The Music That Raised Us

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Taking place Tuesday, March 29 at the Listening Room, "The Music That Raised Us: Celebrating Black Female Artists Throughout the Ages" aims to honor the talents and massive contributions of Black women in the music industry. Those who attend could look forward to performances of songs from the likings of Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Erykah Badu, Mariah Carey, Donna Summers, Ella Fitzgerald, Ma Rainey and more.

To learn more about the performance, in partnership with the Michigan Music Alliance, West Michigan Woman caught up with Sarena Rae, Artistic Director and Performer; Debra Perry, Music Director; and Dutcher Snedeker, Assistant Music Director.

Talk about the purpose of this event.
The "Music That Raised Us" is in honor of Women's History Month and one of the main purposes is to empower the women in our community, who are involved in the local arts, to celebrate the tremendous impact Black women have made in music history.

Why is it so important to spotlight and celebrate Black female artists throughout the ages?
It was the Black female artists throughout the ages who helped create new sounds and genres of music, and this event was created to bring awareness of the stories, adversities and achievements of these prolific Black legends.

If it weren't for the resilience and heart of the Black female artists before us, music would not be what it is today. That's why it's crucial we celebrate the progress Black women have made in the music industry, as they continue to break through barriers and pave the way for the next generation of female artists.

Talk about the event being partnered with the Michigan Music Alliance.
We've partnered with the Michigan Music Alliance because of the organizations' advocacy for the arts in the Grand Rapids community. The Michigan Music Alliance has created an artist relief fund, curates educational events with music industry professionals to meet with local talent, and has continually opened doors of opportunity to women within music in our community.

What do you hope audience members walk away thinking about after the show?
The hope is the audience leaves feeling inspired. Music is the bridge and connection between stories and generations of women who have tirelessly fought for equity and opportunity. It's the music and voices of our Black mothers, sisters, friends, aunties and activists that continues to empower us and raise us up into the women we are today.

A special thank you to the Michigan Music Alliance, NAACP, and all the tremendous talent in the show including Debra Perry, Lisa Knight, Karisa Wilson, Serita Black Rose, Kathy Lamar, Avalon Cutts-Jones, Dutcher Snedeker, John Gist, Robert Pace, Adam Marth, Terrance Massey and Steve Harris.

To learn more:

Tickets for the event can be purchased here. Doors for the show open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m. Drinks and appetizers will be available. Learn more about "The Music That Raised Us" by visiting the Facebook event.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.

Photos courtesy of the Listening Room/Michigan Music Alliance.


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