about jim crow's tears
Jim Crow’s Tears allows you a glimpse into a tortured soul. From slavery with its dehumanization to Minstrel Shows and its degradation, this musical transports you back in time when finding one's autonomy was an anomaly. It will make you cry. It will make you angry. It will make you laugh. Mostly, it will make you think.
This album takes all the negative stereotypes forced upon a people, blows them up and exposes their absurdity. It speaks to the mistreatment of a people who helped to build a nation, only to be discarded socially and legally generation after generation.
Through one man’s tears you will be enlightened to the struggle. You will be hopeful for the future. You will be grateful for him and the progress made. You will be educated on work still to come, and how people are still contributing to the problem. Come along this journey with Kris Johnson and experience Jim Crow’s Tears.
--- past shows ---
March 10, 2017 :: Rose Wagner Theater :: Salt City, UT
January 7, 2017 :: Michiko's Studios :: New York, NY
April 14, 2014 :: Charles Wright Museum of African American History :: Detroit, MI
December 12, 2007 :: Hope United Methodist Church :: Southfield, MI
March 4, 2007 :: Michigan State University :: East Lansing, MI
News & Updates
Les Roka REVIEW
December 13, 2016
"Jim Crow’s Tears emerges as a masterful exemplar championing jazz not as a racial but as a cultural phenomenon. Johnson is astonishing in his depth and ease at writing jazz music that echoes virtually every point of its historical development. Just as he is inspired by Lee’s Bamboozled, Johnson also is compelled to find the light above the gray haze and forbidding clouds of today’s difficult, profound disturbances of race and culture."
James Nadal REVIEW
November 10, 2016
"Composed and arranged by trumpeter Kris Johnson, Jim Crow's Tears is a serious, thought provoking musical, which presents the story of Lucius Purifoy, a slave turned blackface minstrel, who reflects upon his life, and comes to a startling revelation, while waiting in the wings, as Jim Crow, for the show to go on. Johnson utilizes all the classic characters of minstrelsy as Tambo, Bones, Mulatto, Jezebel, and the evil Massa, all intertwined in a dramatic depiction of bitter lessons culled from the past, where art imitates life."