Da Camera JAM at Discovery Green: Mwenso & the Shakes

Da Camera’s annual series of free concerts celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month at Discovery Green wraps up with two sets by the inimitable Mwenso & the Shakes.

“a sparkling, surprising emotional and musical roller coaster…Michael Mwenso’s territory is the jazz stage, surrounded by a keenly curated lineup of spirited musicians, free to create a unique world on the fly. Keep your ears and eyes out for Mwenso and The Shakes.” — Afropop Worldwide

Mwenso & the Shakes, a New York-based revue comprised of vocalists and an ensemble of international musicians, presents “Protest Songs: From Africa to America,” a program tracing the soul-stirring historical power of protest songs in both America and Africa.

Whether fulfilling the role of vocalist, emcee, showman, or impresario, Michael Mwenso conveys both the sophistication and spontaneity of hardcore jazz and the music’s folkloric roots with impeccable craft, creativity, and communicative flair. Most frequently, Mwenso performs as leader — or ringleader — of Michael Mwenso and The Shakes, a revue comprising between three to five vocalists (they include himself, Brianna Thomas, Charenee Wade, and Vuyo Sotashe) and a rotating ensemble of rising stars instrumentalists. All developed their ideas and accrued public visibility at late night shows booked and overseen by Mwenso since 2012 (when he joined Jazz At Lincoln Center as Curator and Programming Associate) at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at JALC’s complex in New York’s Time-Warner Center.

Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages, please.

Made possible by funding from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. Media sponsor: KTSU 90.9 FM