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Soul Lyrical to Spend Three Days on Crete Campus

soul lyrical book of gaiaIn honor of Black History month, the female vocal ensemble Soul Lyrical (recently renamed Book of Gaia) will spend three days on Doane's Crete campus in February, teaching and performing.

Their Feb. 6-8 visit concludes with a public performance Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in Heckman Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Soul Lyrical members Angela Hagenbach, Nedra Dixon and Pamela Baskin-Watson, are multi-faceted jazz artists whose accomplishments include performing for presidents and writing compositions for films.

They sing, compose, act and dance and will visit numerous classes during their stay, including theatre, music and education. They are known for weaving together musical genres from classical to contemporary, with an added touch of spoken word, combined to promote diversity and educational outreach.

Their time on the Crete campus includes two student matinees for K-12 students from Lincoln and surrounding areas and as far away as Franklin. The shows begin at 12:15 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

The Kansas City-based group was commissioned by the Arts Are Basic program to create "Chant of Harlem," an original one-act theatrical work, exploring the reason and rhyme of the Harlem Renaissance, "Chant of Harlem" incorporates music ranging from Fats Waller and Duke Ellington to the poetry of Langston Hughes.

The event is sponsored by Doane's Multicultural Support Services, Public Events Committee and Arts are Basic programs, in tribute to Black History Month's celebration of the achievements of African Americans and their role in U.S. history.

"We are grateful to have talent of this magnitude come to Doane," said Wilma Jackson, director of Multicultural Support Services.

For more information on the event, contact Jackson at Wilma.jackson@doane.edu or 402.826.8620.

About the artists:

ANGELA HAGENBACH

Hagenbach's lush contralto voice covers nearly three octaves with clarity and agility.  She has worked and recorded with such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Russell Malone and Frank Foster.  Hagenbach represented the U.S. as a Cultural Jazz Ambassador twice during the Clinton Administration and has performed at festivals and concert halls around the world.  Owner of AH Entertainment, Inc. and Amazon Records®, she has produced and released multiple recordings to critical national acclaim.  Two of her compositions are featured in Last Will, a film starring Tatum O'Neal, James Brolin and Peter Coyote.

NEDRA DIXON

With her soaring, yet sassy lyric-soprano, this actor, singer and dancer has received critical acclaim in venues from Broadway and Off-Broadway to the concert stages of Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden and in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles cabaret hotspots.  She has shared the stage with such eclectic artists as Kristin Chenoweth, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Meat Loaf.  It has been her honor to perform at the White House, twice, during the Ford Administration, and at the Kennedy Center Honors event in the year that Eubie Blake was celebrated for his lifelong contributions to the world of music.  She is also highly regarded as a stage director/choreographer.  Currently, Dixon can be heard weekly as "Featured Vocalist" on Kansas City's NPR-affiliated jazz show, 12th STREET JUMP.

PAMELA BASKIN-WATSON

This pianist, vocalist, published composer-arranger and educator serves as Musical Director for BOOK OF GAIA and adds a rich, soulful mezzo-soprano to the vocal mix.  She honed her skills in New York City where she established herself as a well-respected freelance accompanist.  As an educator, she taught at the renowned Harlem School of the Arts, where she founded and directed the Vocal Jazz program.  As a composer-arranger, she has works recorded by such notable jazz musicians as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, vocalists Betty Carter and Kevin Mahogany, saxophonist Bobby Watson, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and pianist James Williams. Baskin-Watson was commissioned by Opera Ebony of New York City to create a musical theater work.  The Meetin', based on a short story by Langston Hughes, premiered in November 1998 and was performed again in August 2001.