Weekender: Black Voices in Music, Art Featured

Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jazz Singer, at Mondavi

Mike Henderson artwork, "The Cradle"
On view beginning Sunday is “Before the Fire, 1965-1985”: Mike Henderson, “The Cradle,” 1977, oil on canvas, 71 inches by 120 inches. Fine Arts Collection, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Gift courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery. Copyright Mike Henderson. Courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery. (Robert Divers Herrick photo)

Warp Trio: 'Black Voices' at Pitzer concert

Thursday, Jan. 26, 12:05 – 1 p.m, Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert, free

Performers include LiKWUiD, spoken word; Josh Henderson, violin, bass, guitar; Ju-Young “J.Y.” Lee, cello; Mikael Darmanie, piano; and Rick Martinez, drums.

Black Voices is an original concert program that integrates classical, jazz, hip-hop, and spoken word

Black Voices is an original concert program that integrates classical, jazz, hip-hop, and spoken word — sounds and poetry created by African-American artists — in an effort to lift up lesser-known contributions that define the multifaceted culture of the United States. Featuring the award-winning artist LiKWuiD, the program utilizes poetry of Langston Hughes, Ntozake Shange, and Maya Angelou. It also features original spoken word material, set against music by Duke Ellington, William Grant Still, Harry Burleigh and original compositions by Warp Trio members. 

The program includes Harry Burleigh: Southland Sketch No. 1, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River, Jessie Montgomery: Rhapsody No. 1 for Solo Violin, Abel Meeropol / Billie Holiday: Strange Fruit, Thelonious Monk: Ruby My Dear, Duke Ellington: Black and Tan Fantasy.

Three men in dark clothing
Warp Trio (Courtesy photo)

Described as “a talented group that exemplifies the genre-obliterating direction of contemporary classical music” (Columbia Free Times), Warp Trio is an internationally touring cross-genre chamber music experience. Reflecting the combination of Juilliard-trained members juxtaposed with members steeped in rock and jazz styles, the one-of-a-kind trio (that even has a fourth member!) can be seen performing classical works in prestigious halls on the same tour where they headline a standing room only show at a rock venue. In addition to their electrifying public performances, they have gained a reputation for their innovative educational workshops with students from grade school through university level.  

Maintaining a busy performance schedule, Warp has performed hundreds of concerts across the United States, in addition to tours throughout The United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, West Africa, and the Caribbean. Highlights of recent seasons include headlining performances at The LEM Festival for Experimental Music in Barcelona, and the Omaha Under the Radar Festival, being featured guests at the 2020 MASA Jazz Festival in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and the sold-out world premiere of their Triple Concerto for Piano Trio and Orchestra with the New York City-based Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. They have been one of the honored recipients of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, and in the 2020 season, they were the recipients of the Chamber Music America Ensemble Forward and Classical Commissioning grants. More here.

Cécile McLorin Salvant Quintet at Mondavi

Friday, Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m., Jackson Hall

The program features Cécile McLorin Salvant (photographed below), vocals; Sullivan Fortner, piano; Marvin Sewell, guitars; Alexa Tarantino, flutes; and Keita Ogawa, percussion.

Dark-complected woman on green background will perform at Mondavi

Last we saw Cécile McLorin Salvant, one of the great jazz singers, she held a Jackson Hall audience captive with her majestic song cycle Ogresse. It would be the last performance before the Mondavi Center shut down for a 19-month, pandemic-related pause. Now the singer returns with Ghost Song, a remarkable album born during the pandemic, on which Salvant interprets songs from Kate Bush, Gregory Porter alongside her stunning original compositions. It’s another reminder that Salvant is an artist whose voice and artistry continue to grow with every new step she takes. “People think that I sing love songs, but more and more I’m realizing that I sing about yearning and the imagination that comes from wanting something and not having it,” says Salvant.  “That’s really when we’re at our most creative.” 

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Winter Season Celebration at Manetti Shrem Sunday, Jan. 29

Sunday, 2:30 – 5 p.m., with a featured conversation at 3:30 p.m., Manetti Shrem, free

Celebrate the museum’s new season and Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson’s return to campus with the public opening of Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985. Led by UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May, the homecoming festivities honor Henderson's contributions to painting, film, music and teaching, and feature a special conversation between the artist and Chancellor May.

Mike Henderson environmental, UC Davis faculty
Mike Henderson

Winter exhibitions include Loie Hollowell: Tick Tock Belly Clock, Roy De Forest: Habitats for Travelers and Selections from the Manetti Shrem Museum.

Mike Henderson: Before the Fire, 1965–1985 at Manetti Shrem

On view Jan. 30 – June 25

UC Davis Professor Emeritus Mike Henderson’s first solo U.S. museum exhibition in 20 years brings to light the pioneering artist’s rarely seen contributions to the history of contemporary painting and filmmaking, radical Black politics, and to the story of California art. The exhibition integrates paintings and films by Henderson that offer new ideas about Black life in the visual languages of protest, Afro-futurism and surrealism. Challenging the protocols and propriety of art-making in the 20th century, these works depict scenes of anti-Black violence as well as utopian visions and questions of self-making. Curated by Sampada Aranke (Ph.D. ’13) and Dan Nadel. Read the full story here.

Student compositions premiere in Bay Area concerts

Doctoral students Dean Kervin Boursiquot and Trey Makler will have compositions premiered by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble on Jan. 29 and 30 in the Bay Area.

Diptich of dark-complected man and light-complected man

Boursiquot’s Hammered and Makler’s get-together are included in a concert titled “Wild Music,” which also includes Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (arr. for 4 hands) and Leoš Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path, Series 1.

Performances are scheduled for Jan. 29 in Berkeley and Jan. 30 in San Francisco. For complete information visit the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble website

Makler’s composition is also being performed as part of a special preview on Jan. 28 in Walnut Creek. Information is available on the Left Coast website.

Profs Shiva Ahmadi and Darrin Martin at Saint Joseph’s Arts Society

Works by professors Darrin Martin and Shiva Ahmadi will be on view through March 31 at the Saint Joseph’s Arts Society

Ahmadi will present “Unbound,” which features a variety of mediums, including watercolor painting, sculpture, and digital animation drawing inspiration from Persian, Indian and Middle Eastern art. 

“Along the Perimeter” by Martin is a 30-minute documentation of a two- channel live cinema event which captured recordings made at the start of the pandemic lockdown in Martin’s home and studio.

Coming Up

Bacchetto / Sabey Duo

Feb. 2, 12:05 – 1 p.m., Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center, free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert

The Bacchetto / Sabey Duo is a collaborative project of San Francisco-based composer-performers Nick Bacchetto and Ben Sabey. The duo creates new spatial audio works for piano and a custom modular analog synthesizer controlled by an MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) instrument.

The program includes Nick Bacchetto: Ratios, Olivier Messiaen: Feuillets inédits, and Benjamin Sabey: The Wine-Dark Sea

Ben Sabey is a composer of chamber, orchestral, and electronic music, lately specializing in expressive polyphonic control of analog synthesis and spatialization. Nick Bacchetto is a composer and pianist whose creative works derive from a tension between algorithmic and intuitive composition, and explore concepts such as fractal geometry and natural selection.

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