voluntatis. Laudamus te. Benedicimus te. Adoramus te.
Glorficamus te. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam
gloriam tuam. Domine Deus, Rex coelestis, Deus Pater
omnipotens. Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris. Qui tollis
peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Qui tollis peccata
mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostrum. Qui
sedes ad dexteram Patris, Miserere nobis. Quoniam tu
solus Sanctus. Tu solus Dominus. Tu solus
Altissiumus, Jesu Christe. Cum Sancto Spiritu in Gloria
Dei Patris. Amen.


Glória a Deus nas Alturas, e paz na terra aos homens de
boa vontade. Nós vos louvamos, nós vos
bendizemos, nós vos adoramos, nós vos
glorificamos e vos damos graças por vossa imensa
glória: Senhor Deus, Rei do céu, Deus Pai onipotente.
Senhor, Filho unico, Jesus Cristo; Senhor Deus, Cordeiro
de Deus, Filho do Pai. Vós que tirais os pecados do mundo,
tende piedade de nós! Vós, que tirais os pecados do
mundo, acolhei a nossa súplica. Vós, que estáis
sentado à direita do Pai, tende piedade de nós. Porque
só vós sois santo, só vós o Senhor, só vós o Altíssimo,
Jesus Cristo, com o Espírito Santo: na glória de Deus Pai.


Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to men of good will.
We praise you. We bless you. We adore you. We glorify you.
We give you thanks for your great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son.
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father:
You who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
You who sit at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are holy. You alone are the Lord.
You, Jesus Christ, are most high.
Together with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father.



Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem coeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri: per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, it propter nostrum salutem descendit de coelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis; sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in coelum: sedit ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum Gloria judicare visos, et mortuos: cujus regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filio que procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorficatur: qui locutus est per Prophetas et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

Creio im um só Deus, Pai todo-poderso, criador do ceu e da terra, de todas as coisa visíveis e invisíveis. Creio em um só Senhor Jesus Cristo, Filho único de Deus, nascido do Pai antes de todas as coisa: Deus de Deus, Luz da Luz, Deus verdadeiro de Deus verdadeiro, gerado, não criado, consubstancial ao Pai, e por quem tudo foi criado. O qual, por amor de nós, os homens, e para a nossa salva ção, desceu dos céus. E encarnou, por obra do Espírito Santo, no seio de Maria Virgem, e féz-se homem. Foi também crucificado, por nós, sob Pôncio Pilatos, padeceu a morte e foi sepultado. Ressuscitou ao terceiro dia segundo as Escrituras. Súbiu ao céu, onde está sentado à direita do Pai. De novo há de vir, cheio de glória, julgar os vivos e os mortos, e seu reino não terá fim. Creio no Espírito Santo, Senhor e vivificador, que procede do Pai e do Filho; e com o Pai e o Filho, recebe a mesma adoração e a mesma glória; e falou pela boca dos profetas. Creio na Igreja, una santa, católica e apostólica. Creio em um só batismo para a remissão dos pecados. Espero a ressurreição dos mortos e a vida do mundo que há de vir. Amén.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things, visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God; Light of Light; true God of True God. Begotten not made; of one being with the Father; by whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven. And was made Flesh by the Holy Sprit of the Virgin Mary; and was made man. He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate and was buried. And on the third day he rose again according to the scriptures. And ascending into heaven, he sits at the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is no less adored, and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe on one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of the sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen.


Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli
et terra gloria tua.


Santo, Santo, Santo,
é o Senhor Deus do Universo.
Céus e terra estão cheios de
vossa glória.


Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are
filled with your glory.


Hosanna in excelcis


Hosana nas alturas.


Hosanna in the highest.


Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.


Benedito aquele que vem em nome do senhor.


Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.


Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.


Cordeiro de Deus qui tirais os pecados do mundo, tende piedade de nós.


Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.


Dona nobis pacem.


Dai-nos a paz.


Grant us peace.


D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Blyden-Taylor immigrated to Canada in 1973. He is the Founder, Artistic Director and conductor of The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Canada’s first professional chamber choir dedicated to the creation, performance, and preservation of Afrocentric music of all styles. He founded The Chorale in 1998, in response to a musical void in Canada; there had never been a professional ensemble dedicated to the diffusion of Afrocentric choral music. The response that The Chorale has received in Canada and the United States since its inception has certainly given credence to Mr. Blyden-Taylor’s vision.

