Donny Hathaway: Someday We’ll All Be Free

Written by Jack Gulielmetti

Composer and Guitarist

February 23, 2018

This was the hardest decision. I know I’ve already made that statement about Stevie Wonder, who I love, but this was even harder with Donny Hathaway. Why? Because I love Donny Hathaway. I really love Donny Hathaway. I really really (insert expletive that would act as an adjective) love Donny Hathaway. I love Donny Hathaway so much that at one point I thought about making this whole blog post dedicated to Donny Hathaway and instead of picking five pieces just picking my five favorite songs of his. Nonetheless, I wanted this post to be diverse so I decided to only put in one song. Picking the best Donny Hathaway song is like asking someone to pick their favorite child; it is just not an answerable question. I chose this song because of its (unfortunate) message and the fact that it still resonates today despite being written in 1977. The song speaks about being a black man in America, and the power that love has to triumph hate. It talks about the importance of holding yourself strong in the face of adversity. Just take the lyric:

Keep your self respect, your manly pride
Get yourself in gear
Keep your stride
Never mind your fears
Brighter days will soon be here

Donny Hathaway simply put is one of the greatest soul singers of all time. Though he tragically left us far too early in 1979, his voice carries on and lives with us forever. Though this post is only about one song, I have to say that the truth is that almost every single of songs is this good. If I had to recommend, I would say listen to his entire discography if you can (its worth it), but the songs “For All We Know”, “Song For You”, and “Where is The Love (feat. Roberta Flack)” are particularly good. On a separate note, his daughter Lalah Hathaway is a pretty amazing singer too.

Jack Gulielmetti

Jack Gulielmetti is a composer and guitar player. His works have been performed by groups such as the New York Philharmonic, JACK Quartet, Matt Boehler, The Da Capo Chamber Players, Synchronicity and Shouthouse. As a guitar player growing up in New York City, Jack has had the fortune to work with many groups of different genres around the city, playing everything from jazz and classical to electronic, hip-hop, funk, and everything in between. He has studied guitar with people such as Julian Lage, Nels Cline, Mike Moreno and Greg Howe. At the age of sixteen, he developed a love for composition, and enrolled in the composition program of Juilliard’s precollege program. He has studied with composers such as Manuel Sosa, David Conte, John Corigliano, and Joan Tower. Jack is currently working on several interdisciplinary projects to be present in the spring that incorporate live music, dance and projection art, and is collaborating at the moment on this with poet Srikanth Reddy. In addition to actively writing music, he still actively plays music around New York City and the world, mostly with the jazz/dance music group Onyx Collective. He is in his fourth year in an accelerated five year program at the Juilliard School studying composition with Robert Beaser and classical guitar with Mark Delpriora.

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