International vocal artist and jazz performer Virginia Schenck
, who goes by the stage name VA, created her critically-acclaimed album Battle Cry
(2020)—which released on January 3 and is available on all digital platforms as well as on CD—to use the power of music to generate change. Each week since release, the album has been climbing the JazzWeek charts. To celebrate Battle Cry
’s success, Schenck has released the official video from her original track off the album “Hear My Battle Cry.”
Propelled by a disarmingly bright, deliciously funky groove, “Hear My Battle Cry” delivers the singer’s bullseye message: “Can we find the path to freedom by the truth in our lives/Find the courage, strength and hope to stand tall/Resurrect ourselves, correct ourselves, and pay our due/Hear my battle cry: I will live in truth or die.”
VA, was motivated to make Battle Cry
due to the current need for civil and human rights action and literally has advocacy and activism in her DNA: her grandmother, a suffragette in Philadelphia
, was pregnant with her mother while campaigning for the right of women to vote in the 1920s. The new album speaks of peace, unity, and hope in addition to its message of resistance.
VA is taking the album on the road to various civil and human rights non-profit locations to raise funds for the venues with her ‘Hear My Battle Cry’ Tour. The first stop is in Atlanta at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights on Saturday, April 18, then on to Timucua in Orlando
(April 19). Stops in Montgomery, Ala.; Birmingham, Ala.; Memphis
, Tenn.; and other sites are also in early planning stages. Tickets are on sale now at virginiaschenck.com
Also on Battle Cry
, VA fires off familiar songs, such as Donny Hathaway’s “Sack Full of Dreams,” Dion’s “Abraham, Martin and John” and “Bali Hai” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, with precisely targeted interpretation, imaginative improvisation, swing and soul. Her evocative renderings of “America the Beautiful” and “The Pledge of Allegiance” prompt fresh evaluation of time-honored symbols of national pride. A harrowing version of “Strange Fruit,” sung in wailing, dissonant passages, honors and embellishes the protest song immortalized by Billie Holiday
with wrenching poignancy, made all the more potent by Jordan’s deeply rooted bass and Williams’ spine-tingling sax accompaniment.