Baltimore’s Billie Holiday: A Musical Tribute to Lady Day

Baltimore’s Billie Holiday: A Musical Tribute to Lady Day    Header Image

Brought to you by Hopkins at Home, in partnership with The Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts at JHU and the Center for Africana Studies.

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The Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts at Johns Hopkins University will present a live concert honoring the life and musical legacy of jazz legend Billie Holiday. Founded in 2017 by Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Lawrence P. Jackson, the Billie Holiday Project is an initiative designed to preserve African American archives, history and culture in Baltimore. Last September, the Holiday Project presented the inaugural Billie Holiday Tribute jazz concert at the historic Lafayette Square in West Baltimore. This year, audiences are invited to experience the live concert in a virtual environment.   

The 60-minute performance will feature renowned vocalist Maimouna Youssef a.k.a “Mumu Fresh”, accompanied by a world-class acoustic quartet from the Peabody Institute Jazz Studies department. Band members include Nasar Abadey (drums), who serves as Artistic Director of the concert, alongside Sean Jones (trumpet), Herman Burney (bass) and Allyn Johnson (piano). Professor Lawrence P. Jackson will deliver opening remarks addressing the continuing significance of Holiday's music culturally and politically. 

For more information about the Billie Holiday Project, please visit this website:

ABOUT Maimouna Youssef
Grammy Nominee, Indigenous Music Award Winner

Maimouna Youssef aka Mumu Fresh (Vocalist) is a Baltimore born Grammy nominee and Indigenous Music Award winner. Maimouna has performed to sold out audiences, in renowned venues around the world, electrifying stages alongside countless musical giants including Common, The Roots, Sting, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Billy Ray Cyrus, Femi Kuti, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Raphael Saadiq, the National Symphony Orchestra, Dave Chappelle, and others. She has received world-wide praise for her viral NPR Tiny Desk performance addressing gender inequities and women’s rights. Maimouna is committed to ‘Art Activism’ and has performed within the US prison system, Congressional Black Caucus, I.M.A.N. Central, The W. K. Kellogg Foundation and more, bringing awareness to important social issues.

ABOUT Nasar Abadey
Lecturer of Percussion, Peabody Institute

Nasar Abadey (Drums | Concert Artistic Director) is a Lecturer of Percussion at the Peabody Institute. Abadey is the founder and leader of SUPERNOVA®. This band performs music from the threshold of Jazz to beyond, expressing their compositions through traditional African rhythms, bebop, fusion, Afro-Cuban, Afro Brazilian, modal, and free form. Abadey has performed with many jazz greats and has appeared in various music festivals internationally. His credits include: Amiri Baraka, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Rouse, Gary Bartz, David Sanchez, Cyrus Chestnut, Gregory Porter, Sonny Fortune, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Kenny Kirkland, Gary Thomas, Stanley Turrentine, Sun Ra, Frank Morgan, Bobby Hutchinson, Pharaoh Sanders, and others. 

ABOUT Sean Jones
Professor and Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz Studies at the Peabody Institute

Sean Jones (Trumpet) is Professor and Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz Studies at the Peabody Institute. Before coming to Peabody, Sean served as the Chair of the Brass Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Sean turned a 6-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra into an offer from Wynton Marsalis for a permanent position as lead trumpeter, a post he held from 2004 until 2010. In 2015 Jones became a member of the SFJAZZ Collective where he was a member until 2018. During this time, Sean produced and released eight recordings on the Mack Avenue Records. Sean has been prominently featured with a number of artists, recording and/or performing with many major figures in jazz, including Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson and Marcus Miller. Sean was selected by Miller, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter for their Tribute to Miles tour in 2011

ABOUT Herman Burney

Herman Burney (Bass) has traveled all over the world to establish his impressive list of performance credentials as bassist with Nnenna Freelon, Marcus Roberts, Freddy Cole, Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Harry Pickens, Eric Alexander, Wycliffe Gordon, Rene Marie, Monty Alexander, Etta Jones, Oscar Brown, Red Holloway, Natalie Cole, Cedar Walton, Eric Reed, and many others. Herman was an integral part of Freddy Cole’s band for nearly 5yrs and played on many of his recordings, including “Rio de Janiero Blue” and the Grammy nominated CD “Merry Go Round. 

ABOUT Lawrence Jackson
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History

Lawrence Jackson is the author of the award-winning books Chester B. Himes: A Biography (W.W. Norton 2017) and The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics (Princeton 2010).  In 2002, he published Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius, 1913-1952 (Wiley), and he has written a memoir on race and family history called My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War (Chicago 2012).  Professor Jackson earned a PhD in English and American literature at Stanford University, and he is a 2019 Guggenheim fellowship awardee. A Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History at Johns Hopkins University, he is the founder and director of the Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts to create opportunities for enhanced intellectual and artistic relations between Hopkins and Baltimore City, his hometown. He is completing a book about his return called Job’s Labyrinth, or, Shelter (Grey Wolf 2021).  

 Event Date
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Start Time: 3:15pm EDT
End Time: 4:30pm EDT


Via Livestream
Baltimore, MD 21218

Hopkins at Home

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