Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to take the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition to the U.S.!

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Beauford and Roland Hayes

Beauford was a huge admirer of Roland Hayes, a singer and composer born in Georgia and raised by sharecropper parents on the plantation where his mother had been a slave. He became an internationally known performer who sang in French, German, and Italian as well as English.

Portrait of Roland Hayes
Robert S. Pious (Robert Savon)

According to the Beauford Delaney biography, Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, Hayes was a friend of Charles Cansler, who was principal of Knoxville Colored High School and a mentor of Beauford. Beauford learned of Hayes' musical prowess in Knoxville and always admired him. He particularly loved Hayes's renditions of spirituals and black folk music. He would meet Hayes during his Boston years, when he introduced himself to the singer after a concert where Hayes performed with the Boston Symphony.

Click on the video below to hear Hayes sing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

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