CHICAGO SINFONIETTA presents CHICAGO PREMIERE OF 30th anniversary MLK Tribute concert: ASK YOUR MAMA

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30th anniversary MLK Tribute concert: ASK YOUR MAMA


Featuring Emmy Award Winning Composer Laura Karpman


Pfeiffer Hall, Naperville, January 14

Symphony Center, Chicago, January 15


December 8, 2016 (Chicago, IL) –Chicago Sinfonietta presents the Chicago Premiere of Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman’s three-time Grammy nominated masterpiece, Ask Your Mama for its 30th anniversary MLK Tribute concert. The Sinfonietta performs Ask Your Mama twice: first in the western suburbs at Pfeiffer Concert Hall at North Central College, Naperville, Sunday, January 14 at 3pm, and then again in its downtown Chicago home venue of Symphony Center, Monday, January 15 at 7:30pm.


The Grammy® award-winning multi-media jazz and symphonic setting of Langston Hughes’ epic 1961 poem, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz,” journeys through time, place, and verbal expression to trace the currents of cultural diasporas and is presented as a single composition featuring a vivid mix of opera, hot jazz, German lieder, cha-cha, patriotic songs, post- bop, Middle Eastern music and Afro-Caribbean drumming. Hughes’ words will also be amplified by spoken word artists Patricia Frazier and Kee Stein from Young Chicago Authors, archival audio and special guest performances by Tony-nominated De’Adre Aziza, renowned opera soprano Janai Brugger and six-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. Ask Your Mama made its World Premiere in 2009 as part of Carnegie Hall’s Honor! Festival showcasing the cultural legacy of African-American musicians.


Ask Your Mama is sponsored in part by Exelon and PWC.



Title:                Chicago Sinfonietta presents MLK Tribute Concert: Ask Your Mama


Dates:               Sunday, January 14, 2018 – 3:00pm – Pfeiffer Hall

Monday, January 15, 2018 – 7:30pm – Symphony Center


Tickets:            Single tickets are on sale now with prices ranging from $10-$62; special $10 pricing available for students and children. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Sinfonietta at 312-284-1554 or online at


Program:         Karpman           Ask Your Mama


                        Mei-Ann Chen, conductor

De’Adre Aziza, vocalist

Janai Brugger, soprano

Nnenna Freelon, jazz vocalist

Young Chicago Authors Patricia Frazier and Kee Stein, spoken word

About the Sinfonietta

Chicago Sinfonietta is grateful to its season sponsors including Aon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Southwest Airlines, Fairmont Hotel, Hotel Indigo and NBC5. Chicago Sinfonietta also thanks its BRIDGE Audience Engagement sponsor Macy’s, as well as its season media sponsors including Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, Naperville Magazine, and WBEZ.


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