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Ijapa and Mr. Igbin

Local jazz musician, writer, and visual artist, Elmer Gibson, has adapted a Yoruba folktale, The Tortoise and the Wisdom of the World and set it to his original music for string quartet. The performance of Ijapa and Mr. Igbin (as renamed by Mr. Gibson) includes narration, music, and projected artwork from Poe Elementary students. The central message of this tale is “If you are filled with pride, you have no room for wisdom.” This program would be best suited for families with children ages 4 – 11.

USC with composer Elmer Gibson

Premiere: October 16, 2021,

North Carolina Museum of Art

Henry O. Lovett provided the narration. From the Classical Voice North Carolina review: "When the day began, I expected to attend a concert and go home after. I was surprised to find out this would be one of the most informative, immersive, profound, and moving experiences of my artistic life."

Read the full review here.

USC at Pure Life Theatre Fall Festival

October 24, 2021: Fall Festival at Pure Life Theatre

Many thanks to Deb Royals for including United Strings of Color on the Pure Life Theatre Fall Festival. She provided us with the beautiful African clothing.

USC at Pullen Arts Center

October 30, 2021 Pullen Arts Center

United Strings of Color were part of the "Art is Not Scary" event.

USC performing at the Cary Arts Center

December 30, 2021 Cary Arts Center

United Strings of Color, with guest cellist Quenton Blache, performed for the 27th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration presented by Ujima Group and the Town of Cary.

Poster for the African American Cultural Celebration

January 29, 2022 African American Cultural Celebration

The North Carolina Museum of History presented Ijapa and Mr. Igbin in the Daniels Auditorium for the African American Cultural Celebration and live streamed it at noon. 


February 15, 2022 Music in the Library

USC presented Ijapa and Mr Igbin at Northeast Regional Library at 5:30 pm followed by an Instrument Zoo. This was part of Wake County's Black History Month offerings.

February 4, 2023 Halle Cultural Arts Center

United Strings of Color gave a wonderful program that included Ijapa and Mr. Igbin and Kelly Starling Lyons book, Sing A Song in Apex.

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