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KOLA: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker

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KOLA: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker


Oakland to Premier the First Ever Production of Kola
Production Re-Envisions The Nutcracker Through African & AfroLatinX Lens, Reflecting the Lives of Black and Brown Children in Modern-Day Oakland

In December 2019, local Oakland non-profit The People’s Conservatory (TPC), in collaboration with renowned local artists such as Grammy Nominated Hip Hop and Soul artist Mystic, SFJAZZ Collective member Martin Luther, and the OSA Concert Choir will premiere Kola: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker. Kola will have an eight-show run from December 12th - 15th; 19th - 22nd at Castlemont High School (8601 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, 94605).

This all Oakland professional production is a re-envisioned version of The Nutcracker through the lens of African and Afro-Latinx music, dance, theater, and culture reflecting the lives of Black and Brown children socially, politically, and spiritually in modern-day Oakland.

500+ students from over a dozen Oakland and other East Bay schools are involved as performers, composers and costume/set designers, including OSA, Anna Yates, Northern Light, Pear Tree Community School, West Oakland Middle School, Envision Academy Middle Grades, Park Day, Head Royce, and Latitude High School.

The Kola creative team, comprised of TPC founder Rozz Nash and beloved local artists Kev Choice, Jennifer Johns, and RyanNicole, will rewrite this narrative and offer new music compositions representing Jazz, Gospel, Afro-Caribbean, Hip Hop, R&B, and re-mixed Tchaikovsky.

Kola is the story of the rights of passage for a young girl…It is a pleasure to revise & make relevant this traditional show with the pantheon of greats that represent the Bay Area youth arts scene. —RyanNicole

I’m excited and honored to come together with an amazing community of artist and musicians to provide music for this work that will highlight and provide opportunities for our youth to showcase their talents. It’s going to be powerful, beautiful, and represent Oakland in a major way! —Kev Choice

Kola is healing! It is an honor to be a part of such a powerful commitment to re-imagine our collective journey past, present, and future. —Jennifer Johns



Map Castlemont High School, Oakland, California, Oakland, United States
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