It’s the eve of the Fourth of July (this blog has been very patriotic this week, hasn’t it?), and I’d love to share an excellent, just-released video with you that helps celebrate Independence Day in a very special way. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice & renowned violinist Jenny Oaks Baker here team up for a stunning rendition of the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace.”
Hopefully I don’t get too political here, but let me say that Condoleezza Rice is one of my favorite political figures. One of the reasons I like her so much is that she is a trained concert pianist, and over the years has performed at various diplomatic and charity events, among other things. (I also recall reading an article once that talked about her involvement in a DC-based chamber music group, that often met in her apartment. How cool is that?) Jenny Oaks Baker is an outstanding violinist who has taken on some incredibly varied repertoire (her last two albums have been based on rock music and Disney songs, for example) with aplomb. Bringing these two incredibly talented women together for such an inspiring song and project? The result is absolutely wonderful. Both of them sound terrific here (it’s great to finally see Condi center stage at the piano), and it’s a wonderful way to commemorate the Fourth. Adding to that, the proceeds from sales of the song on iTunes and elsewhere go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity benefiting wounded military veterans. It’s a great combination of beautiful music and a very noble cause, and I’m grateful that both Condoleezza and Jenny made this all happen.
While I’ll likely be posting something tomorrow on the actual Fourth, I love the words that the video closes with: “May the grace of God continue to shine on lovers of freedom everywhere.” I echo that call, and there’s no better way to say that, I think, than through music.