Black Voices in Cabaret seeks artist submissions

Working In Concert has launched a new initiative to take on the much-needed advancement of Black artists in the field of cabaret. By cabaret, we mean the intimate style of performance that connects the singer to their song and their song to the audience in a personal way.

We invite cabaret performers, musicians, videographers, and other artists to be included in “Volume 1” of our project. The theme for the first three 30-minute episodes is “Healing Through Song”. Most of the segments will be filmed before small live audiences and stitched together as a whole piece, to be aired at the end of January into February.

If you are an interested African-American artist, please submit:

SONGS: You can send up to three choices from which we will select one. Within your own repertoire and musical genre (jazz, R&B, gospel, classical, rap, etc.), pick a song that would most relate to the theme of “Healing through Song.” The theme may be directly addressed by the lyrics or can be suggested by the embrace of the genre, the celebratory nature of the music, whatever feels like a “healing gesture” or challenge to racial inequity. It would be grand to have someone sing Adelaide Hall’s hit “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” How about Aretha Franklin’s “Take a Look…nobody wins when the prize is hate”? Or Nina Simone’s “Image”? 

SAMPLE: Because the programming team needs to hear or see a sample of your work, please submit the link to your YouTube or website clips, or attach an audio or video clip. A song recorded with your own phone video will be accepted.

ACCOMPANIMENT: Who do you want as accompanist — a specific musician or musical instrumentation. Do you want backup singers, duo, ensemble?

VENUE: The venue for your recording session — for Chicago-based performers, we will engage various venues and are looking into The Promontory, Carruthers Center, DuSable Museum, Kerhrein Center, Epiphany, etc. Do you have a suggested venue? Can we have you perform before a small live audience in December or early January?

VIDEOGRAPHERS and GRAPHIC ARTISTS: we quickly need to pull together an expert team of videographers to record the performances, edit the work, and prepare the livestream events. We seek a graphic artist or two to devise our logo and graphic image. Help us set the “brand”!

LONG-TERM PLANNING: You may prefer to wait and perform a few more months down the road for “Volume II”. Based on our initial success, we will plan performances and other activities, such as a round-table discussion about the history of Black cabaret in Chicago. What themes and formats do you want for future programs? This is your network, your platform.

You have until November 15 to submit your interest to [email protected].

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