PEMBROKE — Sociology, social work, history and psychology have been the traditional vehicles for discussing social justice, but two musicians have found an outlet for bringing the message home another way.
Blues musicians and educators Scott Ainslie and Reggie Harris are stopping at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Givens Performing Arts Center on Friday to present their show, “How We Got Here.” The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $1 for any student with a school ID.
Seating is limited to about 150 for this unique, intimate performance. Call 910-521-6361 to make reservations.
Ainslie and Harris met years ago while teaching courses at Warren Wilson College in Asheville. Since then, they have teamed up to present a free-flowing dialogue of music rooted in blues and spirituals that explores topics of social justice.
“A musical and cultural dialogue about the present has to include the past,” Ainslie said. “We are both committed to a kind and open-eyed examination of that past as a means to a more just, fair and compassionate present and future.”
The two musicians have known each other for the better part of 15 years, according to Harris, but it wasn’t until recently that they began working together.
“We have managed to address many of the same historical and cultural focus points along the way. This has allowed us to accumulate a wealth of material that has great synergy, even in our different styles,” Harris said. “But the connection points are right there because there is a great deal of spiritual resonance in what we do and how we do it.”
Harris describes their show much like their friendship.
“Our audiences can expect to see two musicians who are committed to an open, honest engagement of music and friendship that has at its center, a deep love of history and people. We stand together in that knowledge that music has power and has been either a catalyst or the record of note in so much of the human experience.”
The concert is sponsored by Givens Performing Arts Center, Jumbo Arts International and the UNCP Office of Diversity and Inclusion. It is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Robeson County Arts Council.