Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes

Composer and pianist

Grantee Cohort Spring 2018

Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes is a composer and pianist known for large multidisciplinary projects and for his use of music to examine sociopolitical issues. He graduated from The Juilliard School with a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies in 2013. While at Juilliard, he began work on his highly acclaimed performance piece, The Transformations Suite, which brought together jazz and classical musicians, spoken word artists, actors, and dancers to produce a performance piece that paints a musical picture of the current state of social inequality and injustice. He has written music for artists including Kenny Barron and Common, and is the composer for the documentary Whose Streets? about the Ferguson, MO uprising following the killing of Michael Brown. He is a member of Blackout for Human Rights and was musical director for their 2016 #MLKNow and #JusticeForFlint events.

With support from Art for Justice, Samora created I’M STILL HERE: Reflections on Trauma and Healing (a.k.a. The Healing Project), an installation piece that combines musical compositions with audio interviews delving into issues of violence and incarceration/detention in communities of color from the perspective of trauma and healing. The project was driven by the quest to understand how incarceration and detention traumatizes people and communities, and the processes, strategies, and practices that people use to cope and heal.