For her first appearance in Cleveland, the iconoclast Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) joins visionary artists Lonnie Holley, Lee Bains, and Mourning [A] BLKstar for a collaborative performance in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium. While not a concert of the music of Sun Ra, this concert’s title is inspired by his words. This event is free, but a reservation is required.
The music of Moor Mother, Lonnie Holley, Lee Bains, and Mourning [A] BLKstar encompasses elements of free jazz, hip-hop, gospel, and more. Their poetry, improvisation, and cutting-edge musical production techniques are deployed in the service of embracing plurality, liberation, reparative justice, and joy. Respondent to but not mired in the inequities of the past, this is music to challenge and inspire us all.
This concert has been loosely organized around the idea of Afrofuturism, that logic, aesthetic, and mythos that animated so much of Sun Ra’s otherworldly vision. This attitude casts the world into a strange loop where the past and future are put in dialogue to refigure the horizon of the present.
Songwriter, composer, vocalist, poet, and educator Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) spent years organizing and performing in Philadelphia's underground music community. Her most recent record, Jazz Codes (Anti- Records), has been recognized by the New York Times as one of the best of 2022.
Lonnie Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity, producing art and music that create beauty from struggle and hardship. Holley’s drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photography can be found in collections of major museums throughout the country. Similar to his visual art and sculpture, Holley’s music responds to the moment and is often times improvised.
Lee Bains is a poet and singer-songwriter whose work is steeped in the American South.
A multigenerational, gender- and genre-nonconforming amalgam of Black culture, Mourning [A] BLKstar deploys hip-hop production techniques and live instrumentation to create sound worlds that resonate with the pathways and frequencies that have sustained the African diaspora. Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, M[A]B has brought their powerful sound to stages around the US and Europe, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
This concert was organized by AJ Kluth, PhD, a music lover and lecturer in the CWRU Department of Music. It is presented free to the public through the generous contributions of the following:
The Department of Music | Case Western Reserve University
The Center for Popular Music Studies | Case Western Reserve University
Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities | Case Western Reserve University
Writers House and the Department of English | Case Western Reserve University
African and African American Studies | Case Western Reserve University
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Oberlin College and Conservatory
Season or Series: Performing Arts Series 2022–23
The 2022–23 Performing Arts Series is sponsored by the Musart Society. This program is made possible in part by the Ernest L. and Louise M. Gartner Fund, the P. J. McMyler Musical Endowment Fund, and the Anton and Rose Zverina Music Fund.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
Performing arts programs are supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.