Da Camera JAM at Discovery Green: Mwenso and 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 and the Shakes.

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 that includes rising stars like drummers Joe Saylor and Jamison Ross, pianist Chris Pattishall, trumpeters Alphonso Horne and Bruce Harris, and tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. 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