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Get to Know the Langston Hughes Project!

Posted March 11th, 2019  |  By A4A.admin

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CSMA welcomes the Langston Hughes Project for a free concert in Tateuchi Hall on Sunday, March 17 at 2:00pm.  The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia performance of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.”

We spoke to Dr. Ron McCurdy to learn more about him and what the audience can expect from their performance in Tateuchi Hall. 

Dr. Ron McCurdy, Trumpet

How did you begin playing and performing music?

I begin playing music when I was 6 years old.  Like many kids, I joined the band in middle school and never stopped.  I begin performing professionally in my high school directors funk band.  We’d play a various clubs around south Florida.

Tell us about a great music teacher you had.

My high school director’s name was Mr. Willie Pyfrom.  He was a trumpet player and spent many hours with me playing duets and listening to records.  This is what planted my foundation and love for music.

What is your personal favorite teaching moment this year?

The day my Jazz Pedagogy class had an open discussion about the importance of music education.  They seemed to understand why it was important to be selflessly involved in someone else’s success.

How often do you practice or rehearse?

I practice everyday.  The length of time varies depending if I’m playing later that day, but I at least practice my basics daily.

What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

Don’t have a backup plan.  If so, you’ll probably take it!

Tell us a little bit about the Langston Hughes Project.

Jazz was a cosmopolitan metaphor for Langston Hughes, a force for cultural convergence beyond the reach of words or the limits of language.  Hughes thought, “...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 was dedicated to Louis Armstrong and to those of whatever hue or culture of origin who welcomed being immersed in the mysteries, rituals, names and nuances of black life not just in America but throughout the world during the years of anti-colonial upheaval abroad and the rising Freedom Movement here at home. Not only the youthful Martin Luther King, Jr. but the independence leaders of Guinea and Nigeria and Ghana and Kenya and the Congo fill the chants and refrains of Hughes’s epic poem.

Do you have a favorite Langston Hughes poem or piece of work?

“Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” and “Dreamed Deferred”

What can the audience expect during the performance in Tateuchi Hall?

A very thought-provoking performance.  They will be entertained and educated. 


For more information on the Langston Hughes Project, click here.

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