Lava Thomas, Clouds of Joy, 2021, tambourines, leather, suede, acrylic mirror, blue acrylic discs, ribbon, 48 x 137 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery

Jazz and the Gospel

with Daniel E. Walker, Ashon T. Crawley, Dario Robleto, Norman Teague, and Folayemi [Fo] Wilson
Online Event
Saturday, May 1, 2021
12:00 pm –  1:30 pm

From jazz musicians such as Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, the music of the Black church has influenced many musicians in the genre. Specifically for jazz, gospel music and its origins in the church bring influences, such as improvisation, into the experience of jazz music and immersion of sound and culture. Artists Ashon T. Crawley, Dario Robleto, Norman Teague, and Folayemi [Fo] Wilson all incorporate aspects of jazz in their work and will discuss the influence it has in their practice in this panel discussion. Moderating the conversation will be historian Daniel E. Walker, an acclaimed historian, philanthropist, social entrepreneur, and entertainment industry leader.

Daniel E. Walker is a highly sought after public speaker, his work in the fields of arts and entertainment, education, academia, religion and community empowerment, is centered on a search for beauty and truth. He served as a research associate with the Center for Religion and Civic Culture until 2012. He is now Board Chair of the BLU Educational Foundation, and the President/CEO of Perfect Works, a consulting firm that uses history, faith, education, and the arts to bring progressive change to the world.

Ashon T. Crawley is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. He is author of Blackpentecostal Breath: The Aesthetics of Possibility (Fordham University Press), an investigation of aesthetics and performance as modes of collective, social imagination and The Lonely Letters, an exploration of the interrelation of blackness, mysticism, quantum mechanics and love, to be published with Duke University Press in 2020. He is currently working on a third book, tentatively titled Made Instrument, about the role of the Hammond Organ in the institutional and historic Black Church, in Black sacred practice and in Black social life more broadly. His art practice encompasses performance based painting, digital media, 3D design and textiles. All his work is about otherwise possibility.

Dario Robleto is a transdisciplinary artist, citizen-scientist, researcher, writer and teacher based in Houston, Texas. Throughout his twenty-year career, Robleto has sought to cultivate rigorous, mutually transformative interactions between the arts, humanities, and sciences. Tapping into multiple creative traditions ranging from astrophysics to paleontology to poetry to DJ culture, his work has focused with particular intensity on theories and practices of recording and on the material and emotional structures of intergenerational relay and memory.

Norman Teague is a Chicago based designer and educator focused on projects and pedagogy that address the systematic complexity of urbanism and the culture of communities. Specializing in custom furniture that delivers a personal touch to a specific user topped unique aesthetic detail. Teague’s past projects have included consumer products, public sculpture, performances, and specially designed retail spaces. Working with common, locally sourced building materials and local fabricators to create objects and spaces that explore simplicity, honesty, cleverness and relates to the culture of the client and/or community.

Folayemi [Fo] Wilson is an object and image maker whose work celebrates the Black imagination as a technology of resistance and self-determination. Her work explores the Black Atlantic experience though sculptural and multimedia installations presenting speculative fictions that reference history, integrating inspiration from American vernacular architecture, literature and science fiction, using original sculpture, found objects, archival media, sound and video. Her process utilizes training in art history and critical theory employing the archive and other research methodologies to mine history for use as material in her creative practice.

We will send you the Zoom details two days before the event.