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African American History Month at U.Va.

Jazz Pianist Herbie Hancock is Featured Among Wide Array of Cultural Events

Jan. 22, 1999 -- Appearances by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, African scholar Ali A. Mazrui and storyteller Reanae McNeal will highlight African American History Month activities at the University of Virginia in February.

The month begins with an exhibition at the Bayly Art Museum continuing through March 28. "Y'a Nene: The Aesthetics of 'Sweetness' in African Art and Performance" will include sculpture, masks, textiles, music, dance and oral literature. Collections are primarily from the Bayly Art Museum, supplemented by loans from the National Museum of African Art. The event is free and open to the public.

Described as a quintessential jazz artist, Herbie Hancock is scheduled to perform on Friday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. Hancock has been a driving force in jazz for the past 35 years. For concert ticket information call the box office at (804) 924-3984. Hancock's appearance will kick off Jazz Fest '99, scheduled for Feb. 19 to 21, and is sponsored by the Arts Board.

On Saturday, Feb. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in the Helms Theater, saxophonist Oliver Lake, formally of the World Saxophone Quartet, will perform in a one-man show. Lake is a recipient of a 1993 Guggenheim Fellowship. For ticket information call (804) 924-3984. The event is sponsored by the Arts Board.

An internationally-known African scholar will give the first Luther P. Jackson Memorial Lecture on Friday, Feb. 12, at 3:30 p.m. in Minor Hall Room 125. Ali A. Mazrui is the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at State University at New York - Binghamton. He is also the Albert Luthuli Professor-at-Large at the University of Jos in Nigeria and Senior Scholar in African Studies at Cornell.

Mazrui, a Kenyan, is vice president of the Royal African Society in London, an honorary Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, and member of the College of Fellows of the International Association of Middle Eastern Studies. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. Author of more than 20 books, Mazrui helped create the PBS series "The African: A Triple Heritage." He consults on issues including constitutional change and educational reform and Islamic culture and Muslim history. The lecture is sponsored by the Office of African-American Affairs.

Other events include:

On Monday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m. the Heritage Poetry Series will be held in the Bayly Art Museum. The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Office of African-American Affairs and the Black Student Alliance.

On Friday, Feb. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. First Fridays will present African-Caribbean activities, including food and entertainment.

The free event will be held in Newcomb Hall's Commonwealth Room.

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. award-winning playwright Reanae McNeal will present a one-woman dramatic play, "Blues Women Don't Wear No Shoes." McNeal has continually challenged violence against African-American women through her artistic work and lectures.

Admission is free to the Helms Theater event. It is sponsored by the Women's Center, the President's Office, the Office of the Vice President and Provost and the Black Student Alliance.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Helms theater, a panel will discuss "African American Women in Performance: The Issues of the Bold and Beautiful." Panelists include Amini Johari-Courts, professor of drama at Coppin State College; Karen Turner Ward, professor of drama and chairman of arts at Hampton; Donna Graham, artistic director of the dance troupe Chihamba of Dancescapes; Marie Goodman-Hunter, veteran actress from Richmond; Kyra Gaunt, ethnomusicologist and assistant professor of music at U.Va.; and local teacher Teresa Dowell Vest. The free event is sponsored by the Office of African-American Affairs, the Department of Drama, the Carter G. Woodson Institute, Women's Studies program and Live Arts, Inc.

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, and Thursday, Feb. 25, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., U.Va. law school graduate John Merchant will discuss the role of African Americans in pioneering the wild west. "Black Women in the West" will be discussed on Wednesday and "Black Cowboys" will be Thursday's topic. Both talks will be held in Newcomb Hall Room 168A.

The events, sponsored by the Office of African American Affairs, are free and open to the public. Merchant, the first African American to graduate from U.Va.'s law school, received his degree in 1958.

For more information about African American History Month events, contact the Office of African-American Affairs at (804) 924-7923. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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