Internationally Known Nigerian Performer to Serve as Artist-in-Residence

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Internationally known Nigerian performer Tayo Aluko is the Africana Studies Department’s artist-in-residence. His visit is in collaboration with the College of Arts
+ Architecture and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture.

As a baritone, Aluko has performed as the guest soloist with numerous orchestras, choirs and brass bands in the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Nigeria. His signature production “Call Mr. Robeson” premiered at Edinburgh Fringe in August 2007. He has performed the play around the United Kingdom, United States and Canada, and he went on the win the coveted Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence, Best Male Performer Award and a nomination for the Best Show at the Brighton Festival Fringe in May 2008.

Aluko’s latest piece is “I Got a Home in Barack (From Africa to the White House: A Journey of Resistance, Triumph and Spirituals).” The musically illustrated talk explores African pre-slavery history, Africans’ resistance to white domination over the centuries and the symbolic triumph resulting from the election and inauguration of Barack Obama. The performance features selected spirituals sung by Aluko. This sometimes controversial presentation also mentions notable freedom fighters including Paul Robeson, Frederick Douglass, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo and Queen Nanny of Jamaica. The presentation includes significant African philosophy and proverbs, too.

Aluko will perform “I Got a Home in Barack” at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 2, in Rowe Arts Building, Room 130. Admission is free. He also will participate in the forum “The Arts of Social Justice in the Age of Globalization” from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Thursday, March 4, in Colvard Building, Room 2010.

A performance of “Call Mr. Robeson” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 6, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Booth Playhouse. Tickets range from $20 to $35. To order, call (704) 372-1000.

For more information, contact Akin Ogundiran, chair of the Africana Studies Department, at (704) 687-2371 or e-mail ogundiran@uncc.edu.

Public Relations media contact: Buffie Stephens, (704) 687.5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu.

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