Chattanooga Now Jazzanooga presents 'God's Trombones'

Chattanooga Now Jazzanooga presents 'God's Trombones'

February 21st, 2018 by Susan Pierce in Chattanooga Now - Art

If you go

› What: Jazzanooga Presents: “God’s Trombones”

› Where: Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd.

› When: 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25

› Admission: $20

› For more information: 423-402-0452

"God's Trombones" is a book of seven inspirational poems written by James Weldon Johnson, civil rights leader and Harlem Renaissance figure.

"God's Trombones" is a book of seven inspirational...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Jazzanooga is holding a presentation of one of the most celebrated African-American literary classics, "God's Trombones," on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25, in the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in celebration of Black History Month.

"God's Trombones" is a book of seven inspirational poems written by James Weldon Johnson, civil rights leader and Harlem Renaissance figure. Sunday's performance will readings by seven local women. In addition to the all-female cast, five women will be honored by Jazzanooga for their contributions to the community.

"This is our first year to present these awards," says Shane Morrow, Jazzanooga executive director. He adds it will become an annual recognition.

"This is the year of the woman. I think that has been a message throughout not just this city, but the nation, especially after the #metoo movement. That's why we decided to do 'God's Trombones' with all women speakers and present the first awards for women who have exemplified compassion and wisdom and made significant contributions to our community. Each has a very unique way how she has not just embraced the community, but helped the community," he says.

The inaugural "God's Trombones" Community Award honorees, selected by Jazzanooga's board, are Sharon Kelly, Entrepreneur Award; Shawanda Mason-Moore, Innovator Award; Yolanda Putman, Media Award; Rebecca Suttles, Impact Award; and Lillie Wills, Trailblazer Award.

Each woman will receive a one-of-a-kind sculpture created by artist Rondell Crier, says Morrow.

The afternoon program will open with a performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by the Center for Creative Arts Concert Choir, directed by Neshawn Calloway. Morrow points out that Johnson also wrote "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which adds to the afternoon's emphasis on his work.

The seven poems within "God's Trombones" and the women reading them will be:

» Tenesha Irvin, "The Creation:" A narrative on the creation of humans as told in the Bible.

» Lakweshia Ewing, "The Prodigal Son: " The biblical parable of the prodigal son.

» Karen Lynn McReynolds, "Go Down Death - A Funeral Sermon:" Jesus is depicted as sending his servant, Death, to bring to heaven a woman who is old, weary and ready to die, so that she can rest.

» Dionne Jennings, "Noah Built the Ark:" The biblical stories of Adam and Eve, how sin entered the world and Noah and the great flood sent to cleanse the earth.

» Karitsa Mosley Jones, "The Crucifixion:" The story of Jesus' crucifixion.

» Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod, "Let My People Go:" The story of Moses and his work freeing the Hebrew slaves from Egypt.

» Chantelle Roberson, "The Judgment Day:" The prophetic story of the Apocalypse.

"God's Trombones" will be catered by Dipped Fresh. Selected local artists will provide musical entertainment during the program.

Tickets are $20. Morrow advises that seating is limited, only 150 tickets will be sold. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets will only be sold at the door should any remain.

Tickets are available online at

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.