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Hummingbirds and Orchids Martin Johnson Heade
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Hummingbirds and Orchids (47.36) — Martin Johnson Heade

Black History Month Programs at the DIA

Saturday, February 01, 2014 – Friday, February 28, 2014

The DIA is offering a selection of special programs in celebration of Black History Month. The programs include films, storytellers, music and more.
 
SUNDAY MUSIC BAR
SEAN DOBBINS

Sunday, February 2, 1 p.m., Lecture Hall
Drummer Sean Dobbins’ sound can best be described as hard-driving rhythm with a refreshing melodic sensibility. His influences include Art Blakey, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Ed Thigpen, Sonny Payne and Detroit-area greats Gerald Cleaver and Elvin Jones.
Located in Rivera Court

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE
IDENTITY CUBED

Friday, February 7, 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Identity Cubed focuses on presenting new works that transcend the standard percussion ensemble. Their repertoire ranges from classical composers to contemporary experimental works. Trio members Xavier Vegna, Brian Young and Andre Dowell are as likely to perform on objects from Home Depot as on traditional percussion instruments.

MOTOWN LEGENDS CHOIR
Friday, February 14, 7 & 8:30 p.m.
The Motown Legends Choir will deliver a special Valentine’s Day performance of love songs led by artistic director and singer Al Chisolm. The group features members from legendary Motown acts The Vandellas and The Contours. Also featured are Mark Scott of The Miracles and jazz/blues singer Joan Belgrave.

WENDELL HARRISON WITH RASUL MUHAMMAD
Friday, February 21, 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Composer and vocalist Rasul Muhammad joins Wendell Harrison in a tribute to Detroit that includes many musical styles representative of area communities: Reggae, rhythm & blues, jazz and latin. The performance features new compositions performed by Harrison (tenor sax, clarinet), Muhammad (vocals), Pamela Wise (keyboards), Vaughn Klugh (guitar), Greg Freeman (percussion), Damon Warmack (bass) and Nate Winn (drums).

TRIBUTE TO SARAH VAUGHAN, MILES DAVIS AND DEXTER GORDON
Friday, February 28, 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Detroit’s own veteran jazz vocalist Naima Shambourger leads a tribute to jazz legends Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis and Dexter Gordon. Featured players include pianist Sven Anderson, Bob Hurst (bass), Sean Dobbins (drums) and Vincent Bowens (saxophones).

LECTURE
The Twenty-Second Annual Alain Locke Awards
MEMORY AND METAPHOR: THE ART OF ROMARE BEARDEN

Sunday, February 9, 2 p.m., Lecture Hall
Renowned scholar Sharon Patton discusses the collages of Romare Bearden (1911–88), focusing on the themes, styles and iconography in his art to assess the significance of American art, jazz, myth and spirituality in his work. She also examines recent scholarship on Bearden’s art and influence. A reception follows the lecture and awards ceremony.

FILMS
A BAND CALLED DEATH ($)

Friday & Saturday, February 21 & 22, 9:30 p.m.
In 1970, three teenage brothers in Detroit started the first black punk band in spite of being lodged firmly in the era of Motown and up against the budding age of disco. After several local gigs and multiple critiques from record company executives that the band’s original name, Death, was too intimidating, the group disbanded. This documentary explores the group’s early years, as well as a renaissance when a thirty-year old demo tape found a new audience.

SIDEWALK STORIES ($)
Sunday, February 23, 4:30 p.m.
Set on a wintry Greenwich Village day in 1989, Sidewalk Stories is the story of African-American street portrait artist Charles Lane (who wrote and directed the film) as he battles a giant fellow artist, strokes an attractive businesswoman’s cheek and gets stuck with adorable child when her gambler dad runs into big trouble. Winning prizes at Cannes and featured at the DFT in 1989, this film has recently been restored.

FAMILY PROGRAMS
STORYTELLER PERFORMANCE: CHARLOTTE BLAKE ALSTON

Sunday, February 16, 2 p.m., Rivera Court
Award-winning storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston tells tales that draw on the stories, songs and rhythmic elements of African and African American oral traditions. The program is geared for listeners ages 4-8 and includes audience participation.

STORYTELLER PERFORMANCE: MARY J. GRANT
Sunday, February 23, 2 p.m., Rivera Court
Join Mary J. Grant, current president of the Detroit Association of Black Storytellers, for a variety of African folktales for all ages.


Image credit: Romare Bearden, Quilting Time, 1986; American, 1911-1988; Mosaic tesserae mounted on plywood; Founders Society Purchase with funds from the Detroit Edison Company © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York NY