“Raisin Cane” brings Harlem Renaissance to Nashville stage


NASHVILLE: Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey with Jasmine Guy. The Avery Sharpe Trio will be at James K. Polk Theater in Nashville on February 24 at 7:30 p.m.  Inspired by the classic 1923 Jean Toomer novel “Cane” and works by the musicians, composers, poets, and actors of the Harlem Renaissance.

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 Jean Toomer, 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.

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.

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
. Her collaborations over the years, from Bill Cosby to Spike Lee to Kenny Leon to the
Atlanta Ballet, show her to be a multi-faceted star. Ms. Guy is not only recognized as an
accomplished actress, singer, and comedienne, but also as a director, writer, and speaker.

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 Diane

For ticket information, contact the TPAC box office.


About Author

Christine Anne Piesyk has been a journalist for more than 45 years. Her credits include positions as Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Staff Writer specializing in education, leisure living, food and arts and entertainment. She was co-producer, writer and on air persona for the Entertainment Review for 25 years. In "retirement," she finds herself working on online websites and as a book editor. In her other life, she is a costumer in her daughter's company, Gemini Dream Designs.

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