The Apollo Theater and Manhattan School of Music will join forces to present Ask Your Mama, a 90-minute sonic tapestry of music, film, and spoken word by EmmyAward- winning composer Laura Karpman based on Langston Hughes’s “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” that bursts the boundaries of time, place, and verbal expression to trace the currents and tributaries of cultural diasporas.
Langston Hughes’s “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” at the Apollo Theater is a fitting home for the piece as it is just blocks away from the Harlem home of Langston Hughes, one of the foremost figures in the Harlem Renaissance.
Langston Hughes’s “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” is a fitting home for the piece as it is just blocks away from the Harlem home of Langston Hughes, one of the foremost figures in the Harlem Renaissance. The performance will take place at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater on March 23, 2013, and will feature the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia conducted by George Manahan, who also conducted the sold-out world premiere at Carnegie Hall and a subsequent performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Soprano Jessye Norman will lead an all-star cast that includes The Roots with Guestlove, Black Thought, and Nnenna Freelon.
Langston Hughes conceived his 1961 epic “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” as an interdisciplinary creation, including in the margins suggestions for types of music including hot jazz, German lieder, cha-cha, patriotic songs, post-bop, and Middle Eastern, as well as specific songs like “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” all of which he meant to accompany his words. Karpman’s composition brings these imaginings to life, combining Hughes’ language with sounds that come together to evoke the turbulent flux and flow of American cultural life, making the fifty-year old text startlingly current. Sold out debut performances of the work at Carnegie Hall in 2009 were a critical success.
Tickets are $35, $55, $75 and $125 (VIP Tickets) and will go on sale Monday, Nov 19th at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.
- American Composers Orchestra Appoints George Manahan Music Director (prweb.com)
- A&I Continues The 2010-11 Season With Langston Hughes Masterwork (prweb.com)
- Congrats to the Apollo Theater for Winning a National Trust for Historic Preservation Award 2012 (harlemworldmag.com)