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Black excellence on Flicks at 4

composer Michael Abels
photo by Todd Rosenberg
composer Michael Abels

February is Black History Month! Even though you'll catch me highlighting Black excellence in classical music on 90.5 WUOL all year 'round, we’ve cooked up some really exciting features for Flicks at 4. Every weekday at 4pm for the month of February, tune in to celebrate iconic Black movies and the iconic Black composers that scored them.

No matter your favorite genre, we’ll have something for every film lover starting with Nigerian composer Re Olunuga’s music for the 2020 horror flick Girl, moving through to his music for Rise (2022) for the sports fans, even stories from history’s icons like Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) with sounds from Kathryn Bostic. And no list of quintessential film composers is complete without Quincy Jones - we’ll end the second week of February with his music for The Color Purple (1985).

The third week of February, we’re doing something a bit different for Flicks, featuring one prolific film composer for the final two weeks of the month. Michael Abels, our featured composer for that week, has written music for some of my favorite films ever made. We’ll hear the music from two of Jordan Peele’s movies, NOPE (2022) and Get Out (2017), both of which made strides in the industry for Black horror. Michael Abels has had his hand in many epochal Black stories we'll hear, including the violin duel from Chevalier (2022).

Speaking of The Color Purple, we’ll finish the month off strong with Kris Bowers, who wrote music for the 2023 adaptation of the film. You may recognize the many sounds of Los Angeles native Bowers in films like Green Book (2018), Bridgerton (2020), Haunted Mansion (2023), and The United Sates v.s. Billie Holiday (2021). All of which you’ll have a chance to experience on Flicks at 4 this February.

So - ready your popcorn, get cozy, and study up on this extensive list of movies. I'm very excited to celebrate Black film composers all February long (and forever!)

Kiana Del is the Engagement Manager for Music Education for LPM. Email Kiana at kdel@lpm.org.