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Akropolis presents 3 virtual concert experiences which include live streaming, Zoom conversations, and collaborative programs with additional artists and composers.

Club Paradise Virtual Soirée

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Composer, Jeff Scott
Composer, Jeff Scott
Historian and Poet, Marsha Music
Historian and Poet, Marsha Music

Live music, poetry, history and an online premiere in our intimate virtual concert hall

Join Akropolis, composer Jeff Scott, and Detroit poet and historian Marsha Music for an intimate and interactive concert experience described by audience members as “thrilling,” “compelling from beginning to end,” and “incredibly impactful.”

After a sold-out run of six Club Paradise Virtual Soirées in July 2020, Akropolis is taking this unique concert experience on the road! Each soirée features the exclusive debut web premiere of Jeff Scott’s 25-minute masterwork, Homage to Paradise Valley, intertwined with brand new, original poetry created for this soirée and read live by Marsha Music, Detroit’s treasured author and historian. The event also includes brief Akropolis live performances, live interviews with Jeff Scott, and an interactive Q&A and conversation with audience members.

The music, poetry, and interviews tell the story of Detroit’s Black neighborhoods and thoroughfares – Black Bottom, Paradise Valley, and Hastings Street – which were demolished in the 1950s and 60s by Detroit’s institutions of power to make way for freeway and other urban renewal projects. Once bustling with Black-owned businesses and cultural institutions, these neighborhoods are now completely gone, and the ramifications of their destruction still resonate today in Detroit and throughout society.

Selected audience reviews:

“This was the most inventive digital program that I have “attended,” because you so thoughtfully mixed together the pre-recorded performance with live performance “snippets” and included a small audience who could see each other.”

“With our days filled with Zooms and virtual connections, this soiree was balm for the soul using technology to bring us all together, provide us with new content to chew on, and inspire us with your ingenuity on how to keep creating in this challenging time.”

“What a powerful performance by everyone! I loved being part of the virtual performance.”

"You should all strongly consider attending one of Akropolis' virtual performances. I was lucky enough to catch the opening night and it was incredibly impactful."

"I highly recommend this concert. The music by Jeff Scott is fabulous, exciting, technically really interesting, and it tells the same story as the poetry of Marsha Music in that it chronicles the history of the Paradise Theater, of Hastings Street, and Black Bottom in Detroit. We may not have access to live performance right now, but this online concert was thrilling!!!!" 

Radio Interview

“Celebrating Paradise: Akropolis Reed Quintet’s love letter to a lost Black cultural hub in Detroit,” an interview on “Stateside” on Michigan Radio (University of Michigan NPR affiliate) with Akropolis Executive Director, Matt Landry, Detroit poet and historian, Marsha Music, and host, April Baer.

These American Stories

Live Stream Show

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Nina Simone
Nina Simone
Paradise Valley in downtown Detroit in the 1930s
Paradise Valley in downtown Detroit in the 1930s

Akropolis presents a live stream concert of three portraits of American life through the lens of American composers and artists with at post-show Zoom meet and greet.

This iteration of Akropolis’ longest standing concert program features the music of African American musicians and composers, Nina Simone and Jeff Scott, along with George Gershwin’s tone poem, An American in Paris. An after-concert virtual meet-and-greet allows the audience to interact live with Akropolis and Mr. Scott. Focusing on urban centers, “These American Stories” tells the story of Detroit’s razing of three Black neighborhoods in the mid-twentieth century through an immense composition written for Akropolis by Mr. Scott, Homage to Paradise Valley, painting a picture of Detroit’s Black-owned businesses and cultural institutions and honoring their loss while raising awareness about the institutions of power which demolished them. As we seek to rebuild these communities and relationships, George Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Nina Simone’s “For All We Know” remind us of the power of coming together.

After the live stream, the audience can move over to the Zoom meeting link for the post-concert meet-and-greet with Akropolis and composer Jeff Scott.

Additionally, prior to the event, the audience will be provided program notes on all three works, and information about the history of the razed Black Detroit neighborhoods. The audience will be thoroughly informed of the back story behind Jeff Scott’s composition through words, pictures, and videos. This information can be provided by Akropolis directly and/or disseminated by the presenting organization.

Program

Jeff Scott (1967) – Homage to Paradise Valley (2019) (25’30”)

  • Ghosts of Black Bottom
  • Hastings Street Blues
  • Roho Pumzika Kwa Amani
  • Paradise Theater Jump

George Gershwin (1898-1937) – An American in Paris arr. Raaf Hekkema (1928)

Nina Simone (1933-2003) – For All We Know 1934/1959 (music and lyrics by J. Fred Coots and Sam M. Lewis) Nina Simone’s 1959 version arranged for reed quintet by Jelte Althuis

Modern Masterworks

Live Stream Show

Composer Stacy Garrop
Composer Stacy Garrop
Akropolis and Jeff Scott in 2018 touring downtown Detroit, including<br> the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History
Akropolis and Jeff Scott in 2018 touring downtown Detroit, including
the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History
Composer Marc Mellits
Composer Marc Mellits

Akropolis presents a live stream performance of three modern masterworks for reed quintet composed since 2015, each introduced by the composer via video. Each composer joins Akropolis and the audience for a post-concert meet-and-greet.

A game-changing ensemble since their inception in 2009, Akropolis pulls back the curtain on its primary method for innovating and sustaining vibrant classical music: commissioning living composers to create masterworks for their new genre. Centered upon masterworks by Stacy Garrop, Jeff Scott, and Marc Mellits, the live streamed concert experience includes video introductions by the composers and a live, post-concert meet-and-greet with Stacy, Jeff, and Marc, including important context to the success of these works and their contributions to new music, as well as an opportunity for questions and conversation.

This will be a live streamed performance that includes performances of the three works as well as the broadcasting, through the same live stream video, of three introductory videos by each of the works’ composers.

Program

Marc Mellits (1966) – Splinter (2015)

Scarlet Oak
Sugar Maple
Linden
Cherry
River Birch
Red Pine

Stacy Garrop (1969) – Rites for the Afterlife (2018)

Inscriptions from the Book of the Dead
Passage through the Netherworld
The Hall of Judgement
The Field of Reeds

Jeff Scott (1967) – Homage to Paradise Valley (2019)

Ghosts of Black Bottom
Roho Pumzika Kwa Amani
Paradise Theater Jump

For more information or to book Akropolis for any of these virtual offerings, please contact Matthew Kulas at matthew@arielartists.com or 617.213.0378.