Langston Hughes event will appeal to fans of modern urban musicians

first_imgLangston Hughes once said, “Jazz is a montage of a dream deferred. A great big dream-yet to come-and always yet to become ultimately and finally true.” On Feb. 27 that “great big dream” Hughes referred to will harmoniously unravel in the multimedia concert performance the Langston Hughes Project “Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz.” The event is presented by the COC Associated Student Government in honor of Black History Month. “Contemporary urban musical artists, such as Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas or Ludacris, owe a debt of gratitude to Langston Hughes, and those who listen to current music will want to attend The Langston Hughes Project,” said Floyd Moos, dean of fine and performing arts at College of the Canyons. “Hughes brought a new and important voice to the African-American experience,” stressed Moos, “and his work announced to the world that the 20th century inner city streets were filled with complex and exciting possibilities.” Dedicated to “the greatest horn blower of them all,” Louis Armstrong, “Ask Your Mama” was written by Hughes as an 800-line, twelve-part poetic suite. The intention was to transmit the mood created during the Harlem Renaissance by spoken word, a live jazz quartet and the use of visual illustrations onscreen of African-American artists and photographers such as Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks and Romare Bearden. Written in the 1960s as a visualization of the global struggle for freedom at the time, “Ask Your Mama” remained unfinished due to Hughes’ death in 1967. The recent recovery of the words, music and images made it possible to finish Hughes’ vision justly. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Music director and composer Ron McCurdy, in collaboration with Eli James Brueggemann, orchestrated the original music based on the music cues suggested by Hughes. The words, sounds and images in “Ask Your Mama” speak to all ages and re-create an unforgettable era in our cultural history, bridging the Harlem Renaissance, the post-World War II beat writers’ coffeehouse jazz poetry world and the Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960s. The performance will be at 7 p.m. at the COC Performing Arts Center, with tickets on sale for $10. For more information about the Langston Hughes Project “Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz” and ticket purchasing, visit the COC performing arts center Web site at To post your own stories and photos, log on to last_img

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