Originally Published By Howard Magazine on 05/01/2019
Written By: John-John Williams IV
When violinist Jessica McJunkins looks out into the audience during performances of the Soulful Symphony, she can’t help but brim with joy.
When she was growing up, she rarely saw people who looked like her playing string instruments — and nothing to the extent of Soulful Symphony, which is composed of mostly black and latino musicians.
“You are aware that seeing people that look like you is powerful,” says McJunkins, a 32-year-old soloing member of Beyonce’s band who also performs with the group, which will embark on a three-year residency at Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion in June.
She remembers being an 11-year-old aspiring violinist in Charlotte, N.C., and seeing Regina Carter, a black jazz violinist, for the first time.
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