This Friday, May 10, The Jazz Gallery welcomes vibraphonist Nikara Warren back to our stage for the second installment of her Political Gangster Trilogy. Back in April, Warren focused on the music of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Charles Mingus, but for this show, Warren will convene her Black Wall Street project. Black Wall Street is named for the affluent black neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma that was burned to the ground during the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, but for Warren, the project name isn’t meant to evoke the violence of that event. As she described in a recent interview with Jazz Speaks:
I didn’t want to focus on the negative, especially with Black Wall Street name—I actually had a pretty famous trumpet player say to me, [laughs] “Why you highlightin’ that? That’s a Klan job.” And I decided to explain to him, “nah, I’m not highlighting what happened—I’m highlighting what was, what was before.” And hopefully bringing some historical knowledge to people that are like, oh, what’s Black Wall Street? Why’d she call it that? And trying to keep my eye on the excellence portion of this, and that’s why I grabbed from all these amazing parts of Black American music. And I shouldn’t really even say Black American music—I should just say Black music. There’s a lot of African influence in there too, and Latin America.
Before coming to the Gallery to hear Warren’s potent synthesis of historic and contemporary black musics, check out Black Wall Street’s recent performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Nikara Warren’s Black Wall Street plays The Jazz Gallery on Friday, May 10, 2019. The group features Ms. Warren on vibes & vocals, Hailey Niswanger on saxophone, Steven Fowler on trumpet, Paul Wilson on keyboards, Corey Sanchez on guitar, Diego Ramirez on drums, and a bassist TBA. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $20 general admission ($10 for members), $30 reserved cabaret seating ($20 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.