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Listening for Freedom: Remember “Watch Night” History with Artists Marc Anderson, Davu Seru, and Alessandra Williams

December 30, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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“Listening for Freedom” is a unique event to learn more about the importance of Watch Night in our history, through improvisational music and movement. Performers Alessandra Williams, Davu Seru and Marc Anderson will bring movement and percussion together – and encourage our audience to participate in the important history of enslaved people awaiting word of the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War.

  • 6:30pm: Special Exhibition of Materials from East Side Freedom Library collections in African American history, dance, and music.
  • 7:00pm: Improvisation Class with Alessandra (wear clothes you feel comfortable moving in–all levels and abilities are welcome and encouraged to participate)
  • 8:00pm: Music Concert with Marc and Davu, including discussion with the artists about percussion and solo performance with Alessandra.

Marc Anderson is an internationally recognized musician and composer who is best known for his many recordings with Steve Tibbetts for the prestigious German record company ECM. Appearing on over 250 recordings and performing concerts all over the world Mr. Anderson has played with many great artists including: Don Cherry, Angelique Kidjo, Max Roach, Prince, Robert Fripp and Greg Brown. Mr. Anderson is ordained Zen priest and the Executive director of the M2 Foundation an organization dedicated to teaching the art of living mindfully. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Hamline University and on staff at the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at Macalester College.

Davu Seru is a drummer and composer. He has worked with numerous improvising musicians and composers throughout the United States and France. He is composer and bandleader for the ensemble No Territory Band and composer-in-residence at Studio Z in Saint Paul. He is member of the composer-improviser orchestra Cherry Spoon Collective and Trio SDS with French musicians Guilluame Seguron and Catherine Delaunay. He has received awards from the Jerome Foundation (2017-18 Composer/Sound Artist Fellow), American Composers Forum (Minnesota Emerging Composer Award), the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (Next Step Fund) and has received commissions from the Zeitgeist Ensemble and Walker Art Center. In addition to his musical pursuits, Davu is a published author and a professor of African American literature and culture. He lives in Saint Paul, MN, with his partner Emily and son August.

Alessandra Williams is an educator, activist, and artist, originally from Minneapolis. She completed her B.A. in American Studies and Theatre and Dance at Macalester and her community organizing earned her the Grassroots Solutions Organizer of the Year Award. She began learning Ananya Dance Theatre’s Yorchha technique through “Pipaashaa” (2007) and is currently touring “Shyamali” with the company and its leader Dr. Ananya Chatterjea to Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, New York City, Los Angeles, Maui, and Philadelphia. Her culture and performance Ph.D. at UCLA focused on feminist, queer of color theory and Afro-Asian alliances through ethnographic and dance analysis of works by Ananya Dance Theatre and choreographer David Roussève and the Los Angeles-based REALITY dance company. She is also a vinyasa yoga teacher, a student of West African-based movement, assistant to the executive director at the East Side Freedom Library, educator in cultural studies, and admirer of time and space with loved ones in the Twin Cities, Louisiana, Ganta City, Liberia, and Los Angeles.

*A $10 donation is suggested.

Find more information on the history of Watch Night here: https://backstory.exposure.co/emancipation

Join us for this unique opportunity to engage in stories of past struggles which are so relevant in our world today.


December 30, 2017
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Categories:
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East Side Freedom Library


East Side Freedom Library
1105 Greenbrier Street
St. Paul, MN 55106
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