NEW PALTZ – The Core Ensemble will perform the chamber music theatre work Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance at SUNY New Paltz’s McKenna Theatre on Feb. 7, 2013, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Celebrating the music and poetry of the Harlem Renaissance era in New York City, Of Ebony Embers examines the lives of three exceptional African American poets, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay, as seen through the eyes of celebrated painter and muralist Aaron Douglas.
Chamber music theatre is a unique performance format created by the Core Ensemble that blends theatrical narrative and chamber music performance. The script for Of Ebony Embers was written by Akin Babatunde, who will also direct the performance. Actor Jamyl Dobson will portray multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio of cello, piano, and percussion. The musical score includes works by jazz greats Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonius Monk, and Charles Mingus
The performance at New Paltz is supported by the College’s Office of Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Department of English, Department of Black Studies, School of Fine & Performing Arts, and School of Education.
The Core Ensemble, founded in 1993, includes Tahirah Whittington, cellist and operations manager; Hugh Hinton, pianist and artistic advisor; Michael Parola, percussionist and executive director; and Margot Emery, managing director. The Ensemble received the Eugene McDermott Award for Excellence in the Arts awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Virgil Thomson Foundation.