Students, Free; General Public, $30; Senior Citizen, $25; Children 12 and under, $10; Group (General Admission), $25
“Cross That River” represents a significant moment in American history where Black cowboys lived and helped settle the West. It is a story that’s never been told in this way. The unsettled West of the 1860s provides a new life and new dreams for Blue, a run-away slave who escapes from slavery to Texas and becomes one of America’s first Black cowboys. This compelling tale of freedom integrates fiction with historical fact, and each song presents a different page in this complicated chapter of American History.
The story of Blue begins in Louisiana, and with every song of this highly-infectious score, the audience is moved further along on Blue’s harrowing journey across the Sabine River to freedom in the Wild West. Each song tells a unique story, at times joyful, sometimes tragic, but mostly a poignant chronicle of enduring perseverance. Award-winning musician Allan Harris wrote “Cross That River” to tell the untold story of the Black West and empower Americans with an inspiring story of hope and freedom.
Harris is a jazz vocalist, producer, composer, guitarist, song-writer, actor and educator. A natural entertainer, his dynamic stage presence has made him a mainstay in concert halls, theaters, jazz clubs and jazz festivals across the world. Tony Bennett has called him “my favorite singer.” He has been a guest performer with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall, the Algonquin’s Oak Room, the Winter and Summer Olympics, a featured guest with Country Music Star Vince Gill and with Stevie Wonder. Evidence of Harris’ “protean talent” can be heard on his 10 recordings as a leader; his far-flung and critically-acclaimed concerts across the world, and his numerous awards, which include the New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist – which he won three times – the Backstage Bistro Award for Ongoing Achievement in Jazz, the Harlem Speaks’ Jazz Museum of Harlem Award and the DownBeat Critics’ Poll’s Rising Star Jazz Vocalist Award. Memories of his early career playing guitar and singing with country rock bands inspired Harris to create his 2006 song-cycle “Cross That River,” a stunning portrait of the African American West. “Cross That River” recently finished a five-week run at 59E59 Theater in New York City to critical acclaim.