Tomorrow night the Weill Music Institute, the education and social impact arm of Carnegie Hall, will present AfroCosmicMelatopia, a showcase of original music, art and poetry.
Part of Carnegie Hall’s citywide Afrofuturism festival and featuring young artists and creators from the institute, the program will be performed in person and also livestreamed on Carnegie Hall’s website, Facebook and YouTube channels. It also will subsequently be available for on-demand viewing on Carnegie Hall’s website.
Anchoring the showcase will be Mwenso and the Shakes, which has been described as a “troupe of global artists presenting music that merges entertainment and artistry”
The nearly 20 performances on the program will encompass a wide variety of styles, including electronic, pop, digital art, R&B, soul, spoken word and jazz, and explore themes such as technology, self-expression, identity, heroism, love, freedom, celebration of beauty and a future in which people of color thrive in all spaces and realms.
Among the composers whose works will be performed are participants in Future Music Project, a WMI program for teens to create, perform and produce original music, and participants in a music educators workshop and NeON Arts, which offers young people in seven New York City communities the chance to explore the arts through a variety of creative projects. Additional songwriters/performers will include men who participate in Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and alums of National Youth Orchestra of the United States and NYO Jazz, two of Carnegie Hall’s three national youth ensembles for outstanding teen musicians from across the U.S.
AfroCosmicMelatopia is one of many Afrofuturism-themed events from WMI throughout the 2021– 2022 season. Journey Into AfroCosmicMelatopia on March 25 will be soundtracked by the futuristic sounds of leading DJs, including DJ Reborn and DJ mOma, and will celebrate the work of creators from the WMI community and the multidisciplinary nature of Afrofuturism, including turntablism and digital architecture. Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber will lead a free workshop for six rising musicians, ages 18–35, from March 31–April 3; the group also will perform in Zankel Hall on April 3. And on April 10 children ages five and up and their adults will be able to explore the idea of Afrofuturism in a day-long open house in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing.
WMI’s public offerings and programming are part of Carnegie Hall’s Afrofuturism festival, presented from February–March, 2022, exploring Afrofuturism’s boundless sonic essence through jazz, funk, R&B, Afrobeat, hip-hop, electronic music and more. In addition to performances by celebrated musicians including Flying Lotus, Sun Ra Arkestra with Kelsey Lu and Moor Mother, Nicole Mitchell and Angel Bat Dawid, Chimurenga Renaissance and Fatoumata Diawara, Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble and Theo Croker, the festival also features events, exhibitions, performances and talks offered by over 70 leading cultural and academic organizations.