IN Series Celebrate DC-Legends Chuck Brown & Eva Cassidy Through Their Only Album Together

The four-night run in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. features the artists' only album together: THE OTHER SIDE.

By: May. 10, 2023
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IN Series Celebrate DC-Legends Chuck Brown & Eva Cassidy Through Their Only Album Together

IN Series Opera closes their 2022-23 season with CHUCK AND EVA, an evening celebrating the Great American Songbook through Chuck Brown and Eva Cassidy's only album: The Other Side. CHUCK AND EVA performances are June 1- 2 at the True Reformer Building and June 24 at the Baltimore Theatre Project. Tickets range from $40-60 including fees, and can be purchased via www.inseries.org

In 1992, the godfather of go-go Chuck Brown and a then-unknown Maryland singer named Eva Cassidy created an album of music from the Great American Songbook called The Other Side. With CHUCK AND EVA, IN Series celebrates the story of an iconic DC music genre that is alive and well today.

"The performance itself is focused not on living in the past of this album, but bringing together living and working DC jazz artists to generate new life from the songs and musical approaches taken by Brown and Cassidy," Artistic Director Timothy Nelson said. "In this way the project is about celebrating the present, and creating the future of DC music."

In a 2015 feature in the Washington Post about Cassidy, Mick Fleetwood, who became a devotee of Cassidy's while listening to her sing at Fleetwood's, the Alexandria, Va., restaurant he owned and operated in the mid-1990s said "We're still applauding Eva Cassidy," said Fleetwood. "We're keeping the campfire burning, letting people know about her. We want people to know about her!"

Chuck Brown was well known in the DC music scene when he sat down for an interview with Global Rhythm Magazine in 2007. He took pride in his nickname, the Godfather of Go-Go: "My fans gave that to me, but I can think of no better reward." On go-go becoming the defining sound of DC, Brown shared: "Oh, the sound of Washington is go-go, and it's the greatest thing that's ever happened to me."

This concert experience brings that legendary album to life with a group of artists from DC and Baltimore's thriving jazz and new music scene. Led by jazz pianist and composer Janelle Gill (Desdemona), singers Greg Watkins and Melissa Wimbish will lead an ensemble of jazz greats from around the region, including some that played with Chuck Brown himself. This show is a rare opportunity to delve deep into a musical experience the likes of which only homegrown talent past and present could create.

Limited performances will take place at the historic True Reformer Building, in the room where Duke Ellington gave his first public performances ever.

In addition to the shows along DC's famed Black Broadway, IN Series will present CHUCK AND EVA at Baltimore Theatre Project, the historic home for all that's new and cool in Charm City.


We make theater from music: transforming artists, audiences, and community by disrupting expectations, nourishing empathy, stimulating insight, and deepening the conversation.
This production is sponsored in part by a generous donation from Shannon R. Mouton

Performances:
June 1 and 2, 2023 | True Reformer Building
1200 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

June 24, 2023 | Baltimore Theatre Project
45 W Preston St, Baltimore, MD 21201

ABOUT THE ARTISTS


A native Washingtonian, Janelle Gill (Music Dir, Composer, Arr, Pianist) began her musical path at the age of 5 when, aspiring to a career as a concert pianist, she began taking piano lessons based on the popular Suzuki method of piano instruction with. As a middle school student, Janelle was introduced to jazz by Delfeayo Marsalis during a workshop he performed. She continued studying at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts under the guidance of saxophonist Davey Yarborough and Howard University under the tutelage of Dr.Raymond Jackson and Charles Covington. Janelle has performed with Oliver Lake, The Blackbyrds, Delfeayo Marsalis, David Murray and many local artists such as Marshall Keys, Kenny Rittenhouse, and Nasar Abadey. She can be heard on recordings by Kenny Rittenhouse, Mauro Marcondes, and Kris Funn; with the promise of more recordings as her career continues to blossom. Currently Janelle teaches piano and is working on writing and preparing music for her debut recording.

Melissa Wimbish (Soprano) In the world-premiere of Josephine, "... the afternoon belonged to Melissa Wimbish, who was creating the role of Josephine Baker ... Beautifully prepared, vocally stunning, and theatrically riveting, Wimbish effortlessly held the audience in her hand throughout this one-woman show." (Washington Post) In 2016, she made her Carnegie Hall debut after winning the NATS Artist Award. Career highlights include Mysteries of the Macabre with Baltimore Symphony, the role of the History Teacher in the world-premiere of Paul's Case (Spears), Nimue in Camelot with Shakespeare Theatre Company DC, and Carmina Burana with Washington Ballet at The Kennedy Center. She is one of two frontwomen in the pop duo Outcalls who were winners of the 2021 Baker Artist Award. Melissa's work is relentless in variety, spanning classical, contemporary, and popular styles.

Greg Watkins is delighted to make his debut with In Series. Credits include Constellation Theatre Company: Aida; Anacostia Playhouse: Happy Ending; Workhouse Arts Center: Rock of Ages; Arts Centric: Sister Act; Toby's Dinner Theater: Dreamgirls; WSC Avant Bard: The Gospel at Colonus (Helen Hayes nomination) and King Lear. Greg is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation/Cherry Lane Foundation/Music Alive Award in Honor of Dr. Quincy Jones (2008) for his outstanding work in production, composition, performance, and musical direction. He has also appeared in several operas including Steven M. Allen's The Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows, for which he originated the leading baritone role of quintessential writer and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and garnered media attention in the PBS Documentary, Beyond the Mask. Greg has musically directed numerous productions, including The Poet Warriors (2010 Capital Fringe Best Musical Award) and the nationally acclaimed staged-reading of Christina Ham's Four Little Girls where he also served as co-music arranger alongside Broadway & Sundance film composer Kathryn Bostic and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad.

IN Series is the standard-bearer for innovative opera theater in Washington DC. We make theater from music: transforming artists, audiences, and community by disrupting expectations, nourishing empathy, stimulating insight, and deepening the conversation. IN Series envisions a thriving global community in which opera is a fully integrated and essential part of collective conversation. In picturing the journey to this end, IN Series is a change-maker - a force that, with each groundbreaking production and outreach event, radically transforms perceptions of the "who", "what", "where", and "why" of opera: who gets to make opera and for whom is it made; what is defined as an operatic experience; where operas take place; why we make opera; and why opera matters.

Founded by Carla Hübner in 1982 as a concert series of the former Mount Vernon College, "The In Series" became an independent non-profit arts organization in 2000 and has been a resident company at Source Theater since 2008. Timothy Nelson assumed the artistic directorship in 2018, quickly establishing the newly rebranded "IN Series" as DC's home for "Thought, debate, history, and innovation" (DC Metro Theatre Arts) in opera.

IN Series's 2021-2022 season is made possible in part by major funding from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz, Dallas Morse Coors, the Billy Rose Foundations; the Angell Foundation; Dan and Gloria Logan; the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts. We also gratefully recognize the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies; the Celtino Foundation, the Dimick Foundation, Eugene Lang, Reva and David Logan, and M&T Bank.




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