Cultural Confluence at Smart Museum of Art

EXPO ART WEEK kicked off with an evening of overlapping receptions and programming, ending at the Smart with a special celebration of The Time Is Now! Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960–1980. This special event took place on September 25, 2018. 

The party features the live collaborative performance “Cultural Confluence” from Douglas R. Ewart’s Nyahbingi Drum Choir and Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Project that blends global traditions into a unique confluence of concepts and cultures that represent now and the future. The multidimensional, intergenerational performance draws on rhythmic traditions from Africa, the Caribbean, and East Asia and adds in song, poetry, dance, and multi-media.

The performance is organized by artist and multi-instrumentalist Douglas R. Ewart, former chair of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and features: Leon Q. Allan (trumpet), Dee Alexander (vocal), Kioto Aoki (taiko, bass and shamisen), Tatsu Aoki (shamisen, bass, and taiko), Baba Raymond Beans (funde and percussion), Mwata Bowden (winds and percussion), Paul Cotton (funde, repeater, djun djun), Coco Elysses (percussion), Douglas R. Ewart (bass drum, repeater, funde, and winds), Sandra Jackson-Opoku (poet), Jamie Kempkers (cello), Keith McEachron (bass drum, repeater, funde, and vocals), Kiyomi Negi, Nicole Nolan (choreographer and dancer), Lela Pierce (choreographer and dancer), Clifton Robinson (repeater, djembe, djun djun, and funde), Noriko Sugiyama, Taiga Ultan (choreographer and dancer), Aliya Kadisha Ultan-Milat-Meyer, and Floyd Webb (multi-media).