A GOD OF HER OWN MAKING is an immersive opera in which the human vessel serves as a primary instrument and conduit for sound as a healing pathway to the divine. Incorporating both old and new technologies, woman and machine come together in sacred co-creation. 

September 23, 2022
7:30 pm
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JOJO ABOT and National Sawdust are thrilled to share with you a world premiere of A GOD OF HER OWN MAKING, as part of National Sawdust’s Season 8 Opening Weekend.

A GOD OF HER OWN MAKING is an immersive opera in which the human vessel serves as a primary instrument and conduit for sound as a healing pathway to the divine. Incorporating both old and new technologies, woman and machine come together in sacred co-creation. 

2018 Artist-in-Residence and acclaimed interdisciplinary artist JOJO ABOT returns with the debut of this immersive and otherworldly experience, featuring musician and restorative arts devotee esperanza spalding. Created, directed, and composed by JOJO ABOT during a long season of uncertainty, separation, and global unrest, A GOD OF HER OWN MAKING builds on JOJO ABOT’s exploration of spirituality, and incorporates spalding’s lineages and practices of restorative music.

In A GOD OF HER OWN MAKING, JOJO ABOT— an ewe woman from Ghana, West Africa, references indigenous practices in which the feminine is a conduit for the divine holding space as a portal and point of intercession for all mankind. For the first time ever, National Sawdust's Meyer Sound spatial sound system serves as a tool for inducing a state of expansive presence, awareness, and ascension while amplifying a call to (re)turn to an ancient self that is in unity with all of creation. In this one-of-a-kind performance, JOJO ABOT and Spalding invite you to tap back into a deep love for nature and each other so we can imagine and dare make manifest more harmonious, nourishing and intentional futures.

Program Credits:

Created, Directed, and composed by JOJO ABOT

Live Performers: JOJO ABOT (vocals) & esperanza spalding (vocals, electric bass, double bass)

Recorded vocals: JOJO ABOT, esperanza spalding, ​​Estère

Choreography: JOJO ABOT

Spatial Sound Design and Live Mixing: Garth MacAleavey, JOJO ABOT

Spatial Sound Consultation by Steve Ellison, Meyer Sounds

Sound engineers: Garth MacAleavey, Steve Ellison, Konstantin Ladurner p/k/a “Kontent,” and Kyrian Okane;

Creative Producer: Nicole Merritt Chari

Costumes: JOJO ABOT, House of Aama, NG2_Studios

National Sawdust Production & Team:

Creative Producer, Senior Curator & Programming Director, Nicole Merritt Chari

Producer: Claudia Norman

Venue Production & Technical Manager, Marille Iljazoski

Venue Operations Manager, Brian Schuh

Lighting Design & Programming William Vasconez A.K.A. EL Dub Lab, JOJO ABOT

Audio Assistant, Virginia de las Pozas

Video, Carlton Bright

Photography, Liz Maney

Director of Marketing & Design, Zan Emerson

Marketing Coordinator and Box Office Manager, Alyana Vera

Kim Chan, Deputy Director

Ana De Archuleta, Director of Artistic Operations

Paola Prestini, Artistic Director & Co-Founder

Kevin Dolan, Co-Founder

The narrative for this opera is a series of cycle dances or  “movements” articulated below:



The birth, arrival and introduction of the gods.


The naming of SELF and establishment of one's power and purpose.


The forgetting and beginning of loss of sight. A first encounter with displacement and primal desire. A longing to return home.


A cleansing breath. A moment of pause, reflection and observation.

  1. SOLO

A reminder of what connects us, one to another, as living beings and creations of the divine.


An immersion in cosmic and universal love. That inherent code that connects us to all physical and metaphysical things


A commitment to personal autonomy and activation of our personal freedom. An understanding that true liberation comes from within


The acknowledgement of duality leading to a re-connection, re-gathering and re-alchemizing of self as a whole entity. Light and dark become one.


A call to re-membrance. To never forget that which makes us sacred, connected, and whole.


A conscious commitment to be that ultimate safe and loving space of nourishment for ourselves and the universe at large. A fertile ground for love and healing.


A portal closes and releases into infinite being. A reminder that all we seek is within, and that the magic of the now is eternally flowing in us.


Stop by the lobby after the show for one-of-a-kind apparel by JOJO ABOT for purchase.


JOJO ABOT is an interdisciplinary healer exploring evolving themes of spirituality, identity and community  through music, film, visual art, fashion, photography and various other mediums. Committed to a philosophy of "Message Over Medium", the artist aims to provoke larger conversations and actions  towards collective elevation, healing and harmony. An Ewe woman born in Ghana and currently based in LA, JOJO ABOT offers intimate invitations to the practice of true freedom, love and re-membering through sacred ceremonies of togetherness, reflection and transformation engaging the self as the starting point to universal connection and ascension. Serving as a bridge between the physically and metaphysically, her offerings invite us into a spiritual dance that allows for a coming together of ancestry, traditions and global cultures.

With an exciting blossoming career, JOJO ABOT has offered interdisciplinary works in collaboration with the MOMA, Brooklyn Museum, The Ghana Pavilion at La Biennale Di Venezia, Frieze art fair x Theaster Gates x Prada, Hult Center, Armory week NYC, Perez Art Museum Miami and many others. JOJO ABOT has toured with Ms Lauryn Hill, played stages life Afropunk, Roots picnic, Radio city music hall, The Apollo Theater, Kennedy Center, Greek theater and more while being the first unsigned artist to perform live for NYC's Times Square new year's eve concert to over a million people. An alumni of the New Museum's incubator program, New Inc, and former resident at National Sawdust, JOJO ABOT continues to develop and present her interdisciplinary practice through POWER TO THE GOD WITHIN and other curatorial projects.

esperanza spalding (also known as irma nejando, or, i.e.) is a being who has grown to recognize love in the abstract and aspirational, and is now fully dedicated to learning how she can serve and embody actualized love through honor for and receptivity to, fellow humans, teachers, and practitioners of various regenerative arts.

Bass, piano, composition, performance, voice and lyrics are tools and disciplines she is engaged in deeply to cultivate her own channel for transmitting care and beauty through vibration/sound/presence.

She has written an Opera with Wayne Shorter that premiered in Fall 2021 // she is currently developing a mockumentary in collaboration with brontë velez and San Francisco Symphony // researching and developing liberation rituals in jazz and black dance //  and continuing a lifelong collaboration with practitioners in various fields relating to music, healing and cognition to develop music with enhanced therapeutic potential.

She is presently paid by Harvard University to co-create and learn with students enrolled there, working on developing creative practices that serve the restoration of people and land.

Sep 23

JOJO ABOT and esperanza spalding: A GOD OF HER OWN MAKING