The Art of Romare Bearden Comes Alive with the Music of Khalid Moss

Saturday, January 29th the Pythian Theater will transform into an exhibition of music and art as the King Arts Complex offers the next event in the Jazz on the Avenue series “A Melodious Celebration of the Art of Romare Bearden” featuring Khalid Moss & The Kinkajoo Ensemble Concert made possible by a grant from PNC Arts Alive, a three-year, $1.5 million initiative of The PNC Foundation that supports visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement in new and innovative ways.  The Ensemble will perform music inspired by Bearden’s art accentuated with a visual presentation on the stage. The show will be opened by the high school students of the Fort Hayes Metro Jazz Ensemble.

“The PNC Foundation has a long history of providing grants to organizations that strengthen and enrich the lives of our communities,” said Michael Gonsiorowski, PNC regional president for central Ohio. “We understand that a rich arts community is a significant driver of our economic success, providing employment, boosting tourism and making the region attractive for businesses, residents and visitors.”

Romare Bearden (1911-1988), an American artist of African heritage, is widely acknowledged as one of the most talented and original visual artists of the twentieth century.  As a child he grew up in the heart of Harlem Renaissance.  Family friends included luminaries such as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Dubois and famous musicians who helped ignite Bearden’s passion for jazz which serves as the inspiration for this unique evening of Art and Music.

“We are extremely excited to kick-off 2011 along with our partners at PNC by presenting this unique exhibition and concert honoring the exceptional artist Romare Bearden.  He was a jazz aficionado, an author of scholarly books, a song writer/lyricist-as well as an arts activist.  Patrons of the arts and jazz fans alike will not want to miss this melodious celebration!” commented Rachelle Randolph, Program Director for The King Arts Complex.

Pianist Khalid Moss is a native of Dayton, OH who started his study of the instrument at a young age period.  While studying music at Ohio University in Athens, OH, his music caught fire and he decided to make it his vocation.  After graduation in 1976, Moss briefly returned to Dayton for what amounted to a post graduate tutorial in jazz performance.  Moss has since played with famous jazz artists such as Pharoah Sanders, Yuseef Lateef, Sonny Stitt, Rohsaan Roland Kirk, and the great jazz vocalist Betty Carter

“It is a great honor to perform at the King Arts Complex for their tribute to artist Romare Bearden. I have been an admirer and big fan of Bearden for many years especially because of his affinity to jazz music and the musicians who make the music” stated Khalid Moss.  “His deep love of the idiom is reflected in many of his works. For the occasion, I have composed a series of tunes which I have called ‘Walls of Illusion’ which is the title of one of Bearden’s works.  I think my score is a fitting tribute to this visionary artist.”

As part of the kick-off  for this Jazz on the Avenue event, the King Arts Complex will  honor the art of Romare Bearden with a Collage workshop “Torn, Snipped, Glued: Life seen as collage” Saturday, January 29th from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the King Arts Complex.  Participants will be inspired by the life and collage work of Romare Bearden to create their own one-of-a-kind piece while learning collage techniques from one of Columbus’ most respected artists. ”Beginners to intermediate artists are welcome to join the joyous experience of creating collage art inspired by Bearden”, said Todd Camp, Education Director for The King Arts Complex.  Later that evening, will be the Exhibition Opening Reception “Homage to Bearden: Piecing it Together” at 6:00 p.m. in the Elijah Pierce Gallery featuring works from Bearden’s collage works and his private collections.

Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non members.  For more information contact us at 614.645.KING (5464) or visit

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