Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and violinist Jenny Oaks Baker have released a music video collaboration timed with the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Second inaugural address.

The music video, “Free at Last,” features a medley of four spirituals, with Rice playing the piano and Baker the violin. The YouTube video was released Friday, March 4.

“We come from different backgrounds, but we were able to come together through this beautiful music. We hope others will come together in peace, unity and love through this music,” Baker, who is a Grammy-nominated, Billboard No. 1 concert violinist and recording artist, said in an interview with the Deseret News. “I am so grateful and appreciative that I was able to work again with someone that I respect so much.”

Rice, known predominantly for her role in politics and her work with President George W. Bush’s administration, is also an accomplished pianist. She began seriously considering a career as a concert pianist at age 15, according to a 2008 Time magazine article.

The “Free at Last” medley was arranged by Emmy Award-winning composer Kurt Bestor and was recorded at Stanford University. It will also be available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music. 

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and violinist Jenny Oaks Baker have released a music video collaboration, “Free at Last.”
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and violinist Jenny Oaks Baker have released a music video collaboration, “Free at Last.” | Danny Drysdale

The four spirituals in the medley are:

  • “Deep River.”
  • “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”
  • “Go Down Moses.”
  • “Free at Last.”

The “Free at Last” video was sponsored by The National Museum of American Religion. The museum will feature it in its upcoming “Evening at the Museum” online video program, “Abraham Lincoln’s Religion: The Second Inaugural,” which airs later in the spring.

Museum organizers reached out to Baker last summer and asked if she would be interested in doing something to help promote the online museum. Baker agreed and had the idea of working with Rice, who quickly accepted.

“She is lovely, one of the most classy women I have ever met ... a strong presence,” Baker said of Rice. “I feel privileged to have been able to meet her a number of times and associate with her.”

This is the second collaboration for Rice and Baker. They recorded an arrangement of “Amazing Grace” with a music video in 2015.

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Baker said she met Rice several years earlier when she was living in Washington, D.C., and was invited to perform for the BYU Management Society. They were honoring Rice, and Baker performed “Amazing Grace.” Baker and Ricer met briefly afterward.

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Baker felt inspired to ask Rice if she wanted to collaborate on a music video a few months later and Rice accepted, although it would take a few more years to align schedules and produce the video.

“It was a great, wonderful experience,” Baker said.

Condoleezza Rice, with violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, Kurt Bestor and Michael Gibbons during a recording session.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, front right, with violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, middle, and Kurt Bestor, right, and Michael Gibbons, left, during a recording session. | Jenny Oaks Baker

The “Free at Last” music video collaboration comes a few months ahead of the release of Baker’s new album, “The Redeemer,” which comes out on May 6. The music centers on the life and mission of Jesus Christ.

“I have felt the Lord’s guiding hand in the creation of this album more than any other I have ever recorded,” Baker said.

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