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Friday Playlist with Ilah Raleigh

Hi everyone!

My name is Ilah Raleigh. I’m a performing artist and arts educator working here in the Twin Cities (MN).

I firmly believe making and enjoying music is everyone’s birthright. Claiming that birthright often means disrupting false narratives about talent and giftedness. Through the arts we explore lessons in thinking creatively, embracing vulnerability, being in the moment, honoring our perspective, expressing our truth, and feeling the fear - and then doing it anyway. These lessons benefit everyone, but are of special value to those of us that society seeks to silence and exclude.

The songs on my playlist below are diverse and at first, it may not be obvious what the relationships among them might be. These songs are drawn from my work as an arts educator and scholar. I’m an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas (UST), where I teach a course in music and culture to the amazing students at Dougherty Family College (DFC) and voice lessons to my delightful vocal students in UST’s Department of Music. In addition, I’m a UST doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Learning. My dissertation research is on the experiences and contributions of multiracial artists to contemporary commercial music. To learn more about my work as a vocalist, arts educator, and scholar, please visit

Small, C. (1998). Musicking: The meanings of performing and listening. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press.

OOPS MN Playlist:

“Songs to Musick to”

These are some of my favorite videos of people "musicking," to use musicologist Christopher Small's neologism. Small (1998) defines musicking as being involved in music making in any way - from composing to improvising, listening, performing, or even talking about music. The performers featured on this playlist are musicking in diverse ways: many are singing, some dancing, one is performing a spoken word piece with a musical accompaniment. These recordings inspire me and remind me why I love music. I hope they bring you joy, as well!

  1. Cleo Sol - “One”

  2. Lido Pimienta - "Coming Thru"

  3. Les Twins | FRONTROW | World of Dance 2014 #WODHI

  4. Enta Oumry (Concert) - Umm Kulthum انت عمرى (حفلة) - ام كلثوم

  5. Leontyne Price farewell " O patria mia"

  6. Alfredo Kraus - Je Crois Entendre Encore

  7. Lucilla Galeazzi _ Quante stelle nel cielo con la luna

  8. Luther Vandross: A House Is Not A Home - Live 1988 NAACP Image Awards

  9. Mary J. Blige-All That I Can Say (Full Album Version)

  10. El Dia de mi Suerte - Salsa con Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón (sonido de lujo)

  11. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Phenom (Official Music Video)

  12. Sons Of Kemet - Your Queen Is A Reptile

  13. Giri/Haji - dancing scene

  14. "The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" | SphinxConnect 2017

  15. Ed Sheeran - Bad Habits [Official Video]

  16. Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic - Leave the Door Open [LIVE from the 63rd GRAMMYs ® 2021]

  17. Studio Enjoy: Supaman - 'Prayer Loop Song'

You can find the Full YouTube Playlist here.

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