Free to attend
Come together and recenter through the collective healing, love, and nutritional uplift embedded in Black roots music. Join Arizona Arts Live as we welcome jazz musician, creative producer, and racial justice advocate Michael Mwenso for a weeklong artistic residence this fall.
Known for his work as bandleader of Mwenso & The Shakes and co-founder of Electric Root creative agency, Michael Mwenso’s focus on building solidarity and community through music will take him on a journey through the neighborhoods of Southern Arizona. At the core of his work are artist-led ancestral listening sessions. In this joyful and immersive gathering, Michael will create a sense of community and connection by playing recordings of musical forebears that propelled the advancement of human connection and promoting participants to share what they feel and hear in the messages voluntarily. The ancestral listening sessions reinforce Electric Root’s belief that joy and artistry are essential to dismantling systemic oppression.
Electric Root is the only nationwide curator, producer, and facilitator focused exclusively on Black Roots music in the Performing Arts. Co-founded in 2020 by Michael Mwenso and Jono Gasparro, who both bonded over a personal connection with esteemed jazz artist Wynton Marsalis, Electric Root is a product of passion and urgency with a mission to revolutionize how Black music is presented, expose lesser-known artists, decolonize music curriculum, provide artist-led anti-racism training, and heal people.
Michael Mwenso with The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Monday, September 25 | 5:00-7:00 PM
Arizona Arts Live and The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences welcome jazz musician, creative producer, and racial justice, advocate Michael Mwenso for an evening of performance art and community connection at The Dunbar Pavilion. Open to the SBS community; students, faculty, staff, and supporters. Free to attend, registration is required.
Michael Mwenso Ancestral Listening Session
Thursday, September 28 | 5:00-7:00 PM | Centennial Hall
You’re invited to experience music in a new way in this Community Listening Session led by Michael Mwenso of Electric Root and Mwenso & The Shakes. Part listening party, part discussion, part collective celebration, an Ancestral Listening Session is a safe space to experience familiar songs in a new way. We welcome any and all to join us for this radical new event. Space is limited, registration is required.