Adults

Ron McCurdy's Langston Hughes Project

Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz


Saturday, January 21 at 6 p.m.
Sunshine Brooks Theatre

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The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes' kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite titled, Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz. This is Hughes' homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s.  It is a twelve-part epic poem which Hughes scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop, progressive jazz, Latin “cha cha,” Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso, and African drumming – a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death.

The performance is brought to life by the extraordinary talents of the Ron McCurdy Quartet. Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy is professor of music in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC) and is Past-President of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE). Prior to his appointment at USC he served as Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC.  He has released two CDs. The first one titled, “Once Again for the First Time” on the INNOVA label and the most recent CD titled "April In Paris" with his vocal funk group, The Ron McCurdy Collective. He is co-author of a vocal jazz improvisation series titled “Approaching the Standards”, published by Warner Bros.  Dr. McCurdy is the director of the National Grammy Vocal Jazz Ensemble and combo, and also serves as Director of the Walt Disney All-American College Band in Anaheim, CA.