Orchestra Noir is not just a classical symphonic orchestra: a swinging, jazzy, hip-hop performing group, this orchestra empowers Black culture through incredible music making. Here’s a deep dive into one of the most unique and grooving orchestras of today!
Heritage, Culture, Fun, and Groove:
Founded in 2016 by world-renowned conductor Jason Ikeem Rogers, the Atlanta-based Orchestra Noir is a 50-musician orchestra that brings incredible cultural, multi-genre performances. From jazz, to hip-hop, blues, and R&B, Orchestra Noir is a multi-talented group that integrates Black culture into each performance. Each genre of music they play honors their Black predecessors’ pioneering achievements in the music field.
And each performance is a performance. With exuberant energy, both Orchestra Noir and their adoring audience liven up each venue. With the orchestra’s loose and casual style, joking with other members and the audience, each performance feels special and intimate. Each solo is cheered on by other members of the orchestra. Despite stereotypes about orchestras, no one is uptight or formal. In fact, members of the orchestra commonly get up and dance around the stage.
A Decorated Orchestra
Because Orchestra Noir is so incredible, they have received immense praise and recognition for their work. They have expanded far beyond their Atlanta home, having sold out concerts in other Southeastern cities such as Birmingham, Raleigh, and Charlotte. Their “Beethoven Meets 90s Vibe” event this April alongside the Charlotte Symphony was critically acclaimed, and garnered huge positive publicity. They also starred in the Savannah Black Heritage Festival in February of this year.
However, the projects don’t just stop there. Orchestra Noir has collaborated with many big brands such as Time Warner, NBC, Atlantic Records, Youtube Music, Lionsgate, and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. They have collaborated with numerous special guests such as hip-hop stars 2Chainz, Migos, and Bryan-Michael Cox. In the upcoming debut of Red Bull Symphonic in November, Orchestra Noir will be collaborating with rap legend Rick Ross to perform orchestra renditions of the rapper’s hit tracks.
Despite the success, Orchestra Noir has also not neglected their roots. An advocate for music education, Orchestra Noir makes sure to perform for concerts for the youth, inspiring minority musicians to racial diversity in the music field. They even implement music education into their concerts, giving young children the vocabulary for music and instrumentation, while also exposing them to a wide variety of musical genres.
Orchestra Noir is a breath of fresh air—giving its listeners funky tunes while also celebrating and taking a stand with Black empowerment. They give back so much to the community, and they are truly an exceptional group. Click here for tickets to their collaboration with Rick Ross this upcoming November!