Magnolia Mobile Service Station Stage, Featuring No Tears Suite

The nonprofit Oxford American (OA), “A Magazine of the South,” is proud to present the world premiere of the No Tears Suite on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the historic Magnolia Mobil Service Station on the campus of Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock, Arkansas (at the intersection of Park Street and W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive). The event is free and open to the public.

The No Tears Suite is a new 30-minute, large ensemble jazz composition inspired by Melba Patillo Beals’s memoir Warriors Don’t Cry, and written in honor of unity for the sixtieth anniversary of the 1957 Central High School desegregation crisis by Little Rock composer and jazz pianist Chris Parker. Joining Parker for the premiere is an ensemble of exceptional regional and national talent, including GRAMMY-winning drummer Brian Blade (Shreveport, LA), New Orleans native bassist Bill Huntington, tenor saxophonist Bobby LaVell (New York City), Memphis-based trumpeter Marc Franklin, alto saxophonist Chad Fowler, vocalist Kelley Hurt, and special guest vocalist/arranger I.J. Routen (Little Rock, AR). In addition to the No Tears Suite, over the course of a 90-minute set, the ensemble will play a variety of Arkansas- and civil rights-inspired jazz tunes, including works by Pharoah Sanders, Sam Rivers, John Stubblefield, and Charles Mingus. From 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., student music ensembles from area high schools and colleges will play on the stage. For more information, visit the Oxford American page.

Kelley Hurt and Chris Parker

Schedule of Bands Playing the Magnolia Mobil Service Station Stage

Saturday, September 23

  • 12:00 p.m: UCA Dixieland Band
  • 1:00 p.m.: Mann Middle School Band
  • 2:00 p.m. Dunbar Magnet Middle School Band
  • 3:00 p.m. North Little Rock High School Band
  • 4:00 p.m. Central High School Band with a newly commissioned piece by CHS Band Director Brice Evans
  • 5:00 p.m. Park View Jazz Band
  • 6:00 p.m. NO TEARS SUITE
  • 7:20 Central High School Corus
  • 7:30 Choristers lead audience to “Imagine If Buildings Could Talk” video premiere

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Gayle Seymour at or call 501-450-3295.