Chicago Sinfonietta’s “Ask Your Mama” to mark MLK Jr. Day

Posted on: January 5, 2018

The Chicago Sinfonietta’s upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concerts offer “a little bit of everything,” writes Kathy Cichon in Thursday’s (1/4) Naperville Sun (Ill.). On January 14 and 15, “The Chicago Sinfonietta and North Central College present the Chicago premiere of [Laura Karpman’s 2009 composition] Ask Your Mama…. The Sinfonietta and guest artists will perform the Grammy Award-winning multi-media jazz and symphonic setting of Langston Hughes’ epic 1961 poem, ‘Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.’ The single composition features a mix of musical influences including hot jazz, German lieder, cha-cha, patriotic songs, post-bop, Middle Eastern music and Afro-Caribbean drumming…. The concert, [Chief Executive Officer Jim] Hirsch said, is basically a symphonic jazz exposition in 12 different movements…. Performing along with the Sinfonietta will be six-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, renowned opera soprano Janai Brugger and Tony-nominated Broadway star De’Adre Azizza. In addition, spoken word artists Patricia Frazier and Kee Stein from Young Chicago Authors will perform.” Said Hirsch, “It’s kind of a symphony meets jazz meets gospel meets poetry meets a dramatic staging of this great episodic work of poetry…. There’s pre-recorded sound clips of Langston Hughes reading some of his own poetry.”

Posted January 5, 2018

Pictured: The Chicago Sinfonietta and Music Director Mei-Ann Chen