Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured nationally in every region of the United States and internationally in England, Russia, the Ukraine, Australia and the British Virgin Islands. Now it’s Knoxville’s turn.
Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to a free performance “Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance,” presented by the Core Ensemble, on Jan. 24, 12:30-2 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium at Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
Audience members will enjoy two shows in one as the group blends both theatre and symphony. “Of Ebony Embers” is a celebration of the music and poetry of the early 20th century’s Harlem Renaissance in New York City. The presentation examines the lives of three well-known African-American poets—Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay—as seen through the eyes of the painter and muralist Aaron Douglas.
Written and directed by Akin Babatunde, “Of Ebony Embers” features music by African-American composers ranging from jazz greats Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus to concert music composers Jeffrey Mumford and George Walker. Actor Chris White portrays multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio of cello, piano and percussion.
The Boston Globe has hailed the Core Ensemble as “often formidable, always intelligent, ultimately compelling.” The group was the 2000 recipient of the Edward McDermott Award for Excellence in the Arts awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The event is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s English and Liberal Arts departments, and the Access and Diversity Office. For more information, contact Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, at (865) 539-7160.