Friday, November 04, 2011

Every song tells a story

The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago's Lincoln Square has celebrated various forms of music and other cultural expressions for more than five decades.

Now, it's making its first foray into the world of theater with its commission of the world premiere of "Keep a Song in Your Soul: the Black Roots of Vaudeville."

Set in the Great Migration era of 1910 - 1930, "Keep a Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville" tells the story of a young woman who is lured from the rural South by the promise of a better life in a northern city, followed by her devoted boyfriend. There, the two encounter further challenges, finding the realities behind the city's false gleam.

The show was developed by the Grammy Award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award honoree Reginald R. Robinson, best known for his performances of Ragtime era music, and legendary Chicago tap icon Reggio "The Hoofer" McLaughlin, all of whom will perform in the show. Featuring more than 20 historic songs written and performed by African-Americans between 1830-1930 on the Chitlin' Circuit, as well as original music and new arrangements of the classic songs by the creative team, the production explores Vaudeville's African-American heritage through music and dance to reclaim the spirit and substance of this rich taproot of American entertainment.

I constantly look at all mediums and senses to express a brand through my technique called, C.H.E.M. (Connect, Honest, Easy, Motivating). Thinking about the insights from vaudeville, what song (or what kind of music) could be used to better communicate the story of your brand? 

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