Mwenso & The Shakes
This week on Fridays Live, SFJAZZ presents dynamic vocalist and Jazz at Lincoln Center alumni Michael Mwenso and his band The Shakes. He and the band gained widespread notice in 2019 with a widely traveled multimedia production created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem that celebrated the cultural movement’s centenary. They bring rollicking music from their debut album, Emergence, with non-stop energy.
A Mwenso and the Shakes show is a mesmerizing cross-cultural, genrebusting extravaganza that entwines you in its tendrils in an embrace you’ll find it hard to disengage from. Just give in, listen, and be healed.
ABOUT MWENSO & THE SHAKES
Born in the West African nation of Sierra Leone and weaned on jazz as a teenager hanging out at Ronnie Scott’s in London, Michael Mwenso became obsessed with the Harlem Renaissance when he settled in the neighborhood in 2012 after Wynton Marsalis recruited him to work with Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The dynamic vocalist and frontman of Mwenso & The Shakes, he and the band gained widespread notice in 2019 with a widely traveled multimedia production created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem that celebrated the cultural movement’s centenary. The show honored the Jazz Age artists who lived and performed in 1920s Harlem, such as Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, and Duke Ellington, while embracing the entire African diaspora.
With a dazzling cast of musicians including South African vocalist Vuyo Sotashe and artists hailing from Europe, Jamaica, Madagascar, and the U.S., the Shakes combine the craft of consummate entertainers with improvisational prowess. The band’s debut album, Emergence (The Process of Coming Into Being), captured the surging energy of the live experience, prompting The New York Times to describe the band as “intense, prowling, and ebullient."
Setlist, Personnel, & More
Coming Up On Fridays Live
FRI, APR 21 • 7:30 PM PT