Photo Courtesy of Calvin Evans
MIAMI — A production is inspired by the classic 1923 Jean Toomer novel Cane and works by the musicians, composers, poets, and actors of the Harlem Renaissance comes to South Florida to celebrate Black History Month.
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center presents Raisin’ Cane at 8 p.m. Feb. 7. Tickets are $25-$45. There is a special pre–performance reception to benefit the Miami-Dade Professional Women’s Alliance. For tickets and information, contact the Box Office by calling 786-573-5300 or online at SMDCAC.org. The Center is located at 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay.
Starring the award winning actress, singer, and dancer Jasmine Guy, a modern day Griot, and the acclaimed Avery Sharpe Trio, Raisin’ Cane celebrates and honors the legendary voices of the Harlem Renaissance through text, song, music, movement, and imagery.
In the American Black community, during the years leading up to the Harlem Renaissance, there was a sense of building artistic expression. Outlets and avenues for its poets, musicians, novelists, artists, and actors were few. But in 1918, as the first great World War concluded and thousands of African-American soldiers returned home victorious, this mountain of artistic expression was now ready to explode.
The words and thoughts of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. Du Bois and many others, became the voice of a new generation of African-Americans looking forward but still struggling with the past and present. These thoughts, songs, and images are woven into a panoramic experience that spans this extraordinary outpouring of artistic endeavor. Raisin’ Cane is a window on this critical point in our history.
Jasmine Guy has a regular presence on film, television, and stage. She was the star of the Bill Cosby spin-off A Different World for which she won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards. Recent television work includes The Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place, NYPD Blue, and Dead Like Me. A former dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, she has also appeared in a range of Broadway and national productions including Chicago, Grease, and The Wiz.
On film, she starred in Spike Lee’s School Daze, as well as in Harlem Nights, and Stompin at the Savoy.
Avery Sharpe is considered one of the greatest jazz bassists of his generation. He has performed and toured with many of the world’s top jazz musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Bobby McFerrin, Pay Metheny and others. Sharpe’s extraordinary compositional skills are on display in Raisin’ Cane. His exceptional works have been performed in every musical configuration from orchestras to the Grammy Award winning jazz recordings of Michael Brecker and McCoy Tyner. For performances of Raisin’ Cane, Mr. Sharpe is joined by the renowned percussionist Kevin Sharpe and acclaimed jazz violinist John Blake.
The Production Design is by Gregg Bellon, Theatrical Projection Design by Daniel Foster and is Directed by Dan Guerrero with Executive Producer Gloria Johnson Goins.