David Bixler to present ‘The Hughes Project’

Bixler

David Bixler, director of jazz activities in the College of Musical Arts, will present “The Hughes Project” as the first event in the Institute for the Study of Culture & Society’s Faculty Fellows series this fall.

“The Hughes Project” consists of music written by Bixler for nine musicians as a reflection on select poems of the American poet Langston Hughes, an influential voice in the Harlem Renaissance. Like jazz, Hughes’ poetry was defined by the seamless assimilation of numerous personal and cultural influences.

The project is a multi-movement jazz composition that endeavors to capture the ideas and emotions that are so richly embedded in Hughes’ poetry. Bixler and his collaborators will discuss and perform part of “The Hughes Project” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Oct. 5, followed by a performance of the full composition at 8 p.m. in the Bryan Recital Hall. Both the presentation and concert are free.

According to Bixler, “There have been numerous projects involving Hughes’ work and music, but this is unique in that it is the only project I am aware of that does not set Hughes’ text to music or involve the text being read over music.” Bixler received an ICS Fellowship that enabled him to begin the work.

 Other contributors to the project are Russ Johnson, trumpet; Jon Cowherd, piano; Gregg August, bass; Fabio Rojas, percussion; and members of the Semiosis Quartet: Natalie Calma, violin; Nicole Parks, violin; Oliver Chang, viola, and Kett Lee, cello.

For more information, visit bgsu.edu/ics.