This weekend’s ASO soloist, Gareth Johnson, will be at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center this evening

Gareth Johnson, violinThis Thursday (APR 11) from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Beethoven & Blue Jeans violin soloist Gareth Johnson will speak and give a short performance at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center on West Ninth Street in Downtown Little Rock.

This event is free-to-the-public and will include light refreshments.

Guests will have a chance to mix and mingle with Mr. Johnson and other attendees in the spaces of the MTCC Museum floor, as well as a Q&A with Mr. Johnson and representatives from the Museum.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) was founded as the Mosaic Templars of America Center for African American Culture and Business Enterprise under Act 1176 of 2001. MTCC was created as a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and it honors the story of the Mosaic Templars of America and all of Arkansas’s African American history.

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Tonight – Oxford American welcomes Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings & Bill Stewart Trio

Image result for PETER BERNSTEIN, LARRY GOLDINGS & BILL STEWART TRIOThe Oxford American welcomes the Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings & Bill Stewart Trio to Little Rock! This is the fifth and final show in their 2018-19 Jazz Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time.

The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsor UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication.

Additional season partners include Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Chris & Jo Harkins, J. Mark & Christy Davis, EVO Business Environments, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Stacy Hamilton of Pulaski Heights Realty, Margaret Ferguson Pope, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Capital Hotel, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery of Little Rock.

Tickets are $30 (General Admission), $44 (Reserved), and $46 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this very important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart). Full season ticket pricing and options are also available in a consolidated format, here.


Guitarist Peter Bernstein, organist Larry Goldings, and drummer Bill Stewart make up one of the best organ jazz trios of the past two decades. The respect the musicians have for one another comes through in the subtle and intricate manner of their musical conversation on stage. Indeed, you can hear them listening to each other. Drawing mainly on jazz standards, and a few original pieces, they re-imagine the organ jazz trio in a quiet, sensual, and grooving presentation.

All members of the Young Lion jazz movement at the close of the 20th century, and now all firmly established jazz stars, this group has been together for twenty-five years, making multiple recordings that display their distinctive sound, whether exploring the depths of jazz standards, or playing their original compositions. Jazz enthusiasts recognize the trio for charting new ground with hard-swinging, yet thoughtful music. Peter’s warm, feather-light touch and fluid improvisation with Larry Goldings’s warm hum, alongside Bill Stewart’s polyrhythmic and melodic focus, create a vivid combination of synergistic playing. With the trio’s extensive use of the music’s dynamic possibilities, the passion and joy of this amazingly versatile instrumental lineup is there for all to hear.

 

Documentary “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” tonight at Mosaic Templars

(AP Photo/Random House/Dwight Carter)

Join Mosaic Templars Cultural Center during Women’s History Month for a screening of the documentary film “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.”

Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (Random House), she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.

With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou’s incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South and her early performing career to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her many writing successes, including her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, “American Masters” – “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” reveals hidden facets of her life during some of America’s most defining moments.

This film is presented in partnership with Arkansas Educational Television Network.

NO TEARS SUITE, commissioned by OXFORD AMERICAN being performed tonight

In September 2017, Oxford American premiered a 60-minute jazz composition entitled No Tears Suite, written by Little Rock jazz pianist Chris Parker and vocalist Kelley Hurt. The duo created the work in honor of unity on the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis.

In this reprisal, Parker and Hurt will again be joined by five exceptional jazz artists, including GRAMMY-winning jazz drummer Brian Blade, who played in the original 2017 ensemble, in addition to fifteen members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra who will premiere the new, expanded symphonic arrangements of the No Tears Suite written by GRAMMY-nominated arranger, composer and bassist Rufus Reid.

The program starts at 8pm tonight at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W 9th Street.  Tickets may be purchased here.

The artists include:
Geoffrey Robson, conductor
Kelly Hurt, vocalist
Chris Parker, piano/composer
Rufus Reid, bass/arranger
Brian Blade, drums
Bobby LaVell, tenor saxophone
Marc Franklin, trumpet
Chad Fowler, alto and baritone saxophones

Today at Noon – Panel Discussion of “NO TEARS SUITE” commissioned by OXFORD AMERICAN

Today (March 1) at noon – a free panel discussion presented in collaboration with the National Park Service and Clinton School of Public Service will be held at Central High School National Historic Site.

Featuring  Rufus Reid, Kelley Hurt, and Bobby LaVell, the panel will be moderated by composer Chris Parker. The goal is to facilitate discussion on the ongoing work of social equity in the United States from the perspectives of people living in different communities and what role music and the arts play in affecting change in our society today.

Additional partners on the project include University of Central Arkansas College of Fine Arts & Communication, Central High National Historic Site, Kay Kelley Arnold, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Arkansas Arts Council, and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

This project is generously funded by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Performances of “No Tears Suite” will take place on Saturday at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Sunday at Central High School.

African Americans and Sports in Arkansas focus of Black History Commission of Arkansas program today (2/2)

Image may contain: one or more people and textThe Black History Commission of Arkansas presents “African Americans and Sports in Arkansas.”  The program runs from 9:45 am to 3 pm today at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Speakers: Evin Demirel, Jimmy Cunningham Jr., Dr. Wilbert Gaines, and Kenneth (Muskie) Harris. Lunch will be provided. Teachers can earn up to four professional development hours. Registration is required.

10 a.m.
Evin Demirel, author of “African-American Athletes in Arkansas: Muhammad Ali’s Tour, Black Razorbacks and Other Forgotten Stories”
• The legacy of African American sports in Jim Crow era with an emphasis on the now-defunct, all-black high school’s athletic association and stories from his book.

11 a.m.
Jimmy Cunningham, Jr., author of “African Americans of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County”
• Highlights and stories about three African American athletes from Jefferson County, including Boid “One Arm” Buie, Willie Roaf and Ivie Moore.

12:45 p.m.
Dr. Wilbert Gaines, former Arkansas State University professor
• Personal experiences and surmounting challenges and obstacles as a pioneer and trailblazer in sports, sports-related activities and academia.

1:45 p.m.
Kenneth “Muskie” Harris, community activist and former Razorback
• The history of the Razorbacks and integration of athletes, including facts about all 17 sports at the University of Arkansas and some of the first African Americans to receive sports scholarships.

For those unable to attend, footage from the programs will be on the Arkansas State Archives Facebook page in the coming days.

The Black History commission of Arkansas is an advisory board of the Arkansas State Archives, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Sandwich in History at Mosaic Templars today (2/1) at noon

Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree and outdoorThe Arkansas Historic Preservation Program each month sponsors a Sandwiching in History tour which familiarize people who live and work in central Arkansas with the historic structures and sites around us.

The tours take place on Fridays at noon, last less than an hour, and participants are encouraged to bring their lunches so that they can eat while listening to a brief lecture about the property and its history before proceeding on a short tour.

Today (February 1) at 12 noon, this month’s tour is at Mosaic Templars State Temple (906 S. Broadway).  Built in 1921, the Mosaic Templars State Temple was designed by African American architect Walter Thomas Bailey. The building was built by the Mosaic Templars of America, an important late 19th- and early 20th-century African American fraternal organization, as part of its headquarters and originally contained offices, a lodge hall and a hospital space.

For February, the schedule for the tour will be a little different than normal. At noon, the MLK Commission will hold a ribbon cutting for their offices in the building, which will be followed by the lecture on the building. The lecture will be held in the Auditorium of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and will likely start about 12:15-12:30. After the lecture, feel free to tour the building.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.