The Legacy Show is a multimedia celebration of African-American History and Culture through the Arts. The program features violinist Tami Lee Hughes performing classical music infused with blues, jazz, gospel, spirituals, and hip-hop alongside a stellar cast of classical and jazz artists. Portraying musical and cultural themes of the Antebellum Period, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era, and Modern Times, The Legacy Show includes poetry by such writers as Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, and visual media representing significant facets of African-American culture. Audience members enjoy an array of images during the music performances, including photos of such iconic figures as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, Denzel Washington, Lena Horne, Beyoncé, and many more. A special feature of the show is Songbirds, a tribute to women written exclusively for The Legacy Show by Grammy-nominated hip-hop producer and Rock and Roll "Hall of Famer" Kerwin Young. Songbirds portrays the determination, strength, beauty, and grace of women who have impacted the world. It suceeds Duke Ellington Suite, another Legacy Show exclusive, written by Ozie Cargile in homage to one of jazz's great legends.
Our mission is to celebrate African-American History and Culture through the Arts, and to preserve the legacy of African-American musicians, composers, and writers who have impacted our world. We aim not just to entertain, but also educate audiences of all ages and demographics. Some of the program's content, including the spiritual Some Time I Feel Like A Motherless Child or Maya Angelou's poem "Phenomenal Woman," is likely familiar to audiences. Other works, including the classical-hip-hop fusion Filter and the poem "Victorious Landing" by up and coming writer Brione Jackson, may be less familiar. The Legacy Show, however, encourages audiences make deeper connections between History, Culture, and the Arts, and, demonstrates the diversity of creative artists who have documented this history over time. Everyone who attends The Legacy Show learns something new. Through The Legacy Show, we hope to inspire listeners to explore diverse voices in Creative Arts, and, to provide them with an unforgettable concert experience.
The Legacy Show packages provides an integrative experience for audience members at pre-college institutions, universities, and performing arts centers. Information about program packages is available below. Although the standard program length is 1 hour and 40 minutes, the performance can be shortened upon request. For booking and pricing, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to request additional information.
The Legacy Show Pre-College Package includes a performance and one supplementary program option from the list below. The Legacy Show is an exciting program for students, particularly during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Black History Month, and Women's History Month season. The integration of music, poetry, and visual media appeals to young audience members, providing a multi-sensory experience that captivates even the youngest students. Program content is appropriate for students of all ages, from elementary through high school. A shorter program length is recommended for younger students.
The Legacy Show University Package includes a performance and one supplementary option from the list below. The Legacy Show is an interdisciplinary program that attracts a wide demographic, including students with interests in Music, English, History, Cultural Studies, and Women's Studies. As such, the program is a strong option for Music Concert Events, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Black History Month, and Women's History Month. The Legacy Show is most often presented in conjunction with Music Departments and Offices of Student or Multicultural Affairs. The program also provides the opportunity for cross-campus department collaboration.
The Legacy Show Concert Series Package includes a standard performance and one supplementary program option from the list below. Music outreach performances at local pre-college and college institutions help bridge the gap between creative arts organizations and the community. The artists of The Legacy Show are delighted to partner with Performing Arts Centers and Concert Series to provide students with the opportunity to experience live performance or instruction from visiting professional artists.
A public lesson for music students especially in the area of violin and chamber music study.
LECTURE: THE VOICE OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMPOSERS
An introduction to African-American composers (especially those with string works), their work, performance practices, and important historic and cultural events that influence their work.
LECTURE: HOW TO LAUNCH A PERFORMANCE PROJECT
An inside look at how The Legacy Show was created with basics for launching a new performance project as a self-managed artist.
A visit to a classroom with subject matter related to The Legacy Show for an up close and personal talk with the artists, especially for the purpose of introducing or exploring post-performance reflections of the show. Relevant subjects include Music, English, History, African-American (Cultural) Studies, and Women's Studies.
A session immediately following a performance in which audience members have the opportunity to ask questions, share reflections, and interact with the artists.
A performance at a pre-college institution in the area of the concert venue.
Piano (preferably grand)
Instrumental mics for grand piano, drum, and bass
Speaking mic for violin (for violin and piano presentations, table top mic is preferred)
Projector, screen, and video cable for iPad Mini 4 (pianist will control visual media from the stage if possible)
Four dressing rooms
Two bottles of water per dressing room
Drum kit and upright bass (where available; if not available, assistance with securing these instruments for the performance is requested)
Critics rave violinist Tami Lee Hughes “rises to considerable technical challenges,” playing with a sound “reminiscent of Perlman.” A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Hughes began playing violin at the age of four. She grew up in a musical family and draws from her Creole roots, performing classical music infused with jazz, blues, gospel, and hip-hop. Since making her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16, Hughes has extensively toured the United States, Europe, and Central America, championing music of African-American composers. Her solo album, Legacy: Violin Music of African-American Composers, was heralded as one of the top ten albums of 2011 by All Music Guide, garnering acclaim from audiences and critics alike. In 2016, Tami launched The Legacy Show, a live multimedia concert inspired by her debut album to great acclaim. Her work has been broadcasted on radio stations around the world and continues to serve as a significant artistic and cultural record of American music.
