Premiere Performance of “Cooch’s Bridge: The African American Experience” Set for April 14

Jazz quintet The Whitney Project will premiere “Cooch’s Bridge” The African American Experience” on Sunday, April 14 at 3 pm at the OperaDelaware Studios in Wilmington.

A pre-concert conversation between Patricia Wilson Aden and composer Jonathan W. Whitney will precede the performance beginning at 2:15 pm.

The new work, scored for jazz quintet, male vocals, and the spoken word, seeks to convey “the historical intersection of African Americans with the Cooch family, Cooch-owned lands, and local businesses,” according to Whitney.

“I hope that listeners will leave with the understanding that the Cooch family story is deeply intertwined with the story of African Americans in the region,” Whitney says. “This complex history goes deeper than many may think.”

Whitney’s inspiration for the new composition came from discussions he has had with historians, researchers, and members of several African American families connected to Cooch-owned properties. Whitney also made use of the Cooch’s Bridge African American Heritage Database and the library at Winterthur, where he is an affiliated researcher.

The concert is presented by the Friends of Cooch’s Bridge Historic Site, a non-profit advocacy group. “The April 14 performance is just one of a series of signature events presented by our group,” says Vince Watchorn, president. “We believe the arts to be an effective way to communicate the richness of the historic site to the public.”

Admission to the event is free, with a suggested donation of $20 per person. Pre-registration at is required. 

OperaDelaware Studios is located behind the Amtrak Station at 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801.

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