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Jazz Brought to Life with Langston Hughes Project at Clemens Center April 28

Published on Apr 19, 2017

WKCTC MEDIA RELEASE: Paducah, KY (04/19/2017) —A multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes' kaleidoscopic jazz poem, "Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz," featuring the Ron McCurdy Quartet will bring Hughes' striking verse to life on the Clemens Fine Arts Center stage Friday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.

A joyous celebration of music, spoken word and visuals, the Langston Hughes Project is performed by the impressively versatile Dr. Ron McCurdy (as narrator and on trumpet) and his talented group of musicians (on piano, bass and drums) who can make heads bob, fingers snap and feet tap throughout the concert.

Together the words, sounds and images recreate a unique moment in cultural history by bridging the Harlem Renaissance, the post-World War II Beat writers' coffeehouse jazz poetry world, and the looming Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960s.

"To me," Hughes wrote, "jazz is a montage of a dream deferred. A great big dream - yet to come - and always yet to become ultimately and finally true."

"Ask Your Mama" is a twelve-part epic poem which Hughes scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin "cha cha" and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso, and African drumming -- a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death.

Tickets for the Langston Hughes Project performance are $30 for adults and $15 for children and students. Purchase tickets at or call the box office at 270-534-3212. The Clemens Center is located on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College.