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SunSpots: Ramsey Lewis - Proclamation of Hope

Stephanie's Just Hangin' Around!


Proclamation of Hope -
A Symphonic Tribute to Abraham Lincoln


With this post, I make a slight departure, as I normally only blog about things To-Do outside of your home.  This time, you have my permission to stay home on Thursday, April 14th; provided that you tune in to WTTW's Premiere television presentation: Proclamation of Hope at 9pm. 

Ramsey Lewis Ramsey Lewis at Preview Reception

Grammy Award-winning Ramsey Lewis is the composer of Proclamation of Hope - a "large-scale, mixed media, symphonic poem" - in tribute to Abraham Lincoln.  Each of the eight orchestral movements (flavored with jazz, gospel and R&B and vocals by Dee Alexander) was inspired by Lincoln himself or an event that impacted Lincoln's life.  Providing a backdrop for the musical performance are images  selected and choreographed by visual designer Michael Coakes.  Collaborating with Ramsey to add the "poetry" to this "symphonic poem," is Guthrie P. Ramsey, University of Pennsylvania professor and author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop.

Speaking on his aspirations for Proclamation of Hope, Ramsey says:
"I not only hoped to inspire people to want to learn more about Abraham Lincoln, but to portray the gains of African Americans and our country while showing challenges yet to be overcome. I hope my audience will feel the inspiration that I felt composing this work as they listen to my music and watch the stirring images on screen."

Ramsey Lewis, Introducing the Preview

At a preview screening and reception to celebrate the upcoming premiere, Ramsey was radiant!  Family, friends and fans gathered to celebrate Ramsey's accomplishment, enjoy the "trailer," cocktails and hors d’ouevres at a rather u nique venue - The Craftsman, owned by Sears and truly a craftsman's paradise.  (Actually, I wouldn't mind getting in there to play a bit myself!  There was really cool equipment at various hands-on demonstration stations . . . there were large televisions with live feeds all over the place and riding lawnmowers with cupholders - pretty handy for my cup of wine during the video preview!)  If you just can't stand the anticipation, you can checkout either a short or long preview.

Proclamation of Hope premieres nationwide on April 21st, so be sure to check local listings if you miss it on April 14th! You can also find it streaming free online on the PBS Video Portal.


 View More Photos!




The Craftsman The Craftsman - A Real Cool, Real Rugged Venue!



Teesee Fambro Hooks and Dee Alexander Teesee Fambro Hooks and Dee Alexander





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