Article Contributed by Sacks and Company | Published on Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Pianist, vocalist and composer Samora Pinderhughes will share a new song, “Keith LaMar: Sweet,” on February 20 alongside a video.

Written by Pinderhughes with LaMar and Rafiq Bhatia (Son Lux), the single will serve as part of Pinderhughes’ The Healing Project—an interdisciplinary initiative that uses music, film and exhibition to tell the healing stories of people around the country who experience structural violence—and the Justice for Keith LaMar campaign entitled “Letters to Keith.”

A poet, teacher, musician, writer and painter, LaMar has spent over 30 years in solitary confinement on death row after being wrongfully convicted and framed for a prison riot in the state of Ohio. In July 2023—due in part to the advocacy efforts of Justice for Keith LaMar and The Healing Project—Governor Mike DeWine issued LaMar a reprieve, moving his execution date from November 16 of last year to January 13, 2027.

LaMar is also the inaugural recipient of Pinderhughes’ The Healing Project Workshop, an initiative that enables selected formerly and currently incarcerated artists to receive support, partnership and seed funding to create their own artistic projects and healing infrastructures. Support for the workshop comes from The Mellon Foundation’s one-million-dollar grant, awarded to Pinderhughes last year.

The run of select performances add to what have been a landmark few years for Pinderhughes, who has collaborated on several albums that are nominated at the upcoming 66th Annual Grammy Awards, including Aja Monet’s when the poems do what they do—of which Pinderhughes wrote and played on the entirety of the record—and Meshell Ndegeocello’s The Omnichord Real Book featuring Pinderhughes’ original song “Gatsby.” He has also received IDA and Cinema Eye Honors nominations for Best Music Score for his work as the composer, pianist and vocalist on Michéle Stephenson and Joe Brewster’s documentary, “Going to Mars: the Nikki Giovanni Project,” which earned a place on the Oscars shortlist. The documentary soundtrack is set for release on February 2.

The recognition follows Pinderhughes’ latest album, GRIEF, which was released in 2022 as part of The Healing Project to widespread praise from The New York Times, NPR, Forbes, KQED, San Francisco Examiner and more. Listen to the record here and read further acclaim for Pinderhughes here.


Pinderhughes’ work encompasses over 10 years of conversations with more than 100 people of color across 15 states about their experiences with incarceration, structural violence and healing in the United States. The Healing Project aims to shine light on the untold stories of those whose lives have been affected by the prison industrial complex, and create a community where artists from inside & outside the prison walls collaborate and build healing strategies together. In 2022, Pinderhughes released several integral elements of The Healing Project, including his debut exhibition at The Yerba Buena Center for The Arts in San Francisco, and his critically acclaimed album, GRIEF. In 2023, Pinderhughes began transforming The Healing Project into a full-fledged arts organization, using art to create community healing spaces around the country.


Samora Pinderhughes is a composer, pianist, vocalist, filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist known for examining sociopolitical issues and fighting for change through his art. Lauded as “one of the most affecting singer songwriters today, in any genre” by The New York Times and “a magical being” by Forbes, Pinderhughes is shaping new worlds through his art, his honesty, and his vulnerability.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Pinderhughes began playing music at two years old and went on to study music at Juilliard where he met his primary artistic mentor, MacArthur-winning playwright Anna Deavere Smith. Pinderhughes has collaborated and performed with a number of artists including Common, Robert Glasper, Karriem Riggins, Kyle Abraham, Sara Bareilles, Daveed Diggs and Herbie Hancock, and his works have been commissioned by institutions including Carnegie Hall, the Sundance Film Festival, The Kitchen, Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, and the Kennedy Center.


February 27 /// March 3 /// Abu Dhabi UAE /// NYU Abu Dhabi Residency/ Barzakh Festival
March 21 /// Houston, TX /// University of Houston, El Dorado Theater
March 23 /// Knoxville, TN /// Big Ears Festival