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Feb 23 2019

Meet Harriet Tubman: Gospel Music’s Influence on the Evolution of Jazz

Eddie Murphy as Harriet Tubman
Fowler Museum – Lenart Auditorium

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. – Harriet Tubman

In celebration of Black History Month, Friends of Jazz at UCLA presents a program starring beloved UCLA administrator Eddie Murphy (pictured above) as Harriet Tubman, with performances by master pianist Eric Reed and the Calvin Rhone Ensemble. The program is narrated by Robin D. G. Kelley, distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA.

Murphy, former director of the UCLA Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center, portrays Tubman in a 25-minute monologue, illuminating her life as an abolitionist and political activist who escaped slavery and went on to rescue her family and friends and dozens of other enslaved people via a network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. A performance by Reed, Calvin Rhone and his 25-member choir/ensemble follows. The program features Gospel music and a discussion of its influence on the evolution of jazz.

Founded in 2003, Friends of Jazz at UCLA is a UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music support group dedicated to providing an academic and musical environment that fosters and nurtures future jazz musicians.

This program is sponsored in part by KJAZZ 88.1 FM, Fowler Museum at UCLA, and Keyboard Concepts.

Attending this Program?


Self-service parking is available at UCLA’s Parking Structure #4. Costs range from $1 for 20 minutes to $20 all day.

Patrons may use Lot R as a drop-off lot for those with mobility issues and then the driver will park in Lot 4. Learn more about campus parking.