onStage presents Martha Redbone - 'Bone Hill: The Concert' April 6

Martha Redbone
Martha Redbone

The music is radically wide-ranging, from traditional Cherokee chants and lullabies to bluegrass and blues, country, gospel, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, and funk: It’s Martha Redbone - “Bone Hill: The Concert,” to be presented by the onStage Guest Artist Series at 7:30 p.m., on April 6, in Evans Hall.

Martha Redbone is an American blues and soul singer of part Cherokee, Choctaw, European and African-American descent. “Bone Hill: The Concert” is inspired by her own life and the women who came before her; the lives of the Bone family members are told in songs that span a swath of American music with a parallel history. In this song cycle, Redbone becomes the characters from four generations of a family in the hills of coal-mining Appalachia, and the musicians are the townsfolk. The audience is taken on an epic, unexpected American exploration of family, history and cultural identity.

Dark and violent at times, Bone Hill is uncompromising in its desire to be honest about uncomfortable subjects, particularly colonization and race. It addresses issues and stories rarely heard in musical theater: The plight of the Cherokee people who returned home after the Trail of Tears; the U.S. Government’s racial reclassification legislatures of the Mid-Atlantic states; the American Indian and African-American interracial dynamic; and the ancient burial mounds on the Eastern seaboard, land which was desecrated for coal and the building of new mining towns during the early 1800s. Beyond reflecting the cultural and aesthetic diversity of today’s theater, Bone Hill adds diverse missing narratives – racial dynamics between Native and African-Americans, Native Americans and Europeans, and stories from the perspective of the women and the lives of people of color living in Appalachia, their culture and music. It reveals erased, forgotten truths and it does so with humor, pathos and exuberance.

General admission tickets for the concert are $22, $20 for seniors, and $11 for students.  Tickets are available online, or call the box office located in Palmer Auditorium at 860-439-ARTS (2787).

March 6, 2018