Mwenso & The Shakes

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Mwenso & The Shakes

FRI SEP 9 | 7PM & 9:30PM (Two Shows)
$21, $18 (+$3 service fee)

Mwenso & The Shakes are an irrepressible musical force of global artists who merge a formidable timeline of jazz and blues expression through African and Afro-American music. Immigrating from Sierra Leone, London, South Africa, Greenwich Village, Madagascar, France, Jamaica, and Hawaii the Shakes all now call Harlem their home. Taking from the stylings of Fats Waller, Muddy Waters, James Brown, Sun Ra, Randy Weston, and many other American musical legends, the group is best experienced live. Now, after touring the world and building a fan base, all without a recording, they have decided to finally capture their inimitable live show back where they feel most at home, at Creative Alliance.

Led by Sierra Leone-born, London-raised, and New York-based frontman and ring leader, Michael Mwenso, who the New York Times calls “a fervid vocalist and full-bore entertainer”, Mwenso & The Shakes take a past meets future meets distant future approach to jazz. As Mwenso states in a recent JazzTimes article, “We’ve figured out how to play funk grooves and African music in a way that still holds up the deepest elements of jazz and swing,” he said. “Joy is the human element of swing; jazz that isn’t joyful is just something else that’s happening. We’re trying to fulfill the spirit of Louis Armstrong and those people, we want to protect what they held up, and guard it and bow and give reverence to them—but also to be free within ourselves.” This freedom shines in their live show- a revue that includes tap dance, multiple vocalists (including the brilliant Vuyo Satashe), a full horn section and a rock-solid rhythm section.

FRI SEP 9 | 7PM & 9:30PM (Two Shows) | $21, $18 MEMBERS (+$3 service fee) 

Watch this event online live on September 9th  by purchasing a $12 virtual stream ticket here:


Covid Safety Policy (as of March 4, 2022)

Amidst the ongoing effects of COVID-19, we continue to prioritize the health and well-being of staff, artists, youth, audiences, and our community. We are committed to following Baltimore City public health guidelines as we rehire, train, and work towards a full reopening in the fall. Thank you for bearing with us!

Vaccination Status:

  • All patrons ages 12+ visiting Creative Alliance for performances, screenings, workshops, other theater-based gatherings, gallery openings, or events in the lobby are required to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19. Proof of vaccination may include a physical card, a photo of a complete vaccination card, or digital immunization records. All patrons over the age of 18 will be asked to show a photo ID with their vaccination card.
  • Patrons that are not vaccinated are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test completed within 48 hours of the event time. All patrons over the age of 18 will be asked to show a photo ID with their test results.


  • Creative Alliance strongly recommends that visitors continue wearing masks in the building to protect staff, volunteers, artists, and vulnerable members of our community. Creative Alliance staff and volunteers will continue wearing masks in the building to help keep our community safe. 
  • Visitors are strongly encouraged to wear facial masks regardless of vaccination status. Creative Alliance recommends that masks be worn at all times unless actively eating or drinking and be replaced when not eating or drinking. 
  • Creative Alliance may still require masks at certain events or performances based on artists’ requests. Patrons should continue checking our website or contact the Box Office for information about specific events.


  • Our bar will be open and beverages will be available for purchase and consumption prior to and during theater-based events. Outside food and drink are prohibited.


  • Events will be at full capacity. We are a small venue and physical distancing will be very limited.  For theater-based events, you will likely have fellow audience members sitting directly next to, in front of, and behind you, at a distance of less than 6 feet.

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