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Black History Month at Creative Alliance celebrates Black legends and trailblazers of great significance to the art world. Our lineup includes film, music, dance, and visual arts from contemporary Black performers, artists, and creators who are deeply connected to their roots and committed to keeping the experience of Black legends and ancestors in the foreground of artistic expression.
THU FEB 2 | 7PM
Blackscope Cinema Series: Hargrove
A documentary chronicling the journey of trumpet legend Roy Hargrove’s last year as he embarks on his final European summer tour while reflecting on his life and the wisdom he wants to impart on young musicians. Director Eliane Henri hosts a Q&A after the film.
“It’s a film about artists and for artists in all art forms, not just jazz. It’s about exploitation, about handling your business and not putting all of your work in someone else’s hands. There are issues about drugs, health, management … all of the different kinds of things that artists are up against in their journeys. Yes, Roy is the vehicle for the story. But it’s about much more than just him personally.” – Eliane Henri (Billboard.com)
FRI FEB 17 | 8PM
Country Blues Master Jontavious Willis w/Andrew Alli
Willis grew up singing gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was instantly hooked on the blues. He got his much-needed break from the living legend Taj Mahal in 2015.
“Jontavious Willis. That’s my Wonderboy, the Wunderkind. He’s a great new voice of the 21st Century in the acoustic blues.” – Taj Mahal
Andrew Alli took up music relatively later in life at the age of 20. After being inspired by a busker playing harmonica on the street one day, he hit the local music store and had a harmonica of his own. From that point on, Andrew committed himself to learn the history of the instrument.
“When Alli sings in a deep, rich tenor and plays his fierce harp that cuts straight back to the golden era, everybody looks up at amazement. It is clear that great things are coming for this talented singer and harmonica player” – Living Blues Magazine
FRI FEB 24 | 8PM
Baby Laurence Legacy Project: Baby’s 102nd Birthday Celebration
Tap dancer and vocalist, Brinae Ali, and her bandmates of the Baltimore Jazz Collective celebrate the life and legacy of Baltimore’s greatest tap dancer: Baby Laurence (February 24, 1921-April 2, 1974). Brinae shares works in progress that reimagine his music, as well as original compositions and choreography. Featuring Baltimore Jazz Collective, Eze Jackson, Wendel Patrick, Peabody Tap Ensemble, and more.
The Baby Laurence Legacy Project is supported by NEFA National Dance Project, Johns Hopkins University Billie Holiday Center for Liberation Arts, and Peabody Jazz & BFA Dance Department.
SAT MAR 4 | 8PM
Nina Simone & Miriam Makeba Tribute w/ Akua Allrich
Akua Allrich is a local musical treasure with a massive stage personality and vocal style that is fluid and ever-evolving. Her musical roots run deep into blues, soul, and R&B, with a clear grounding in jazz and Pan-African music. She pays tribute to groundbreaking Black women singer/songwriters and activists Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone.
FEB 10–APR 1
Raktism and Metachaos: Ainsley Burrows Exhibition
Contemporary artist Ainsley Burrows explores the reverberations of a history that continues to affect him, showing how the past is alive and how we must make its legacy visible. The flow of lines—sometimes connecting, sometimes separating—represent the many streams of sudden, painful, and historic phenomena…highways of time.