Part of Harlem Week
Vocalist and bandleader Michael Mwenso and pianist and composer Mathis Picard lead a musical journey through the sounds and history of Harlem. With an emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance and the great musicians who embodied that movement, the duo offer an inspired lecture-demonstration at once illuminating and delightful.
About the Artist
Michael Mwenso was born in 1984 in Sierra Leone and began singing and playing piano after he moved to London as a young child. At 16 years old, Michael began leading his own bands and performing with local jazz groups in various parts of the world. In late 2010, Wynton Marsalis invited him to join the programming team at Jazz at Lincoln Center and head the After-Hours program at Dizzy’s Club. During this time, he formed Mwenso & the Shakes, a unique troupe of global artists who present music that merges the highest forms of entertainment and artistry, while commanding a formidable breadth of jazz and blues expression through African and African-American music. Immigrating from Sierra Leone, London, South Africa, Greenwich Village, Madagascar, France, Jamaica, and Hawaii, the Shakes all now call Harlem their home. Through their unique perspectives and style influences, the group delivers an electrifying musical experience.
For family audiences, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is teaming up with a remarkable group of artists who will bring world-class performances and diverse musical perspectives straight from their homes to yours. We’re excited to share these short performances recorded by the artists themselves with your family at home.