“Jason Ikeem Rodgers clearly remembers the epiphany he had that led him to create the Atlanta, Georgia-based African American ensemble, Orchestra Noir,” writes Je’Don Holloway Talley in Wednesday’s (5/4) Birmingham Times (AL). “He and his wife, Keisha, were invited to an elegant soiree in an affluent neighborhood that was attended by some of the city’s elite: ‘It was a classy event,’ … Rodgers recalled… ‘I saw these Black, educated people, and they were in tuxedos. … That’s when it popped in my head: “Orchestra Noir, the Atlanta African American Symphony.”… We need to build [a Black] orchestra here in Atlanta and have it for Black folks.’ Rodgers, 39, CEO, founder, and music director of Orchestra Noir, knew exactly the type of orchestra he had in mind. ‘We could do [Beethoven, Mozart], and all that stuff, but it also … had to be all-Black and showcase Black talent in an orchestral way,’ he said…. Orchestra Noir makes its Birmingham debut with ‘The Best of Hip-Hop and R&B’ concert at the Lyric Theatre on May 7…. The ensemble will deliver its signature curated sound, which is a fusion of classical orchestra pieces combined with the familiarity of hip-hop anthems and R&B favorites.”