Denver, CO – Music in Common announces the Denver launch of The Black Legacy Project, a musical celebration of Black history to advance racial solidarity, equity, and belonging. The Black LP is a national project produced in partnership with community stakeholders at the local level. As it travels the country, the Black LP brings together Black and White artists and artists of ALL backgrounds to record present day interpretations of songs central to the Black American experience and compose originals relevant to the pressing calls for change of our time. Community roundtable discussions help inform how these songs are interpreted and written.
After more than a year of development in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, The Black Legacy Project kicked off in September 2021 in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. The Project is traveling to Atlanta, Los Angeles, the Mississippi Delta, Denver, the Ozarks, and Boise in 2022 – 2023, hitting Denver September 6 – 11 with events and programs for musicians and non-musicians alike.
In each community the Black LP travels to, songs addressing a theme connected to the local community are reimagined and composed. The selected theme for Denver is “Walking in my Shoes”, which addresses the importance of walking in the shoes of “the other” in order to build bridges across racial divides and stop interracial violence. The theme will be explored by examining and reinterpreting the songs “The Klan,” and “The Ballad of the Walking Postman,” both recorded by Walt Conley, a Black man who is considered by many to be the founding father of the Denver folk scene. Community members will analyze the lyrics of these songs in round table discussions to help inform how they are musically reinterpreted by local musicians. The roundtable will take place on Tuesday September 6th at 7PM. Registration is required. Location will be announced upon registration.
Following the roundtable discussion, local artists will spend several days working up new arrangements of these songs as well as composing an original. The songs will be recorded and the project will culminate with a free performance at Swallow Hill Music in South Denver on Sunday September 11th at 7PM. The event will include a screening of the Black Legacy Project documentary short and conclude with a talk back with Project co-directors and musicians.
Dzirae Gold, Sarah Rose, Lee Clark Allen, and Martin Gilmore will serve as the musical co-directors of the Denver project and are just a few of the many local artists the project will feature. A full line up will be announced on September 6th. Musicians interested in participating can audition online.
“We are excited and honored to bring this meaningful project to Denver to explore the complex history of race relations through the power of music”, states Black LP local coordinator, Shawn Bosley.
The Black LP Denver is supported by a long list of local partners including Super Fan sponsors Swallow Hill Music and the Colorado Sun as well as Friend sponsors MCA Denver and Xcel Energy. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
The Black Legacy Project is produced by Music in Common, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that strengthens, empowers, and connects communities through the universal language of music.. Since 2005, Music In Common has directly served thousands of people in more than 300 communities across the globe and across religious, ethnic, cultural, and racial axes. The organization was founded by singer-songwriter and producer Todd Mack in response to the murder of his friend and bandmate, Daniel Pearl, the Wall St. Journal reporter abducted by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002.