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January 25, 2010

Langston Hughes Project is theme of UofL Music Institute

Fourteenth annual institute celebrates the history of African American music

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –“Ask your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” will be the theme of the African American Music Heritage Institute Feb. 8 and 9 at the University of Louisville.

Sponsored by the UofL School of Music, the 14th annual event honors the musical history of African Americans through concerts, clinics, lectures and workshops.

Trumpeter Ronald C. McCurdy, music professor at the University of Southern California (USC), is this year’s guest artist. He is past president of the International Association of Jazz Education and former director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC.

Author of “Meet the Great Jazz Legends,” McCurdy is currently touring “The Langston Hughes Project, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.” The multi-media performance features jazz and the spoken word using the works of poet and composer Hughes. He and his quartet will appear in concert 8 p.m., Feb. 8, in the Margaret Comstock Concert Hall.

Related activities on the 8th and 9th are presentations for area students and their instructors, including a workshop on the historical perspective of African American music from its African roots to modern jazz, at 10 a.m. in Comstock Hall. McCurdy will present a free master class for students and the public 3 p.m., Feb. 8, in the Bird Recital Hall.

According to institute founder and director Jerry Tolson, associate professor of music education at UofL, the event is part of UofL’s celebration of diversity.

“Our goal is to recognize the contributions of African Americans to American music and history and to foster a better understanding among cultures,” Tolson said.

Admission for the Feb. 8 concert is $5, UofL students and children under 10 are free.

Institute sponsors include the UofL School of Music, Vice President for Diversity and Equality, Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality, UofL’s Cultural Center, African American Theatre Program and Music Student Association and numerous community groups.

For more information, call Tolson at (502) 852-6972.

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