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The 'Lost' Opera of Jazzman Johnson, Poet Hughes

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The 'Lost' Opera of Jazzman Johnson, Poet Hughes

Arts & Life

The 'Lost' Opera of Jazzman Johnson, Poet Hughes

The 'Lost' Opera of Jazzman Johnson, Poet Hughes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/864330/864331" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jazz pianist James P. Johnson — the "father of stride" — once collaborated with poet Langston Hughes on De Organizer, an opera describing union organizing among blacks in the 1920s. For 60 years, the work was forgotten. But a production of the opera opens Tuesday in Detroit. Celeste Headlee of member station WDET reports.