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Measha Brueggergosman, Songs of Freedom

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Judith Lynch

Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman is best known for her contributions to the world of opera. But lately, she has been exploring a variety of musical avenues of expression. She's performed jazz standards on Bravo's Live at the Rehearsal Hall, contributed vocals to Maestro's "Symphonia Destino" and this week she's releasing an album of African-American spirituals — songs that lie a bit closer to her musical roots as a child growing up in New Brunswick.

"My exploration of African-American spirituals is a way for me to challenge my classically trained mind," she says on the website for the album. "My people have spirituals, which played a huge part in how my ancestors came to be here — free, no longer owned, no longer stolen — on the East Coast of Canada."

Brueggergosman didn't abandon any of her classical training in the creation of Songs of Freedom. Instead she switches effortlessly between genres infusing the spirituals with elements of opera, pop and jazz.

Songs of Freedom will be released on Jan. 13. You can preorder the album here.