Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Contact Info: 

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information
608.257.0158 x 237 or

MMoCA Celebrates Americana with Poetry and Jazz

MMoCA Celebrates Americana with Poetry and Jazz
Friday, February 5 • 5:30-8 pm

MADISON, WI – The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will celebrate its new exhibition, Apple Pie: Symbols of Americana in MMoCA's Permanent Collection on Friday, February 5, with an evening of poetry and jazz. The evening, titled A Celebration of Americana, takes place from 5:30-8 pm and continues the museum's First Fridays tradition.

Throughout the evening, Jane Reynolds and John Mesoloras will perform music by legendary “First Lady of Jazz” Mary Lou Williams, as part of a year-long centennial celebration. Mary Lou Williams was one of the most influential jazz pianists and composers of the twentieth century. She was respected and admired as a formative voice in the evolution of many jazz styles, including boogie, stride, swing, bebop, modern, and avant garde. Madison-area artists will be celebrating Williams throughout 2010 in concerts and educational programs supported by grants from the John & Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation and the Madison Jazz Society, with additional support from the Madison Music Collective.

Jane Reynolds is a composer and pianist with a Ph.D. in Composition and Theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A music educator for 30 years, Reynolds teaches piano, jazz improvisation, composition and theory. She is co-host of “Strictly Jazz Sounds” on WORT-FM radio. Bassist John Mesoloras has been active on the Madison music scene for nearly a decade. He plays acoustic and electric bass with the Gerri DiMaggio Trio and the Madison Jazz Orchestra, and is Orchestra Director at Mount Horeb Middle and High Schools.

From 6:30 to 7:30 pm, in a program titled American Virtue, American Vice, members of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets will read original poems that delve into themes depicted in Apple Pie. The evening will include readings by Marilyn L. Taylor, Wisconsin's Poet Laureate, and Fabu, Poet Laureate of Madison. Taylor is the author of eight collections of poetry, including Subject to Change, which was nominated for the 2005 Poets' Prize. Her poems have appeared in POETRY,The American ScholarThe Atlanta Review, and many other journals and anthologies. Fabu's poetry has appeared in CallalooBlack Books BulletinWisconsin People and IdeasUMOJA,and Rosebud Magazine. Her forthcoming book, African American Life in Haiku will be published by Parallel Press in 2011.

The evening will also feature hors d'oeuvres and drinks from Fresco, the museum's rooftop restaurant. Admission for the evening is $5 for the general public; museum members may attend the event free of charge. 

First Fridays at MMoCA are generously sponsored by Newcomb Construction Company; media support is provided by

# # #