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FRIDAY, JUNE 3 rd  |  6:15- 8:15 pm  |  Donations welcome!

The trio will start at 6:15 (Alicia, Caz & RJ), then a break, then the Kuumba concert will start at 7 pm & wrap-up at 8:15 or so. Blues/jazz guitarist Alicia Marie will play a short trio set on top then the fellas will go back to their roots!

Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

In the late 1970’s Rick Steiger & RJ Spangler started their first real band beyond jamming with buddies in the basement. This very band would morph into the Sun Messengers by 1980. Kuumba included some older veteran players like Arnold “Jabbar” Clarington & Musa Abdul Malik, both sadly now deceased. Dr Salim Washington was a member just before we bacame the Sun Messengers, he is now a Fulbright Scholar & Prof of Jazz Studies in Durban, SA.

Kuumba was influenced by the Griot Galaxy, Sun Ra, Coltrane, even Alberta Ayler. Musa, from Chicago, was a student of Kelan Phil Cohran and he brought that modal influence as well.

Other core members included Akunda Hollis, James O’Donnell, Tim Mitchem, Fred Bergman, Dave Springer, Mike Cazabon, Tbone Paxton, Jon Worrell & of course Rick Steiger & RJ Spangler. Many are still here in Detroit with Tim coming in from FL & Caz coming in from TX. On Friday, June 3, we will assemble as many of the original cats as possible; so far that list includes Akunda, Rick, James, Fred, Tim, Caz, RJ & we just added James “Blood” Cain (another original cat). We will augment the band with Djallo Djakate on drums, John Douglas on trumpet, Goode Wyche III on bari sax & Joe O’Mara on alto & soprano sax & flute. Buddy Smith will also sing “Smart Set” by Roy Brooks. Carl Horn will join us on trombone.


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