Afrofuturism: Black Lives Will Exist in the Future.
About the Project
Afrofuturism, by Shanyse Strickland (1991), is a piece Theresa May commissioned in 2021 and is written for solo trumpet with pedal effects and piano accompaniment. From the beginning of the piece which calls upon the ancestors with unaccompanied trumpet, to the middle section which dances in a groove to the beat of the African Diaspora, to the finale which ends in the spoken words “Black lives will exist in the future”, Afrofuturism elicits stories of Blackness and embodies May's personal style, creativity and aesthetic while highlighting Black women.
May received the Urgent Art Fund grant through SPACES with support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture for the creation of "Afrofuturism: Black Lives Will Exist in the Future". This project includes a music video and accompanying photography exhibit which will allow the music to be encapsulated and preserved for many people to experience. The exhibit will feature personnel during each step as we navigate through this entire project as well as scenes of poignant themes presented in the music.
"Afrofuturism" collaborators including mixing and mastering engineer David Aguila, recording engineers Pablo Castillo Gomez and Sharon Walsh, pianist Megan Denman, spoke word artist Eris Eady, stylist Cheve Freed, photographer Emanuel Wallace, videographer McKinley Wiley of the Dark Room Company, costumer Marco Alexander of Sound Kulture and capoeira artists Ismail Douglas and Cleotha McJunkins. Recording took place at Kent State University.
About the Artist
Theresa J. May is a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio. She holds a Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Dayton. May is adjunct faculty at Cuyahoga Community College where she teaches Applied Trumpet and World Music.
May enjoys community engagement as a teaching artist with the Roots of American Music organization and is co-founder of the Chromatic Brass Collective, an organization for brass musicians that celebrates, performs, mentors and educates to increase the visibility of racially and ethnically underrepresented women and gender non-conforming people throughout the brass world. May is also a member of Black Classical Music Educators (BCME) and the International Society for Black Musicians (ISBM), an organization dedicated to the advocacy of Black musicians and their work in the scholarship of music.
As an active performer and educator, May maintains several studios in and around the city of Cleveland, Ohio and performs regularly with Gabriel’s Horns, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and Mourning [A] BLKstar. May also performs in the Colour of Music Festival, a Classical music festival featuring musicians of color, has performed as a guest solo artist in the Alumni Recital series at the University of Dayton, was featured in the Rising Stars podcast hosted by Carol Jantsch (Principal Tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra), and was also a featured guest solo artist at the 2022 International Women’s Brass Conference.
Thursday, January 19 at 10:30am to 3:30pm
Tri-C Gallery East Education Center (EEC) 134 4250 Richmond Road Highland Hills, Ohio 44122