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A Harlem Renaissance Speakeasy: Featuring Live Jazz & Poetry from the 1920s

Harlem Speakeasy

A Harlem Renaissance Speakeasy: Featuring Live Jazz and Poetry from the 1920s

“What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?... Or does it explode?” – Langston Hughes

NEWS (09/24/19): We are pleased to announce that this event is SOLD OUT!

Join HoCoPoLitSo as it begins its 45th season and Howard Community College’s Arts Collective begins its 25th with this unique historical exploration of the art that transformed our world!

  • Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Location: Howard Community College’s RCF Building, Rm. 400, Columbia, MD 21044
    (Directions & Parking info below!)
  • Period Attire Encouraged!
  • Ticket Info, All Details Below!

Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo) and HCC’s Arts Collective (AC) partner to create a transcendent evening of live jazz, poetry, and visual art from the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. Explore the power of words and music from artists such as Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Duke Ellington and others within a speakeasy atmosphere evocative of the era.

Experience the magical and powerful performances by local poets, musical theater performers, and a jazz quintet (“Petra Martin and the Jazz Masters”) who will perform some of the most sophisticated and inspired literary and artistic achievements of the period.

This event will also feature, Speakeasy inspired Hors D’ Oeuvres and dessert (by “My Sweets and More”), a Cash Bar, and Signature Cocktails (“The Bees Knees” & “Sweet Lucille”)!



Dr. Calvin Ball, Howard County Executive: Honorary Event Chair

Linda Joy Burke: Emcee & Hostess – as poet, Georgia Douglas Johnson

***Jazz Quintet: “Petra Martin and The Jazz Masters”***
Petra Martin (Vocals)
Jon Ozment (Piano)
Wes Biles (Upright Bass)
Jeff Neal (Drums)
Vaughn Ambrose (Sax)

***Harlem Renaissance Poets Represented by***
Shawn Sebastian Naar – as Langston Hughes
Chania Hudson – as Gwendolyn Bennett
Alan King – as Claude McKay
Faye McCray – as Alice Dunbar Nelson
Nana Owusu – as Countee Cullen

***Musical Theatre Performances by***
Mayumi B. Griffie (Piano, Vocals)
Jamar Brown (Vocals)
Valerie A. Higgs (Piano)


Emma McDonnell: Event Stylist, Projections, Stage Management
Austin Sapp: Sound Design
Eric Moore: Light Design
Jessica Welch: Costume Stylist
Production Assistants: Keith Becraft, Daniel Johnston, Sarah Luckadoo, Jessica Welch


Box Office: 443-518-1500 / 
Seating is Limited – Reserve Tickets Now!
Tickets: $45.00
(Tickets include Speakeasy inspired Hors D’ Oeuvres and desserts by “My Sweets and More”!
[Recommended for ages 14 and up]


HoCoPoLitSo is celebrating its 45th year of nurturing a love and respect for the diversity of contemporary literary arts in Howard County. The society sponsors literary readings and writers-in-residence outreach programs, produces The Writing Life (a writer-to-writer talk show), and partners with other cultural arts organizations to support the arts in Howard County, Maryland. For more information, visit,

(HoCoPoLitSo receives funding from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts; Howard County Arts Council through a grant from Howard County government; Community Foundation of Howard County; and individual contributors.)

Howard Community College’s critically acclaimed Arts Collective engages performers, creatives, and audiences with innovative events that ignite our collective imaginations. For over two decades, Arts Collective has served as a creative cauldron, providing expert guidance and training to new and experienced artists in bringing vibrant life to diverse works on the stage; from the newly devised to the classics and all in between. Arts Collective’s positive, collaborative, educational environment is open to everyone. Join us in creating new heights of learning and possibility! Ignite your imagination!

Follow AC on Social Media:  

View AC’s 25th Season Here!

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