The Oceanside Public Library is proud to host a special concert performance of Langston Hughes’ Ask your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz on Saturday, January 21 at 6 p.m. at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre in Oceanside. This free multimedia concert pays homage to the brilliance of Hughes’ work and the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s.
Utilizing engaging videography, this performance links the words and music of Hughes’ poetry to images of Ask Your Mama’s people, places, events, and to the visual artists Langston Hughes admired and/or collaborated with most closely over the course of his career. Together the words, sounds and images recreate a magical moment in cultural history, which bridges the Harlem renaissance, the post-World War II beat writers’ coffeehouse jazz poetry world and the looming Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960’s.
This extraordinary performance is brought to life by the 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). Dr. McCurdy has performed with a host of legendary jazz artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Terence Blanchard, Leslie Uggams, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Schuur, Ramsey Lewis, Mercer Ellington, Dr. Billy Taylor, Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, and Dianne Reeves.
The evening opens with a spoken word performance by accomplished poet Eileen Carole. Presenting three voices of the African American experience, Carole will collaborate with Dr. McCurdy to set her work to music, weaving the historical thread of word and music with contemporary times.
This event kicks off a month of special programming at the Library in celebration of Black History Month with the intent to inspire the community to gain a greater understanding and heightened curiosity of past times and help connect the dots to history. Reservations for the event can be made by visiting the Library’s website at www.oceansidepubliclibrary.org or through Eventbrite at https://langstonhughesproject.eventbrite.com.
This free program is made possible through the support of The Friends of the Oceanside Public Library in partnership with the North County African American Women’s Association and the North County Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
( News Release )