“A Night at the Morton: Soul Celebration”
195 W Washington St
Athens, GA 30601
The Athens Music Project, an interdisciplinary research initiative of the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music, presents this interactive performance event, supported by a Public Impact Grant from the Willson Center. It is the third installment of this biannual program organized and directed by UGA music professors Jean Ngoya Kidula and Susan Thomas. Sponsors include Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Hodgson School, the Institute for African American Studies, and the Morton Theatre.
The program is designed for music lovers of all ages and backgrounds.
Soul – embraced as a lifestyle, passion, musical genre and label – will be explored through interviews, performances and audience interaction. “Soul as a way of testifying is at once religious and sacred, secular and profane, reverent and irreverent, social and political, personal and communal: it is celebration, observation, contemplation and even lamentation,” said Jean Kidula, professor of music and ethnomusicology. “The testimony resounds locally, nationally and globally. As such, it transcends its African American inception and American mainstream appropriation; it is spoken far and wide.”
The headliner for the event is rhythm and blues legend Theodis Ealey, currently residing in Stone Mountain, Ga. His band director, jazz guitarist Victor Hodge, will open the segment.
Other artists include soul-pop singer Ansley Stewart, an Athens native now living in Atlanta; Athens community group The Notes; and UGA Kalakaar, an a cappella student group.
Jacqueline DjeDje, emeritus professor and chair of ethnomusicology at UCLA (originally from Jessup, Ga.), will interview renowned gospel singer Sylvanus “Zeke” Turner, a native of Athens. Turner’s subsequent performance and that of the Hull Family Singers of Hill Chapel Baptist Church will demonstrate the prominent role and ethos emanating from gospel music in the foundation, structure, practice and message of Soul.
This diverse array of performers and interviews will present a few salient examples of foundational genres, co-genres and sub-genres of Soul; demonstrate several mainstream industrialized iterations of Soul; and display Soul’s posterity in historical, contemporary, and global music statements.
The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets may be picked up at the Morton during business hours (Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. and from 3-6 p.m.) or reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 706-613-3771.