‘Black Music Matters’ Outdoor Jam Session Offers Inspiration for the Movement

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Kev Choice performs at an event in West Oakland. (Pendarvis Harshaw)

Artists are crucial to social movements, offering spiritual nourishment, catharsis and hopeful visions for moving forward. Taking inspiration from that idea, pianist and MC Kev Choice, singer Jennifer Johns and rapper RyanNicole have assembled a group of fellow artists for Black Music Matters, an outdoor, socially distanced jam session at Lake Merritt’s Edoff Bandstand on June 14, running from 2pm—6pm. More than a concert, the performance seeks to build solidarity with the movement to defund the Oakland Police Department, and offers opportunities for show-goers to register to vote.

“We are coming together not only to provide cultural contributions to the movement for justice, but to also assert the world we want to live in,” the creators wrote in a statement. “Black Music Matters envisions an equitable future, where our systems of housing, education, public safety, and food are reimagined to assure security for the least of us. We support the assertion of defunding the police and reinvesting in the cultural and fiscal well-being of our community.”

The musical lineup also includes Zion I, Drew Banga, Netta Brielle, the Golden State Warriors’ house DJ D Sharp and others. Sanitation stations will be provided. Details in the flyer below.