Solange, along with her Saint Heron creative agency, has curated a new series at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Eldorado Ballroom takes its name from a historic venue in Houston, TX, which is about to reopen after renovations.
Speaking to Vulture about the series, Solange says, “The Black voice is a sacred vessel. Being able to have an opportunity to honor it through all of these different conventions is just a dream job. This is such fulfilling work. And I feel like bringing it back to Houston, bringing it back to my childhood. The Eldorado Ballroom was a historic music venue in Third Ward, and that’s where my love for performance really started. As a child growing up in a neighborhood so rich with Black history and Black artistic history, I was immersed in that. I got to live, eat, and breathe that through the ways that my parents really nurtured my interest for arts. So I feel like each night of the series is building off an offering that has informed my own practices, whether that’s through an R&B night or an artist like Autumn Knight, who’s from Houston, who’s challenging the lines between audience and artist through performance art. I love being able to celebrate my love for Black contemporary dance through that. The whole series is just about honoring voices that I think should be taking up more space in the conversation, specifically about Black women in music. I’ve been thinking about Mary Lou Williams and how she was this genius pianist and composer who mentored Miles Davis and Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk, but she’s not mentioned in those conversations.”
Eldorado Ballroom runs from March 30 through April 8 (with one date still TBA) and includes an R&B showcase with Kelela, Res, and keiyaA (March 30); “The Cry of My People,” featuring Archie Shepp, Linda Sharrock, and Claudia Rankine (April 8); and more. See the full schedule, along with program notes from Saint Heron, below.
Tickets go on sale to BAM members and patrons on Friday, February 17 at noon, with a general sale to follow on Tuesday, February 21 at noon.
Kelela also shared a new video for her Raven track “Enough for Love.” Watch that below, as well.
SAINT HERON PROGRAM NOTES ON ELDORADO BALLROOM
Solange Knowles for Saint Heron has curated a Music series for the Brooklyn Academy of Music with an anomalous approach that celebrates intergenerational expressions of experimental and transcendent performance through the decades. Her dedication to reverencing and preserving the works of Black practitioners through Saint Heron continues with a lineup that consists of contemporary and historic creative revolutionaries whose artistry and innovation has left a profound mark on music and performance art. The series is named after Eldorado Ballroom, a Houston historic Black music hall in her native Third Ward neighborhood, where her love for performance started. Each night is programmed to explore artistic territory through investigations surrounding the sonic and performance-based expressions that have shaped the artist’s own practice. In these seven programs, the multigenerational audiences of Saint Heron’s and BAM’s communities will experience celebratory and tributary performances that honor the blueprints of these themes and genres as they are being reinvented today.
ELDORADO BALLROOM SCHEDULE AT BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC
03-30 Kelela, Res, and KeiyaA
03-31 Autumn Knight and Maren Hassinger
04-01 Autumn Knight and Maren Hassinger
04-04 “Unseen Nuyorican Pictures”
04-05 “Coeval Dance Films”
04-07 Twinkie Clark & The Clark Sisters; Mary Lou Williams work by performed by Artina McCain, and Malcolm J. Merriweather with Voices of Harlem; Angella Christie
04-08 Archie Shepp, Linda Sharrock, and Claudia Rankine
09-22 Classical and opera works of Julia Perry and Patrice Rushen; featuring Davóne Tines