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The Langston Hughes Project

The Langston Hughes Project: Ask Your Mama - 12 Moods for Jazz

Starring the Ron McCurdy Quartet

Artist Series Ron McCurdy 800x400

Saturday, March 21, 2020
Edman Chapel, 7:30 pm

Iconic American author, Langston Hughes wrote Ask Your Mama - 12 Moods for Jazz as a commentary on the struggles of the African-American community. In addition to his rhythmic prose, Hughes included musical notations but never created a musical score. Dr. Ron McCurdy developed these notes into 12 jazz pieces to be performed alongside the reading of the poem. Drawing from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin “cha cha” and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso and African drumming, this performance is sure to excite and inspire!

Join us for the pre-concert program Grace Notes at 6:30 pm.


  • Mood 1: Cultural Exchange Afronato
  • Mood 2: Ride, Red, Ride In the Moment
  • Mood 3: Shade of Pigmeat In a Spiritual Place
  • Mood 4: Ode To Dinah Bass Lines
  • Mood 5: Blues in Stereo Ode to Buddy
  • Mood 6: Horn of Plenty Meet Me at Congo Square
  • Mood 7: Gospel Cha-Cha Drums for Your Mama
  • Mood 8: Is It True Ask Your Mama
  • Mood 9: Ask Your Mama When You Are Gone
  • Mood 10: Bird in Orbit Madeleine’s Lullaby
  • Mood 11: Jazztet Muted Hesitation Blues
  • Mood 12: Show Fare, Please


He had a capacity crowd hanging on the poet's every word and on their feet, cheering themselves hoarse come the end. He got his Baptist church atmosphere too - there were plenty of 'Amens.' — Jazzwise
Center for Applied Christian Ethics

Event Co-Sponsor