7 p.m. April 25, 2019
Jesse Auditorium
Purchase tickets online or at the Missouri Theatre Box Office
RSVP on Facebook

Join the Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity for the second-annual Ellington’s Evening of Music and Poetry at 7 p.m. April 25, 2019, in Jesse Auditorium! This year’s event features the multi-talented musician Stokely and includes performances by award-winning poet Paul Tran, MU’s Indie POETS and Play the Part winner Charles Burney. Tickets are available now at the Missouri Theatre Box Office or online through Ticketmaster.


Headshot of Stokely wearing a purple hat and scarf.

The GRAMMY-nominated vocalist, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist is known best as the lead singer and drummer for legendary R&B group Mint Condition. As such, he has crisscrossed the globe, touring with luminaries like Prince, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Alicia Keys.

The world knows Stokley’s enduring collaborations. His 2011 effort with Kelly Price, “Not My Daddy,” earned a GRAMMY nomination. The TV performances alongside Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien and awards shows such as BET Honors and the AMAs. His film scores and catalogue of studio work, a veritable who’s who: Mariah Carey, Usher, Mary J. Blige, and Jill Scott.

Paul Tran

Headshot of Paul Tran in black and white.

Paul Tran is the recipient of the Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Their work appears in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere, including the Netflix movie Love Beats Rhymes, alongside Azealia Banks, Common, and Jill Scott. They are the first Asian American since 1993 to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam, placing top 2 at the National Poetry Slam.


Indie POETS is an organization that aims to positively influence the campus, and the Columbia community by entertaining, encouraging, motivating, and educating to unite diverse backgrounds through the art of poetry, spoken word, music, singing, and songwriting. Through workshops and performances members transform personal narratives to convey social and cultural consciousness to the public.

Performers include Erielle Jones, Mya Pierson, Marcelese Cooper, and Taylor Strode.

Charles Burney

Charles Burney, winner of Play the Part, is a sophomore from Kansas City, Missouri, majoring in Information Technology. He has a passion for singing. During his time at Mizzou he has been a part of Mizzou’s Black Men’s initiative, United Ambassadors, National Society of Black Engineers, Vasey Academy, LBC Gospel Choir, Black Collegians Network, Buckets for change, and will be a 2019 Summer Welcome Leader. Charles is also a fall 18 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc. He loves leaving a positive impact on others and will be showcasing his talent tonight.