Playbill Songwriter Series: Step Into the Transformative World of Jacinth Greywoode | Playbill

Songwriter Series Playbill Songwriter Series: Step Into the Transformative World of Jacinth Greywoode

Greywoode presented material from three of his musicals, ranging from an ancestral lament to an meditative ode to hope.

Brooklyn-based composer Jacinth Greywoode is the latest member of the Playbill Songwriter Series, and he brought the full force of his hypnotic storytelling to display: with a taste for adapting the truth of history to the stage, his transformative lens is sure to pull you back in time.

Greywoode presented work from three of his musicals: Iron John, an ancestral ghost story set in the fictional town of Good, Alabama; Blended Harmony, which tells the little-known true story of the Kim Loo sisters, four Chinese-Polish-American women who debuted on Broadway in the 1930s; and Black Girl in Paris, a musical about Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman with whom Thomas Jefferson had several children.

His first song, "Gone People" from Iron John, sees the town fortune teller Myrtle Barnes cry out to her ancestors for help as she struggles to raise her son Lucas, a mixed-race teenager plagued by questions of his missing father. As her fiancé Ron laments the invisible figures that haunt their lives, Myrtle searches in vain for a wisdom that can only be obtained through experience. Featuring lyrics by Rebecca Hart, the song is performed by Gillian Bell, Heath Saunders, Drew O'Shanick, Azriél Patricia, and Morgan Smart.

In the second song, "Gold" from Blended Harmony, Youlin Li, the son of General Li Zongren (acting president of the Republic of China and vice president to Chiang Kai-shek) and future husband of one of the sisters, searches for meaning in the face of overwhelming artifice. Featuring lyrics by Jessica Huang, the song is performed by Ethan Yaheen-Moy Chan.

The third, "Jefferson's Girl" from Black Girl in Paris, sees Sally as a 14-year-old girl, transported to Paris on the cusp of the French Revolution. As she marvels at the bustling city of lights, she relishes in her first taste of freedom while trying to climb out of Jefferson's shadow. Featuring lyrics by AriDy Nox, the song is performed by Denise Manning, with Azriél Patricia, Morgan Smart, Gillian Bell, Heath Saunders, and Drew O'Shanick.

For his final song, Greywoode returned to the world of Iron John, winding back the clock 100 years to witness Good, Alabama in 1915 for "Walk My Love," where two young lovers meet in the forest in a desperate attempt to plan a future for themselves. Again featuring lyrics by Hart, the love song features Gillian Bell and Heath Saunders.

In addition to Greywoode on the Sing for Hope piano, this episode features Jonathan Linden on guitar, Alex Busby-Smith on bass, and Danny Ursetti on the cajon.

Sing for Hope harnesses the power of the arts to create a better world. Our creative programs bring hope, healing, and connection to millions of people in hospitals, schools, care facilities, refugee camps, transit hubs, and community spaces worldwide. A non-profit organization founded in New York City in response to the events of 9/11, Sing for Hope partners with hundreds of community-based organizations, mobilizes thousands of artists in creative service, and produces artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos across the US and around the world. The official Cultural Partner of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Sing for Hope champions art for all because we believe the arts have an unmatched capacity to uplift, unite, and heal. Learn more at

For more information on Greywoode, visit

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