…highly imaginative and beautifully textured arrangements

Washington Post

String Quartet

Akua’s Blues

Instrumentation: String Quartet
Duration: 4:19


Instrumentation: String Quartet
Duration: 8:23

Efua is one of my earliest pieces and has been performed at major concert halls in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and Scandinavia. I won a 1979 National Endowment for the Arts award for this Suite. The Suite is entitled, PORTRAITS. This movement is dedicated to my sister, Gayle Dixon. It was performed at the 1988 Berlin Jazz Festival and originally recorded on my album, QUARTETTE INDIGO in 1991.

Plea for Peace

Instrumentation: String Quartet
Duration: 6:29

Plea for Peace is a musical plea for peaceful, humane energy all over this world. It’s composed for improvising string quartet. The ostinato bass line gives a mesmerizing effect to the melody.

We The People

Instrumentation: String Quartet


Afrika! Afrika!

Instrumentation: Solo Cello and String Orchestra
Duration: 6:51

Afrika! Afrika! is composed for solo cello and string orchestra. It was composed in 1972 after a trip to Ghana, West Africa. The notation of this score in 1981 was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Akua’s Dance

Instrumentation: String Quintet
Duration: 5:25

Akua’s Dance is an odd meter dance movement with a Tango-like feel implied. It’s in the form of a Blues and has an expressive solo section. Composed for String Quintet w/wo rhythm section. Akua’s Dance is an arrangement of a theme from The Opera of Marie Laveau.


Instrumentation: String Quintet
Duration: 5:56

Determination has a very strong, driving, 5/4 tempo. Composed for String Quintet/Orchestra with improvisation, w/wo rhythm section.


The Opera of Marie Laveau

Cello Big Band


Instrumentation: Jazz Chamber Orchestra, Cello Big Band
Duration: 6:05

The concept of this composition is layered textures of rhythmic motifs that lock together. This style of writing is commonly found in African music. These repetitive motifs are memorable and form a multi-meter pulse. This creates a circular feeling and forms a continuous groove.

Lead Sheet

Moving On

Duration: 6:07

Orion’s Gait

Duration: 5:17


Duration: 3:50

Whatever is composed for Cello with rhythm section. It is written in the style of a jazz standard. The melody is a rhythmic call and response between the cello and the drum. The solo section goes into a solid swing feel.

With All My Heart

Duration: 6:02

With All My Heart is composed for Cello with a rhythm section. It is written in the style of a medium tempo, jazz waltz. The melody highlights the expansive range of the cello. The solo section has lyrical jazz changes.


Hip Hop Blues

1. Hip Hop Blues
2. Gonna Get It
3. Dream On
4. Beatz
5. Motion

Hip Hop Blues uses contemporary beats that string students will love. Parts range from beginner, open strings only, and advance to use of notes in open and closed first position. This rhythmic setting makes it fun to work on beginning intonation, improvisation and syncopation. There’s a part for everyone!

There are five different parts (in G Major):
Part 1 has the melody and uses all the notes in first position
Part 2 reinforces the 1st through 4th scale steps
Part 3 open position fingering on D string
Part 4 is written for open string and first finger
Part 5 is for open strings

Instrumentation: String Orchestra
Duration: 2:60


Instrumentation: 2 Violins, Viola, Cello/Bass, Open Strings

Leap Frog

Instrumentation: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

Ants, Spiders, Leap Frog, Mister Turtle, Go Caterpillar, Bumble Bee Buzz, Bluebirds

Leap Frog is composed for beginning string students. It incorporates elements of African music that has continued into the music of African Americans. I am proud to share the musical traditions of my culture. These compositions can be taught by rote and/or with the written music. A part of the musical history would be to use it in a call and response interaction with students. Work on each phrase, one at a time. The lyrics enhance the correlation between rhythm, melody and language. They can inspire games, artwork, math, etc.

Caribbean Sweets

Instrumentation: String Quintet

Lemon Meringue, Caribe, Mi Amor Por Siempre

The Young Violinist