Ceylon Mitchell, Local Flutist and Artist Fellow, Honors National Hispanic Heritage Month with County-Wide Concert Series
During National Hispanic Heritage Month 2019, flutist Ceylon Mitchell II and his acclaimed chamber music ensemble will present a concert series of Afro-Latino music at venues throughout Prince George’s County, Maryland. The classical crossover performances will highlight African and Latinx cultures, demonstrating the unique development of Western-European classical flute music in the Latin American countries of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Brazil. Each program will include the sounds of formalized Western virtuosic writing, the improvisation and complexity of distinct national musical styles, as well as the African rhythms, harmonic progressions and flowing melodies of Caribbean music.
Venues for the concert series include the new Prince George’s Community College Center for Performing Arts, the Riversdale House Museum, the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, Montpelier Arts Center, and Joe’s Movement Emporium.
“We are thrilled to work with Ceylon as a participant in our new season On Stage at Joe’s,” states Joe’s Movement Emporium Executive Director Brooke Kidd. “Within our theme of When Hate Hits Home, Ceylon’s Afro-Latino Chamber Music Tour is a great opportunity to create connections between cultures in our community. We hope the live performance will be cathartic for audiences, enhance empathy, and spark positive social change against racism and other forms of bigotry.”
The program evokes individual styles that recall a blend of folk and global influences. The versatile ensemble will perform works by composers such as Puerto Rican-born Roberto Sierra, Cuban-born Tania León and Paquito D'Rivera, and Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos, one of the best-known South American composers. Culminating with a uniquely Brazilian flair, the program will end with selections from Brazilian choro, a popular instrumental music genre and symbol of Brazilian national identity. Featured musicians include Elizabeth Hill on piano, Tom Rohde on guitar, Lucas Ashby on percussion, Johnny Walker Jr. on cello, and Pablo Regis de Oliveira on cavaquinho. Generous support for this project comes from the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council (PGAHC).
“PGAHC is proud to support creative artists like Ceylon Mitchell,” states Rhonda Dallas, PGAHC Executive Director. “He represents diversity in the classical music world with his virtuosic abilities. In addition to his incredible playing ability, he has found innovative ways to make some of the world’s most celebrated compositions consumable for new audiences. He is an asset helping to make Prince George’s County an Arts’tination.”
Additional support for the project comes from the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund (PGCSIF), naming Ceylon as a 2018 Forty Under 40 Honoree; the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA); and the University of Maryland School of Music, where Ceylon studies as a doctoral flute candidate under the tutelage of Dr. Sarah Frisof.
Full concert series details can be found on ceylonmitchell.com/events.