The Illinois State School of Music and Colors International will present “Black Music: A Showcase and Community Sing,” on March 28.
The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Kemp Recital Hall at ISU.
The event is free and open to the public.
Professor of music Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum, Ph.D, said several different musical genres and sounds will fill the recital hall. She said the event will be unlike any other musical event the college has hosted in the past.
“This is the first of its kind here at ISU,” Aduonum said.
“A lot of the music will be performed by ISU students. Black music is more than notes; it is a holistic art form involving spoken word, storytelling, movement, notes and tones, art, signifying, etc.”
She said guests can expect to see a DJ from Decatur who will feature a hip-hop segment. There will be work songs, gospel music and spirituals, jazz, African drumming, praise dancing, jazz dance, spoken word and much more.
Aduonum’s teaching assistants Dyrell Ashley and Gavin Glickley, both assisted with organizing the event.
Aduonum added that the event aims to “celebrate the creativity and resilience within [the] black community.” She said guests will learn and experience how people of African descent have used music to survive, celebrate, worship, empower, resist and heal through their music.
“Guests will have the opportunity to listen to, watch and sing some of the songs that are showcased,” she said.
“The audience will leave with much appreciation and understanding of the power of black music. The audience should expect to be energized and empowered, prepared to sing, clap, snap their fingers, move their bodies and try a rapping exercise.”
Aduonum explained the significance of an event such as this one.
“Black music has defined what American music and world music is today,” she said. “From jazz, blues, reggae, calypso, hip-hop, black music informs music around the world.
“The sound world [would] be different without black music, as it informs every genre of music. From its Africanist aesthetics roots of combining sounds, instruments and performance, this music continues to inspire artists from all over. This music can simply not be ignored. Black music matters to all of us.”