Black Science Fiction welcomes Los-Angeles-based Black music ensemble The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra to National Sawdust for their New York debut with an improvised opening set by multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek.

June 4, 2023
7:00 pm
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Black Science Fiction curates an evening of Black sonic futurism at National Sawdust, exploring a genre-bending, multi-format performance composed by contemporary jazz musicians. In this performance, Black Science Fiction welcomes Los-Angeles-based Black music ensemble The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra to National Sawdust for their New York debut. Songwriter, multi-insturmentalist, and former National Sawdust Artist-in-Residence Taja Cheek, known for her work as L’Rain, will perform an opening improvised set.

Black Science Fiction’s mission is to invest in and sustain an ever-evolving conversation around Black culture and imagination. Join us as Black Science Fiction celebrates the vitality of Black cultural production with The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and Taja Cheek.

About The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra

The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra is a Black music ensemble founded in Los Angeles, in 1961, by pianist Horace Tapscott. The Ark is a multi-generational collective of musicians & artists preserving the music of black composers dead or living. The band's mission has been to perform in their neighborhoods, for their people, promoting black culture, black empowerment and ultimately, love. 

This concert will be the Ark’s first time playing in New York. The band for the night is as follows: 

Michael Session - soprano sax 

Chakeiya Richmond - alto sax 

Randal Fisher - tenor sax 

Corbin Jones - baritone sax 

Sonjia 'Maia' Harper - flute 

Riyan El-magharbel - oboe 

Tatiana Tate - trumpet 

Chris Williams - flugal horn 

Zekkereya El-magharbel - trombone 

Fundi Leghon - french horn

William Roper - tuba 

Joey Ector - bass, bamboo flute 

Brian Hargrove - keys 

Mekala Session - drums 

Daoude Woods - percussion 

& special guests

About Taja Cheek

Under the mononym L’Rain, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek records and performs music rooted in r&b, jazz, noise, and pop, using voice memos and manipulated samples as inspiration and source material.

Cheek has toured in the US, Canada, and Europe with her band and her latest album, Fatigue, was released with critical acclaim. Rated the #1 album of 2021 according to The Wire and the #2 album of the year in Pitchfork, the record also earned praise from outlets including The New York Times, NPR, The New Yorker, and Artforum.

About Black Science Fiction

Black Science Fiction is a Black-led creative experiment dedicated to the preservation of Black imagination. Black Science Fiction is committed to amplifying the voices of Black and brown artists pushing boundaries in film, sound, and performance.

About Imani Dennison

Photo by Esther Faciane

Imani Dennison, she/they, is a multidisciplinary lens based artist and curator based in Brooklyn, NY by way of Louisville, Kentucky. Imani graduated from Howard University where they studied Political Science and Photography. Imani’s work interrogates histories of Black culture in the South and African diaspora, usually centered in folklore, fantasy, and oral histories. Imani is head Curator and Programmer at Black Science Fiction Black Science Fiction is a Black led creative experiment dedicated to the preservation of Black imagination. Imani is a part of the 2022 Tribeca Queen Collective Directing Program where they are in production on their experimental documentary about the impacts of the and erasure dismantlement of Black midwives in the American South. 

Jun 4

Black Science Fiction: The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra with opener Taja Cheek