The Baltimore Museum of Art will host on Monday, September 21 at 6 p.m., a live-streamed concert, Jazz: The Living Room Session. The concert will feature acclaimed jazz vocalist Akua Allrich, who will perform from the museum’s East Lobby installation Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure.
The installation was designed as a living room with patterns and textures drawn from 1970s and 1980s black culture. The 45-minute concert will be followed by a conversation with Allrich, hosted by Baltimore-based musician Jasmine Pope. The event is pay-what-you-can. All contributions will support the BMA’s efforts to bring innovative programs to audiences at this time. Tickets may be purchased here. A link for the event will be sent to the email address provided with the donation.
Washington, D.C. native Akua Allrich is a musician, vocalist, percussionist, and composer. Allrich’s music is rooted in blues, soul, and R&B, with a grounding in jazz and pan-African music. She describes her music as “jazz plus neo-afro-soul-blues-reggae-funk-rock-folk.” She sings in many languages including Zulu, Xhosa, Portuguese, French, Spanish, and English. Allrich’s music is often likened to legendary artists such as Oscar Brown, Jr., Miriam Makeba, Bob Marley, and Nina Simone. She has released three independently produced albums: A Peace of Mine; Uniquely Standard, Akua Allrich Live!; and Soul Singer. More information can be found at akuaallrich.com.
Jasmine Pope is the singer, emcee, and front-woman of the group “J Pope and the HearNow.” She has been a powerful presence in Baltimore’s music scene for more than a decade. Pope uses jazz, soul, and hip hop to create music rooted in social justice, self-awareness, Blackness, and Queerness. Her latest project with the HearNow is “Soul Searching,” an exploration of navigating change “with your head and your heart intact.” In addition to her work within the Baltimore music scene, Pope also works in the field of public health developing strategies for HIV and STI prevention across the state of Maryland.
Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure is the inaugural Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker Biennial Commission. It is an immersive installation by internationally renowned artist Mickalene Thomas. For the commission, Thomas transformed the museum’s two-floor East Lobby into a living room for Baltimore. He installed a new facade of the exterior that resembles the city’s traditional row houses and re-envisioned the interior with new wallpapers, furniture, carpeting, and other design elements. The geometric patterns, prints, and textures reference the aesthetics of the 1970s and 1980s, particularly the creativity of black culture in the U.S. during that period.