N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art to host performance by celebrated Detroit composer Pamela Wise

Staff Pick


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For more than three decades, Afrocentric composer Pamela Wise has dedicated herself to expanding the breadth of traditional African music by giving it what she calls a “Detroit spin.”

The 2016 Kresge Arts awardee draws from personal experiences and current events, and, much of the time, she makes music that pays homage to her ancestors through Afro-Cuban beats, jazz elements, and storytelling. Though she often can hear in her mind an entire composition intended for seven to eight players all at once, and has even admitted to keeping a keyboard under her bed for when inspiration strikes, Wise is a true collaborator. For this performance, she’ll be joined by percussionist Chi Amen Ra and South African saxophonist Salim Washington. Also on the bill are Louis M. Jones III, as well as a dance performance by Candice Johnson paired with spoken word by Mbiyu Chui.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, at N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art; 52 E. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-8700; nnamdicenter.org. Tickets are $25-$35.

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