Additional credits in classical music include appearances in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center as a member of the acclaimed Sphinx Virtuosi Chamber Ensemble; appearances as section violinist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, and Charleston Symphony Orchestra among others; a live broadcast concert on Chicago’s WFMT radio station for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series; and featured artist in the Ritz Chamber Players Concert Series. An artist of versatility, Hughes also has numerous credits in popular music, film, and television. She performs as violinist for The Only Good Indian, a 2009 Sundance Film Festival motion picture, and has recorded as studio violinist for Grammy Award-winning artists Aretha Franklin, Fred Hammond, and Donnie McClurkin. She has also performed live in concert with Smokey Robinson and on television with Grammy Award-winning artist Kirk Franklin.
Hughes earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota and Master and Doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan. Her teachers include Sally O’Reilly, Paul Kantor, and Camilla Wicks.
Pianist Ellen R. Sommer is a sought-after collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and coach. Her reputation for excellence has led to extensive engagements throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South Americas, Europe and Asia. Recent performances include a recital playing chamber music at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture in Malibu, California, with Maria Newman, Scott Hosfeld and instrumentalists from the Metropolitan Opera orchestra; and a series of concerts and master classes in San Jose, Costa Rica at the Universidad de Costa Rica, and Casa de la musica in Quito, Ecuador.
Sommer can be heard on numerous professional recordings, including five under the auspices of Potenza Music, Parma, and Albany Records. Most recently Sommer recorded works of composer, Ingrid Stolzel for Parma Records.
Sommer is a founding member of Allegresse, a fresh and inspiring trio for flute, oboe and piano. Recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Chamber Music Grant, the trio’s performances have taken them throughout North America, Central and South America, Europe and Asia.
Sommer is a frequent performer in the live radio broadcast studio at Kansas Public Radio. She currently serves as a Lecturer in Piano at the University of Kansas School of Music. She performs regularly with faculty, visiting artists, and students from around the world.
Bassist Kelly McCarty began his professional career in 2011 touring with productions of My Fair Lady by New York-based Big League Productions. Thereafter, he performed in two succeeding tours of Hello Dolly and A Christmas Story. During this time, he also recorded an electric jazz quartet album entitled A Periapsis Suite.
Having moved to Atlanta in 2014, McCarty has established himself as a player and teacher in high demand. He has toured with roots/rock sensation Larkin Poe, with whom he performed throughout the U.S. and Europe, including an appearance at the 2016 Glastonbury Festival. He also performed live or recorded with Ansley Stewart, Sam Burchfield, Orquesta Macuba, Karla Harris, and The Georgia Players Guild.
Kelly earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Kansas State University and Master of Music degree from Florida State University.
Christopher Javon Watkins is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a fourth generation of a family of musicians. He has played for many noted artists in his tenure as a drummer in the gospel and jazz arena, such as Grammy Award Nominee “Ledisi,” Bebe Winans, Israel Houghton, Donald Lawrence, Ricky Dillard, “Sunday Best Winner” Geoffrey Golden, Jazz Vibraphonist Stefon Harris and Wil Kennedy of the Yellow Jackets. He has attended the Hampton’s Ministers Conference, National Association of Music Merchants Conference, is a member of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, Inc. and was a part of the 2019 Dodge Superbowl Commercial.
Watson attends Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he serves as Section Leader and also the drummer for the Morehouse College Jazz Band.
“The program . . . unquestionably provides a sampling of styles that have evolved in the black musical community, each of which should capture . . . listeners’ fancy. Recommended . . . “
- Fanfare Magazine
“Hughes plays with such a singing, lush quality reminiscent of Perlman . . . “
- All Music Guide
“Hughes . . . [draws] a sumptuous tone from her instrument . . . and [plays with] heartfelt declamation.”
- All Music Guide
“Hughes . . . [rises] to considerable technical challenges . . . taking [her] classical instrument into often excitable territory with level-headed aplomb.”
- The Classical Review
Highlights from The Legacy Show, Full Ensemble
Highlights from The Legacy Show, Violin and Piano
"Ella" from Songbirds by Kerwin Young, Full Ensemble
"Every Time I Feel The Spirit" by George Morrison, Violin and Piano
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