Black History Month is a time set aside to acknowledge the significant influence of Black people on US history and culture. And there are a LOT of events to choose from this month. We’re breaking it down week by week, sharing some of the most promising offerings in the Twin Cities.
While the headliner for this Minnesota Orchestra concert is Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, we’re interested in one of the opening acts. Conductor Ruth Reinhardt and Saxophonist Steven Banks will make their debuts to showcase American composer and Jazz Pianist Billy Childs’ recently premiered Diaspora. The work, co-commissioned by the Orchestra, incorporates poets such as Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, and highlights Black experiences in America.
It’s worth noting that composer Billy Childs has five Grammy Awards and 16 Grammy nominations. In addition to being an accomplished saxophonist and composer, Steven Banks is an advocate for diversity in music education, and an ambassador for the classical saxophone.
Feb 10: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Makers Market
An exclusively Black-owned makers market highlighting Black-owned businesses, and promoting Black joy in our local community. The market takes place on Saturday, February 10 from noon-10 p.m. at 56 Brewing in Northeast Minneapolis. This event is all-ages, and will offer food and nonalcoholic drinks for purchase.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida American hip-hip duo, Kevin Sylvester and Wilner Baptiste, are two classically trained string instrumentalists who will play popular hip-hop songs on their violins at the State Theatre on Saturday, February 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase.
Feb 14: Black and Belonging
A community discussion held in collaboration with the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County employees around belonging to a collective and creating welcoming spaces where we all belong. The event takes place 12-1:30 p.m at the City of Minneapolis Public Service Building, Conference Room 100. Virtual engagement is available on Youtube.