Chris Coles' Nine Lives to receive premiere Aug. 24

Kent, Ohio – 
Two years after receiving a grant from Akron's John S. Knight Foundation Arts Challenge, Kent State School of Music Jazz Studies faculty member Chris Coles' collaborative, multi-disciplinary work "Nine Lives" will be premiered this weekend. Created in collaboration with Kent State Dance Division faculty member and choreographer Gregory King, the 45-minute piece was written in memory of the victims of the 2015 Charleston church shooting which claimed the lives of nine African Americans during a prayer service. The multi-movement suite aims to heighten awareness of ongoing racial injustice in America.


Performed as part of the multi-day Rubber City Jazz and Blues Festival on Aug. 24th at 1 p.m. in the Akron-Summit County Public Library Auditorium, the work features additional collaborations with trombonist Sam Blakeslee, animator Hannah Taddeo, and Emcee Jul Big Green. A discussion will immediately follow the performance at 60 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. In addition to the grant from the Knight Foundation, the creation of the work has received substantial support from the PEG's Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation and the GAR Foundation.

The Band:

  • Dave Morgan
  • Bobby Selvaggio (Kent State faculty, Director of Jazz Studies)
  • Zaire Darden
  • Tommy Lehman
  • Chris Anderson
  • Emily Laycock (BS, '19)
  • Molly Jones 
  • Theron Brown (Kent State piano faculty, Jazz Studies)


  • Nicole Crowl
  • Megan Finch
  • Taylor Parker
  • Nyashia Gooden-Clarke
  • Niarra Gooden-Clarke
  • Marquise Williams
  • De'sean Boddie
  • Shondale Gordon
  • Kayla Warmington

The Rubber City Jazz and Blues Festival is Directed by Theron Brown and was founded in 2016. 

More about the Festival here


POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 7:09pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 8:37am