Mr. Blyden-Taylor has conducted several university, youth, and concert choirs, most notably a 25-year tenure with The Orpheus Choir of Toronto. He also works frequently as a guest conductor, having appeared with organisations such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Hannaford Street Silver Band, The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Toronto Chamber Choir, Ontario Youth Choir, Nova Scotia Youth Choir, and the Central Manitoba Youth Choir. He has also worked as artistic director and advisor for the Algoma Festival Choir, the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, and the Chatham-Kent Roots Festival. He launched The North Star Festival in August 2017, in partnership with the Yale Alumni Chorus and the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University.

Mr. Blyden-Taylor has served as a member of the teaching staff of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and the Faculty of Music, Queen’s University. He has served as a Master Teacher with the Toronto Board of Education, coaching teachers, and students in conducting and choral technique, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University in Toronto for his contribution to education. Mr. Blyden-Taylor is also in frequent demand as a Clinician, Adjudicator and Lecturer, both nationally and internationally, and is an active and dedicated church musician.

Dakota Scott-Digout

Originally from Nova Scotia, Toronto-based pianist Dakota Scott-Digout has been heard in recital across North America as both a collaborator and soloist, gaining praise particularly for his performances of chamber music and art song.  Dakota serves on the artistic team of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, the VOCA Chorus of Toronto, and The Nathaniel Dett Chorale; and has enjoyed collaborations with the Elmer Iseler Singers and That Choir. Recent projects have included an ongoing collaboration with Echo Chamber Toronto in their production A World Transformed, which intertwines art song and chamber music with dance. Additionally, Dakota was a featured artist alongside soprano Tracy Cantin and tenor Marcel d’Entremont during Debut Atlantic’s 2022/2023 concert season. Dakota is highly sought after in Toronto as a collaborative pianist, clinician, and serves as a pianist for voice performance classes at the University of Toronto.

Dakota holds degrees in piano performance from Université de Montréal and Mount Allison University. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto where he was named the 2020 winner of the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Prize in Accompanying, awarded to the top collaborative pianist at the Faculty of Music. He has further refined his skills at the Orford Music Academy, Barachois Summer Music Festival, Musique sur Mer with pianist Susan Manoff, and was an Art of Song Fellow as part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival in the summer of 2021. His principal teachers have included Stephen Runge, Jimmy Brière, and Steven Philcox. Particularly passionate about French vocal repertoire, Dakota’s research interests are centred around early twentieth century performance practice and the mélodies of Gabriel Fauré.

BaKari I. Lindsay

Born, Eddison B. Lindsay on the sunny isle of Trinidad, West Indies, BaKari Ifasegun Lindsay has been perfecting his crafts for the past 30 years. He is a dancer, choreographer, singer, musician, costume designer/ maker and researcher. Trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre on scholarship and with various teachers from the Caribbean and the African Continent. Bakari holds a craftsman diploma in Style and Design and Masters Degree in Dance Ethnology and Bachelors in Education, from York University, Canada.

BaKari researched and developed “A-Feeree – The Physical Language,” an innovative training method for dance practitioners working in an Africanist movement aesthetic. He co-founded COBA Collective Of Black Artists, and danced for the Danny Grossman Dance Company (Canada), Jubilation Dance Co (USA), Toronto Dance Theatre (Canada), Artcho Danse Repertoire (Haiti) and several independent choreographers in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. BaKari also appeared as an original cast member of Disney’s The Lion King.

As choreographer, BaKari has created works for Les Enfants Dance Company, Entre Duex, The National Dance Company of Trinidad and Tobago, while also creating a body of work on COBA Collective Of Black Artists. He served on the faculty of Ryerson University, York University, Humber College, Lester B. Pearson School for the Performing Arts, and several dance schools, and institutions and community groups. BaKari is a Vice-Principal with the Toronto District School Board. Bakari’s artistic vision is to create a harmonious balance between artistic practice and traditional cultural values.

About A-Feeree

A-Feeree is a physical language developed by Bakari IfaSegun Lindsay to be used as a training method by dance practitioners working in an Africanist movement aesthetic. This physical language is meant to serve as a resource, enhancing already developed skills or to assist in navigating through the physical aesthetics of African and African Diasporic dance cultures. The name A-Feeree comes from the Manding word “Feeree” that means training or method and draws from the physical aesthetics of Traditional West African dance culture of the Séné-Gambian region and Caribbean Indigenous Folk dances from Trinidad and Tobago.

A-Feeree — The Physical Language identifies muscular development, body attitude, shape, rhythm and pulse as essential elements within these dance cultures, emphasizing their muscular usage in day-to-day activities and how these movements manifest themselves into what we understand or label as “African of Afro-Caribbean dance language. A-Feeree is fueled by years of personal experience and ethnographic research by Bakari Ifasegun Lindsay, examining Sénégalese and Caribbean societies where movement serves a function (e.g. harvesting, washing, cooking, chopping wood, etc.) and dance reflects life. Within these societies, the people dance the way they live and if we are to study the dances of these cultures, along with embodying the cultural context of their movement, it is extremely important that we also prepare physically.

