January 03, 2018

“Sing to Freedom: Music & Stories of The Underground Railroad” Feb. 3

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underground railroad 2A consummate musician and storyteller, Reggie Harris combines a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock and pop music.Learn the facts and legends of one of American history’s most powerfully moving chapters through story, song and award-winning film.

Sing to Freedom: Music and Stories of the Underground Railroad” is an original, multimedia exploration of slavery and the quest for freedom created and performed by Reggie Harris. It is presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center in honor of Black History Month.

The performance is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 for students and children. UAB faculty and staff may receive a 20 percent discount on single tickets. Call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org for tickets or more information. This show is made possible by Vulcan Materials Co.

“Sing to Freedom” is presented in story, song and narratives. This program offers a historical and musical perspective that reveals the hope, power and eventually the triumph shared by a network of people of many races. A dynamic and carefully researched presentation, it incorporates songs, stories and audience participation with an award-winning film segment that highlights important aspects of this powerful historical chapter in America.

Harris, with his wife and creative partner, Kim, will present a show for the center’s Meet the Artist series free for area schoolchildren in kindergarten through third grade at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. They will also present an ArtPlay workshop for teachers that offers a historical and musical perspective on the spirituals, code songs, conductors and routes of the Underground Railroad. The workshop was developed in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

A dynamic and carefully researched presentation, it incorporates songs, stories and audience participation with an award-winning film segment that highlights important aspects of this powerful historical chapter in America.

Consummate musicians and storytellers, Kim and Reggie Harris combine a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock and pop music. Creative curiosity, years of road and stage experience, and interactions with performers such as Pete Seeger, Ysaye Barnwell, Jay Leno, Tom Paxton, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Harry Belafonte and others have led them to produce music that entertains and inspires. Kim and Reggie were born and raised in Philadelphia, a city rich in cultural and musical heritage, and their early exposure to the diversity of musical styles and genres was nurtured in the schools and churches of their youth.

Audiences at venues such as The Kennedy Center, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Smithsonian Institution, Reunion Arena in Texas and the Psalm Festival in Graz, Austria, as well as myriad theater arts centers, festivals, universities and schools, have given this inspiring duo standing ovations for their vibrant performances. As a result of their CDs “Steal Away” and “Get On Board” and materials developed in their work with The Kennedy Center, Kim and Reggie have earned wide acclaim for their contributions to the historical and educational resources and knowledge base on the Underground Railroad and the modern Civil Rights movement.