NEW YORK - A Harlem couple will perform together at Carnegie hall this weekend to tell the story of how millions of African Americans migrated North and created a new sound. In doing so they tell their own story as well. It's part of a citywide music festival organized by Carnegie Hall that celebrates migrants and immigrants.
Alicia Hall Moran the expressive soprano, husband Jason Moran accomplished jazz musician and composer elevate each other as artists and as people.
Inside their Harlem apartment the couple rehearses for their upcoming Carnegie Hall Concert "Two Wings: the Music of Black America in Migration".
The songs tell the story of the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans moved North beginning in 1910.
Jason says "for us calling this concert Two Wings is because we watch birds do this every year and people also move in these waves. And there's something about flight and fleeing that we also wanted to have represented in these songs.
Their concert is one of more than 100 music, film and dance events across the city in Carnegie Hall's largest festival ever.
"Migrations the Making of America" includes Scottish and Irish immigration in the 18th century that gave rise to country music, and Jewish migration from eastern Europe that gave America Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and other great songwriters.
"They carried their culture with them they came from the most appallingly difficult situations so I think it also tells you a lot about human beings themselves that out of this misery came such beauty," said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall.
The festival, the biggest ever at Carnegie Hall, offers a subtle counterpoint to President Donald Trump's tougher immigration policies.
For the Moran's it's thinking about the lessons they try to teach their twin sons about history and tracing their own family tree from slavery in Georgia to New York.
"These were Americans putting New York on a map and then we each put New York on a map separately. And I grew up in Connecticut. And I was still like as soon as I can get right over there, I need to get there," Alicia Hall Moran said.
Alicia and Jason expect the concert to be emotional for them and for the audience.
Jason admits he does cry sometimes when performing the material they've chosen which ranges from operatic and spirituals to show tunes and jazz.
"We perform them because they are emotionally heavy. Because I do think it's time for the country to cry, a lot. And this concert will definitely pull emotions out of the audience," he added.
Their concert "Two Wings" is at Carnegie Hall Saturday, March 30.
For more information, visit carnegiehall.org.