The performance, written by Ron McCurdy, features the legendary poem by Langston Hughes. The 12-part poem is a multi-media concert and homage to the struggle for artistic and social freedom from the 1960’s. Originally, Hughes created “Ask Your Mama” in hopes of forging a conversation and a commentary with the production. His intent was to collaborate with other jazz artists to put on the musical, however he died before completing the show. The goal of the project was to topical images and videos to the already famous poetry and music written by Hughes. Altogether, each recreate a magical moment in our cultural history, which bridges the Harlem Renaissance, the post World War II Beat writers’ coffeehouse jazz poetry world, and the looming Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960’s.
Dr. McCurdy is a professor of music in the Thornton School of Music at The University of Southern California, Director of the National Grammy Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and serves as Director of the Walt Disney All American College Band in Anaheim, California. He has released two CD’s and has performed with famous jazz artists, including Dianne Reeves, Rosemary Clooney, and Ramsey Lewis.