Mwenso and The Shakes to hold free public events starting Jan. 17

Visit includes ancestral event, concert performance, open jam session


“Your depth of community has filled our hearts. Your passion for the arts has made us feel at home. And your dedication to the future (while honoring the past) has filled us with hope,” artist-historian Michael Mwenso said.

Mwenso and The Shakes, his ensemble of Black roots musicians and performers, want to give back to the State College community with a series of free public events starting Tuesday, Jan. 17.

DJ Elbow Knee Knee of Gorinto Productions will moderate an Ancestral Communal Listening Session at 6 p.m. Jan. 17, at 3 Dots Downtown, 137 E. Beaver Ave. Mwenso will discuss the Black musical experience and how to be an active listener through a program of recordings spanning the Black diaspora.

Mwenso and The Shakes will continue to use music to empower and uplift with “Night Time is the Right Time,” at 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center. No ticket is required for the free public concert.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, at 3 Dots Downtown, Mwenso and The Shakes will host a free Community Jam Session. Anyone who would like to play is invited to bring an instrument.


The listening event and jam session are supported in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals ArtsForward program, funded by the Mellon Foundation.

3 Dots Downtown is co-presenter of the Tuesday and Friday events.

A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.

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