Blues for Smoke will be accompanied by a series of concerts, performances and readings showcasing the enduring legacy and innovative possibilities of the blues in contemporary music and live art. Reflecting on the exhibition’s consideration of “the blues” as a political and aesthetic idiom within the visual arts, the performances will showcase contemporary musical forms that extend aspects of the blues legacy.
Since 1979, artist and musician Lonnie Holley has dedicated his life to improvisational creativity manifested through drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. His recently released album, “Just Before Music” (2012) is the first studio recording of his work, and the Whitney is honored to host his debut New York performance.
As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 30 years. With performance roots in the avant-garde 1970s NYC jazz scene, Cooper-Moore’s music exudes a striking directness and simplicity that evokes everything from rhythm and blues to the most plaintive vocal monody.
This event is organized in collaboration with 50 Miles of Elbow Room.
Free with Museum admission, which is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 6–9 pm; no special tickets or reservations are required. Members enjoy complimentary and express entry to the Museum.