Charles Overton is a native Richmonder and a former member of the American Youth Harp Ensemble (now the Greenspring American Youth Harp Ensemble). He’s based in Boston, having graduated from Berklee College of Music and he maintains an active career playing jazz, classical, world music and just about anything else that he finds an interest in.
This spring, the Richmond Jazz Society is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with a series of performances by female jazz artists.
Langston Hughes published the 800-line poem “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz” in 1961. One of his most ambitious works, the poem touches on so many different things that it’s very hard to describe in a few sentences. In large part, it’s a meditation on the struggle for freedom in the U.S. and elsewhere in the early sixties. It references major figures in the American civil rights movement and the leaders of African nations that were gaining independence at the time.