Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute announces April partnership performances
The Lost Voice by Aaron Grad; Sunday, April 6, 2 pm
Soweto Gospel Choir Sing-a-long; Thursday, April 10, 7 pm
The Ernest Pumphrey Revue’s A Salute to the 60s and Motown; April 11, 7 pm
SEATTLE (April 1, 2014)—The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute(LHPAI) will feature a number of partnership performances this April, including, The Lost Voice by Seattle composer Aaron Grad on April 6, the Soweto Gospel Choir Sing-Along on April 10, and The Ernest Pumphrey Revue’s Salute to the 60’s and Motown, on April 11. All performances take place at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, at 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144.
The Lost Voice by Seattle composer Aaron Grad
Sunday, April 6, 2 to 3 pm
LHPAI is pleased to present a powerful and fun-filled original fable for children ages 5 to 11 and their families. This world premiere of The Lost Voice performance by Aaron Grad, a Seattle-based composer, is open to the public on a pay-what-you-can basis on day of performance. The play includes fanciful animal masks, a participatory sing-along, and performances by top Seattle musicians.
The Lost Voice depicts a boy who loses his voice when faced with life’s hardships. To find his voice again, he journeys to a magical forest, where he encounters animal allies and reclaims his own true song. During the work, a bass-baritone singer (Jonathan Silvia) and a chamber ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion (Seattle Modern Orchestra, conducted by Julia Tai) move and interact on the concert stage. The work emphasizes that every voice deserves to be heard, and it aspires to empower the freedom of individual expression in children and adults alike.
The lone vocalist sings all roles, including the boy, a songbird, a fox and an ant, while the instrumentalists play themes that mimic various other animals. Grad participates in the performance as the narrator, guiding the action and leading a section of audience participation during the work’s climax. The Lost Voice aims to speak with equal relevance to children and to adults, following a legacy established by such classics as Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.
The Lost Voice was created with grants and support from 4Culture and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and a facility grant from Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Composer and guitarist Aaron Grad (b. 1980) merges rock and jazz roots with his classical training to create music that The Washington Post has described as “inventive and notably attractive.” Grad continues to lead bands and write songs. He is also the program annotator for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Seattle Symphony and others.
Soweto Gospel Choir Sing-a-long
Thursday, April 10, 7 to 8 pm, reception at 8 pm
Free and open to the public; guests admitted on a first-come, first-served basis (300 seat max)
Singers and lovers of song are invited to join the legendary Soweto Gospel Choir and local choirs, including members of The Sound of the Northwest and Seattle Pacific University, in a participatory experience of song and spirit. A short reception follows the event at 8 pm. Founded in November 2002, the Soweto Gospel Choir first saw international success within one month of inception when its first single “Voices of Heaven” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s World Music Chart. In October 2006, the choir performed as invited guests for their patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 75th Birthday Celebration in front of an audience that included former President Nelson Mandela, Zanele Mbeki, Tokyo Sexwale, Samuel L. Jackson, Alfre Woodard, and Carlos Santana. The Choir has made television appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Today Show, and has garnered honors including two American Gospel Music Awards in 2003, and the Grammy Award for “Best Traditional World Music Album” two years in a row—in 2006 for Blessed, and in 2007 for African Spirit. On March 3, 2014 the Choir sang before a memorial service to Nelson Mandela at London’s Westminster Abbey, attended by the Prime Minister David Cameron, HRH Prince Harry, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
On January 28, 2014 the two-time Grammy-winning choir released their fifth album, Divine Decade (Decca), a celebration of the ensemble’s past ten years of artistic collaborations and accolades.
Presented in partnership with UW World Series.
The Ernest Pumphrey Revue Presents A SALUTE TO THE 60s & MOTOWN
April 11, 7 to 8:30 pm, doors at 6:30
Tickets: $25 in advance; $30 at the door
Due to popular demand and a sell-out February performance, The Ernest Pumphrey Revue is back with a musical variety show starring seasoned performers. ‘Salute’ is a mini-musical about the hit-producing superstars of the 1960ssuch as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and others who sang a staggering number of hit songs. Providing a memorable entertainment experience with classic numbers, smooth dance routines, multiple costume changes, and the sounds of legendary performers, ‘Salute’ is presented under the direction Ernest Pumphrey, Sr. and features Ernest Pumphrey Jr., Josephine Howell, Makini Magee, okanomodé, Tiffany Wilson and Mark Cardenas.
The Ernest Pumphrey Revue is founded and directed by Seattle entertainment veteran, Ernest Pumphrey, Sr., former choreographer for the Paramount and Music Hall Theaters, a musical coach, dance instructor, director, producer and sought after artist.
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