Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tapestry - JPEC Black History Musical Production 2013

By C. Ferguson
The Jazz Performance and Education Centre have shrived to create a dedicated space for the development of Jazz in Canada and to preserve its history. One of the main areas JPEC has targeted for preservation and growths is education, and thus last night`s gala at The Toronto Center For The Arts honoured Hon. Lincoln Alexander. The Honourably  Mr justice Michael H. Tulloch gave the keynote speech while the musical production had two important historical context, ``The  Africville  Stories” by Joe Sealy and Roberto Occhipinti`s Motown production.

As part of the educational program support, JPEC has established the ‘JPEC Lincoln Alexander Scholarship” which was given out by his wife Marni Alexander to Sam Dickenson.
Lincoln Alexander had been on the board of directors of APEC and was the Guest of honour, Honorary Co-Chair and Patron at APEC's inaugural Gala in 2009.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch has made Canadian History by being the first judge of African descent to be appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2012.  Justice Tulloch has a very distinguish career which includes 9 years on the Superior Court of Justice, assistant Crown Attorney in 1991 where he worked both in the region of Peel and in Toronto. In his speech Justice Tulloch credited the sacrifices and work done by previous leaders like Hon Lincoln Alexander for creating the space based on equity for his many successes.

Joe Sealy is destined to be one of Canada`s Jazz Great. He has received the Order of Canada in 2010.
His latest project, “The Africville Stories” has brought true context to Canadian history after the war of 1812 in a musical perspective, this production is also serving as a teaching tool by bringing the Africville stories to a new audience. Joe Sealy was accompanied by the Jackie Richardson (vocals), Paul Novotny (bass), Mark Kelso (drums) and John Johnson (saxophone).

Musical director Roberto Occhipinti took the audience on a journey through the civil rights era from the birth of Motown. Occhippinti ensemble was fronted by the vocals  of Soul Stew’s Alana Bridgewater and Michael Dunston. This journey featured songs by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robertson.

JPEC’s musical production Tapestry has captured the true essence of black history both from an artistic and educational perspective drawing linkages from Africville, Hon. Lincoln Alexander to The Honourably Mr Justice Michael H. Tulloch and Kevin Williams the first Black president of General Motors Canada.

Photo:C. Ferguson

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