Capital One City Parks Foundation Summer Stage Anywhere presents – Michael Mwenso: Hope, Resist & Heal

FEBRUARY 17, 2021 – NEW YORK, NY – Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Anywhere is continuing their Black History Month celebrations and commemorative performances throughout February, with an exclusive presentation of Michael Mwenso: Hope, Resist & Heal, Performance and Conversation with Shannon Effinger, in association with New York Music Month Extended Play, an initiative of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Entertainment on Thursday, February 25 at 7:00 PM ET. The event will stream on SummerStageAnywhere.org and across SummerStage socials: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
Musician, artist and social commentator Michael Mwenso will offer his unique and ancestral perspective on Black music and its power to heal us. As an African-born queer man growing up in London and New York, Mwenso will dive into a wide range of his own discoveries while shedding light on the Black experience through interludes of his music. A live studio recording performance with his group, Mwenso and the Shakes, a multicultural New York jazz group will be paired with an intimate conversation with arts journalist Shannon Effinger (New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR Music, Pitchfork) focusing on the continuum and power of Black roots music.
Michael Mwenso was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone but spent his teenage years at the legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s in London where he was exposed to musicians like Benny Carter, Elvin Jones, Ray Brown and Billy Higgins. In his youth, Mwenso started honing his talents as a trombonist, singer and performer playing in jump bands, reggae and Afrobeat horn sections and at hard-bop sessions. Mwenso’s talent as a young performer led him to meet James Brown, who featured Mwenso in his London shows. In 2012, friend and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis brought Mwenso to New York City to serve as a curator and programming associate at Jazz at Lincoln Center where he also booked nightly sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Over the next few years, Mwenso worked with the likes of musicians Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jon Batiste, Aaron Diehl, Sullivan Fortner and Jamison Ross. Through these performances, Mwenso began his collaboration of Juilliard trained musicians known as The Shakes. This unique group of artists hailing from Sierra Leone, South Africa, Madagascar, London, France, Jamaica and Hawaii present music that merges entertainment and artistry with a formidable timeline of jazz and blues through African and Afro-American music.
Shannon Ali (Shannon J. Effinger) has been a freelance arts journalist for over a decade. Her writing on jazz and music regularly appears in Pitchfork, Bandcamp, Jazziz, and NPR Music. In Fall 2020, her arts coverage expanded to The New York Times and The Washington Post.Recently, she made her cinematic debut as a featured critic in the documentary “Universe”, the rediscovered orchestral suite by Wayne Shorter, written more than 50 years ago for Miles Davis, and left unrecorded and largely untouched until it was revisited by Davis’ protégé, the late trumpeter Wallace Roney.
SummerStage Anywhere will be also presenting an additional performance to celebrate Black History Month this week:
  February 18: The Rewind: A Celebration of Black Culture featuring highlights from the 2020 SummerStage Anywhere Season with an introduction by Greg Tate (encore on SummerStageAnywhere.org) at 7:00 PM ET. This roundup will feature a highlight reel of Black music and dance artists including Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, Shabaka Hutchings, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and many more from our first-ever all-digital SummerStage season with a special introduction by Harlem-based journalist and Black Rock Coalition co-founder, Greg Tate.
Following in March will be a celebration of Women’s History Month. On March 4,  SummerStage Anywhere presents The Rewind: a celebration of Women’s History Month with an introduction by President and CEO of New Music USA, Vanessa Reed, who initiated the international Keychange campaign in response to the gender gap in music. This performance will feature diverse highlights from multiple genres of female performing artists during the 2020 season of SummerStage Anywhere. RISING TIDES, a celebration of International Women’s Day will premiere on March 8 in celebration of International Women’s Day in association with Consulate General of Canada in New York, New York Music Month Extended Play, an initiative of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Entertainment and four/four presents. This music and dance presentation features a new generation of women leaders with a rebroadcast of “Becoming Mother Duende: An Ode to New York” by social engagement performance artist Arielle Rosales and the world premiere of “four/four presents: All That I Am” featuring new music by La Force (AKA Ariel Engle, vocalist and newest member of critically-acclaimed indie collective Broken Social Scene) and dancers from Canada and the United States, celebrating the strength, beauty, and power of women working together to lead us in the present and into the future.
All performances will be streamed on SummerStageAnywhere.org and all SummerStage social channels (InstagramYouTube, Facebook, and Twitch).
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is a proud member of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).
SummerStage Social Media
Twitter: @SummerStage
Facebook: SummerStageNYC
Instagram: @SummerStage
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Official Hashtags: #SummerStage #SummerStageAnywhere
Capital One is the title sponsor of Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Anywhere. Supporting Sponsors Bloomberg Philanthropies, Nestle Water (Perrier).
Generous private support is provided by The Thompson Family Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and The Shubert Organization. SummerStage is also supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the NYC Council under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson including Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Council Member Mark Levine, Council Member Bill Perkins, Council Member Carlina Rivera, Council Member Helen Rosenthal, and Council Member Rafael Salamanca. Additional support is generously provided by our dedicated SummerStage Members.
In all of its programming and activities, City Parks Foundation partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to activate neighborhood parks.
About City Parks Foundation
At City Parks Foundation, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community building and education programs for all New Yorkers. Our programs — located in more than 400 parks, recreation centers and public schools across New York City –reach 300,000 people each year. Our ethos is simple: thriving parks mean thriving communities.
About SummerStage
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents approximately 100 performances in 15-18 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin, world music, dance, and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception 35 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. In 2020, Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage Anywhere was launched in response to the global pandemic, presenting 80 free digital performances, spanning all genres, available to all around the world. Capital One is the Title Sponsor of SummerStage. For more information, visit www.SummerStage.org.
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $249.8 billion in deposits and $372.5 billion in total assets as of December 31, 2018. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has branches located primarily in New York, Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index. Visit the Capital One newsroom for more Capital One news.