The Thomas Dorsey/Mahalia Jackson project began in 2010. The first events took place at the Riverside Church in NYC, with a lecture by Tami Tyree on Dorsey’s gospel legacy. The music of the songwriter and choirmaster featured Wycliffe Gordon, The Riverside Inspirational Choir, clergy soloists and a band led by Rudi Mwongozi. Dorsey’s songs written expressly for Mahalia Jackson were performed by Tami Tyree; who traveled that year to Fisk University to work with its archivist in procuring his sheet music, tapes, and memorabilia.
Ms. Tyree continues to lead an ensemble of musicians and guest vocal artists to encompass Thomas A. Dorsey’s early blues compositions for “Ma” Rainey. Musical tributes encompassing both Dorsey’s blues and gospel compositions are called “Ma, Mahalia & The Man” and featured Lee Olive Tucker as “Ma” Rainey.