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Cotton Club to offer musical journey from Harlem Renaissance to today

Latrina Denson, program coordinator, Housing Division


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Cotton Club, an annual variety show including dancing, singing, hip-hop, poetry and comedy, will take place at 7 p.m. March 5 (Saturday) at Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

The comedian J.J. Williamson, who appeared in the movie “Johnson Family Vacation,” is the featured entertainer in this year’s event.

The theme of this year’s Cotton Club is “Escape to Harlem on the Soul Train.” Entertainers will take the audience on a journey through music history, from the Harlem Renaissance to 2005, with a tribute to “Soul Train,” a weekly TV series that had its start more than 35 years ago on a Chicago television station.

Cotton Club is sponsored by the Central Black Student Union at the University of Illinois. Formed in 1970, the CBSU is dedicated to promoting and supporting African-American students at the U. of I. and in the community. The event honors African-American artists such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Lena Horne by showcasing the talent of U. of I. students and new artists from the Champaign-Urbana community.