Little Rock Nine-inspired "No Tears Suite" premieres at Central High in September | Rock Candy

Little Rock Nine-inspired "No Tears Suite" premieres at Central High in September

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As part of the three-day series of events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the integration of Central High School, the Oxford American magazine presents the world premiere of the “No Tears Suite,” a 30-minute composition for large jazz ensemble from Little Rock composer and pianist Chris Parker, a music teacher at Booker Arts Magnet Elementary School in Little Rock. Parker took inspiration for the piece from “Warriors Don’t Cry,” the 1994 memoir from Melba Patillo Beals, a journalist and one of the Little Rock Nine. Parker’s ensemble for the premiere includes Grammy Award-winning drummer Brian Blade, bassist Bill Huntington, tenor saxophonist Bobby LaVell, trumpeter Marc Franklin, alto saxophonist Chad Fowler, vocalist Kelley Hurt and vocalist/arranger I.J. Routen. The premiere begins at 6 p.m. and is a part of a 90-minute set including “a variety of Arkansas- and civil rights-inspired jazz tunes, including works by Pharoah Sanders, Sam Rivers, John Stubblefield and Charles Mingus,” a press release said. Before the premiere, from noon to 6 p.m., student ensembles from local high schools and colleges will perform. For more information about the “No Tears Suite” premiere, visit oxfordamerican.org/events, and for more information about the commemoration events, to take place Sept. 23-25, visit uca.edu/cfac/central60 or centralhigh60th.org




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