The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Solstice is one of the hottest tickets in town — so much so that this year’s event sold out during the members-only pre-sale. From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. this Saturday, June 20, the CMA presents its 7th annual Solstice.
“Solstice is one of the touchstones for the reemergence of the city itself as a cosmopolitan metropolis,” says CMA Director of Performing Arts Tom Welsh. “Having so many amazing artists converge from all over the world for one night at the museum is an absolute thrill.”
The evening features vibrant music from around the world on two stages. The lineup includes Meridian Brothers, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Escort, King Britt, Afrikan Sciences and Dengue Dengue Dengue!.
The Meridian Brothers’ influence includes tropical music, Latin-American folk and vallenato, a popular form of Columbian folk music. The group also draws inspiration from theatrical interventions, sampling techniques and references to fake characters.
Though not well known in the U.S., to those who witnessed him in action, Fela Kuti was one of the most legendary performers in history. Although he has passed, his son carries on his legacy with Sean Kuti & Egypt 80. The band’s modern edge is a result of incorporating contemporary influences and topical lyrics into Fela Kuti’s unique form of Afrobeat.
New York’s Escort creates dance music without samples and computers. Instead, this large ensemble creates dance music the old fashioned way: skillful musicianship, songwriting and impeccable production quality.
King Britt will perform twice throughout the evening. First, he presents Fhloston Paradigm, which the CMA describes as, “exploring the afro-sonic possibilities of his abstracted electronic muse on the Atrium Stage." He’ll close the evening on the South Terrace stage with a throwdown DJ set.
Afrikan Sciences’ stage name was inspired by his interest in the relationship between various forms of music and sci-fi. Afrikan Sciences was once described as, “the love child of Afrika Bambaataa and science-fiction writer Octavia Butler.”
Dengue Dengue Dengue! is Felipe Salmon and Rafael Pereira, a Tropical Bass duo of producers, DJs and graphic designers from Lima, Peru,. For their live performances, they don masks and collaborate with video artist Nadia Escalante (AKA VJ Sixta), creating sensory experiences with modern, electronic versions of cult cumbia themes. Cumbia, like vallenato, is a form of popular Columbian folk music.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the night. No ticket? Consider a membership to the CMA to be notified early next year. In the meantime, you may still be able to find tickets through secondary markets.
(Cleveland Museum of Art) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7340, clevelandart.org