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About this clip:
Singer and songwriter Michael Mwenso and his band The Shakes perform the song “Know the God in You” from their 2019 album “Emergence” during their performance on April 14, 2023 — part of the 2022-23 Season, broadcast on Fridays Live.
About the concert:
Born in the West African nation of Sierra Leone and weaned on jazz as a teenager hanging out at Ronnie Scott’s in London, Michael Mwenso became obsessed with the Harlem Renaissance when he settled in the neighborhood in 2012 after Wynton Marsalis recruited him to work with Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The dynamic vocalist and frontman of Mwenso & The Shakes, he and the band gained widespread notice in 2019 with a widely traveled multimedia production created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem that celebrated the cultural movement’s centenary. The show honored the Jazz Age artists who lived and performed in 1920s Harlem, such as Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, and Duke Ellington, while embracing the entire African diaspora.
With a dazzling cast of musicians including South African vocalist Vuyo Sotashe and artists hailing from Europe, Jamaica, Madagascar, and the U.S., the Shakes combine the craft of consummate entertainers with improvisational prowess. The band’s debut album, Emergence (The Process of Coming Into Being), captured the surging energy of the live experience, prompting The New York Times to describe the band as “intense, prowling, and ebullient.
Michael Mwenso: vocals
Aris Dolce Jr: saxophone
Rashaan Salaam: trombone
Xander Naylor: guitar
Ahmad Johnson: drums
Vuyo Sotashe: vocals
Netanya Thompson: dance
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***SFJAZZ is a non-profit organization that presents year-round jazz concerts, festivals and educational programs at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, CA.