A-Feeree is a physical language developed towards that preparation, and is guided by seven (7) principles, which are Polyrhythm, Polycentrism, Curvilinear, Demensionality, Epic Memory, Repetition, and Holistic. A-Feeree is not intended to be a replacement for current African and African Diasporic systems of teaching and learning (oral tradition). It must be acknowledged that A-Feeree — The Physical Language could be mistaken as a formula for the study of African and African Diasporic dance culture and a departure from traditional values. Limited in its development, A-Feeree does not speak for all the voices within the African continent or the African Diaspora. However, it is a place where several conversations can begin.

A-Feeree Dancers

Dwauntea Chambers
Alistair Graphine
BaKari I. Lindsay
Michael Mortley
Yuhula Muy
Aisha Nicholson
Yui Ugai

Ms. Measha Brueggergosman-Lee

Motivated and hungry for new experiences, Ms. Measha Brueggergosman-Lee’s career effortlessly embraces the broadest array of performance platforms and musical styles and genres.

Measha began her career predominantly committed to the art of the song recital and has presented innovative programs at Carnegie Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, both the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, Madrid’s Teatro Real, as well as at the Schwarzenberg, Edinburgh, Verbier and Bergen Festivals with celebrated collaborative pianists Justus Zeyen, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, and Simon Lepper.

On the opera stage, her recent highlights include the roles of Giulietta and Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Elettra in Idomeneo, Jenny in Weill’s Mahagonny, Emilia Marty in Janáček’s Věc Makropulos, Hannah in Miroslav Srnka’s Make No Noise, and Sister Rose in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. On the concert platform last season, she returned to Carnegie Hall with the New World Symphony, performed Elettra in Idomeneo at Opera Atelier, Toronto, and gave a recital at the Barbican Center, London.

She has also recently worked with the Orchestre de Paris, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony Orchestras and conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel and Daniel Harding. Her first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Surprise, includes works by Schoenberg, Satie and Bolcom and is one of the most highly regarded debut albums of recent years. Her subsequent disc Night and Dreams, which features songs by Mozart, Brahms, Strauss, Schubert, Debussy, Duparc and Fauré won several awards and her recording of the Wesendonck Lieder with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra earned her a Grammy nomination.

Off the stage, Measha is just as active: she recently released her memoir “Something Is Always on Fire” published by Harper Collins, she appears regularly on primetime TV (most recently advocating on behalf of contemporary Canadian literature); and leading Canadian children across the country in song, in celebration of the nationwide campaign for music education.

Measha Brueggergosman-Lee champions the education and involvement of new audiences and holds several honorary doctorates and ambassadorial titles with international charities. She is also recipient of the 2024 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

Nathaniel Dett Chorale performing in the Canadian Opera Company’s Showcase Series
in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, photo: Karen E. Reeves.

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale

The multi-faceted vocalists of The Nathaniel Dett Chorale perform all styles and genres of music as appropriate to the traditions of Africa and its Diasporas. The Chorale’s mission is to build bridges of understanding, appreciation, and acceptance between communities of people through the medium of Afrocentric choral music.

Founder D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor named The Nathaniel Dett Chorale after internationally renowned African Canadian composer R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) to draw attention to Dett’s legacy, to the breadth of Afrocentric choral music, and to be a professional choral ensemble where persons of African heritage can be well represented. Currently in its 25th Season, The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is also Artist in Residence at The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas at York University.

Artistic Director D. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor
Collaborative Pianist Dakota Scott-Digout

Alida Doornberg
Kaisha Lee
Ineza Mugisha
Nikan Ingabire Kanate
Alison Ryan
Melanie Yirenkyi

Sophie Coleman
Jenna Cowans
Ali Garrison
Zoitsa Gotziaman
Sarah Mole
Ianjai Mounsey-Ndemo

Kyle Briscoe
Thomas Burton
Ryan Downey
Nick Gough
William Salinas-Crosby
Adam Wicks

Dallas Bergen
Wade Bray
Matheus Coelho
Martin Gomes
Andrew Gunpath
Aidan Reimer

For Luminato

Lighting Designer: Shawn Henry
Stage Manager: Jillia Cato
Production Manager: Duncan Macmillan
Producer: Caroline Hollway
Audio Describer: James McKenzie of Superior Description Services
With thanks to the Production Team at Koerner Hall,
TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning.

Luminato Supporters and Partners

Thank You to Our Supporters

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Thank you to the wonderful Luminato Volunteers

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