“Langston in Lincoln,” a jazz tribute to poet Langston Hughes, will come to life onstage Thursday and Friday, May 2-3, 7:00 pm, at the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts at Lincoln College.
“We are really looking forward to staging this original production,” said Dr, Denise La Grassa, lead faculty for the Contemporary Jazz Studies program at Lincoln College. “Our students have prepared some special compositions that pay tribute to this American icon and build on his roots and experience in Lincoln and his poetry.”
Poet, musical lyricist and activist Langston Hughes attended Central School in Lincoln in 1915-16. In Lincoln, he was inspired and mentored by his eight grade teacher Ethel Welch. Hughes wrote his first poem for the school’s eighth grade commencement program in 1916. Hughes would go on to become one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry and performance and is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance of 1920s New York City.
Langston Hughes never forgot Ethel Welch. With the release of his latest written works, Langston Hughes would send a copy of his writing along with a handwritten note in the book. He kept in touch with Miss. Welch throughout his career. Those hand-written images appear on screen in “Langston in Lincoln” alongside other historical media paying tribute to the legendary writer.
Performances will begin at 7 p.m. both nights. General admission is $5, and $1 for students and seniors.