The Seahawk Mojo will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at the IAF Theatre on the Idyllwild Arts Academy campus.
Led by Idyllwild’s Marshall Hawkins, Seahawk and others will present the performance in honor of Black History Month.
“This is a journey that started [with] last year’s performance,” Hawkins said. “It’s about what happened to the black man when his drum was taken.”
Last’s year production began with Najite Agindotin beating African drums with his hands. The percussion and rhythm mesmerized the audience.
In addition, Danny Barber, body percussionist, and Leland “Spoonful” Collins, who commands kitchen spoons as though they were scalpels, also will be part of the journey that evening.
Other special guests will be the duo of Talya Ferro, vocalist, and John Rodby on piano. One of their most well-known songs is “Harlem Haunts My Mind,” which will guide to evening.
“Harlem is important to this music. All the elders passed through there, not just Duke Ellington,” Hawkins emphasized. “He is just the most famous of them.”
The Seahawk Mojo is a smaller group from the Seahawk Modern Jazz Orchestra. “They’re strong players,” Hawkins said proudly. The Mojo musicians playing Thursday include Bob Boss, Paul Carman, Kelly Corbin, Nora Germain, Ray Gonzales, Charlie Owens and, on voice, Sherry Williams.
Also, some of the current Idyllwild Arts students will be invited to participate in the concert. Last year, Zema Bagirova performed beautiful scat songs — vocal improvisation with wordless vocals, nonsense syllables or without words at all. Ella Fitzgerald is the most well-known master of scat.
And Hawkins promised that during the evening he would pluck his bass, besides conducting the various pieces.
The event is free to the public.