Frederick Douglass Jazz Works
On Saturday, February 22, 2020, Fieldstead and Company welcomed back singer/songwriter Ruth Naomi Floyd and her jazz ensemble for a concert, spoken word, and interpretive dance performance celebrating the legacy and spirit of legendary American abolitionist and statesman, Frederick Douglass. This performance, drawing upon the essence of improvisation, blends together forms of interpretive dance, jazz, and spoken word to communicate a uniquely African-American experience while conveying a broader spiritual message that unites all humanity.
A vocalist and composer for over 20 years, Ruth Naomi Floyd has created a discography explicitly dedicated to a sacred jazz expression. She leads her own multi-faceted ensemble and her recordings consist primarily of original compositions. Blessed with a soaring mezzo-soprano voice, Ruth’s music has been praised by critics for its distinctive sound of progressive ensemble jazz that is seamlessly blended with messages of hope, faith, redemption, and love.
A committed music educator, Ruth is the Director of Jazz Studies at Cairn University, Langhorne, Pennsylvania and an Adjunct and Artist in Residence at Temple University. She also teaches music at The City School in Philadelphia. Rooted and grounded in a faith ethos, Ruth has been a presence and worker in areas of the arts and social justice throughout her career. She wholeheartedly believes that it is the duty of the artist to be the truth-teller of society and to speak against injustice. Holding these themes in poetic tension within her body of creative work, Ruth has lectured prolifically on the intersection of beauty, theology, justice, culture and the arts at numerous universities, seminaries, conferences, and academic settings around the world.