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Friday, April 5 • 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Balance (Michael Malis/Marcus Elliot)

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“I Got To Keep Moving” — Balance feat. Bill Harris and Gerald Cleaver A Musical and Literary Event Bringing together three generations of Detroit artists in an interdisciplinary collaboration, “I Got To Keep Moving” features stories from author Bill Harris’ new collection of the same title, with new original music composed and performed by Balance (Michael Malis, piano and Marcus Elliot, saxophone) and drummer Gerald Cleaver. The piece will be performed in three of the region’s stalwart cultural institutions: the Detroit Public Library Main Branch, The Toledo Museum of Art, and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance. Taking place over the first weekend of April, each performance will be completely free to the public.

“I Got To Keep Moving” will feature solo and musically accompanied readings from Harris, and newly composed compositions by Malis and Elliot inspired by Harris’ tales. The stories, set from the 1830s until the mid 20th century, vividly and deftly describe the inner and outer lives of a wide cast of characters as they navigate changing circumstances in the southern and Midwest United States. Addressing vital aspects of life—hope, family, violence, movement, and memory—the stories in I Got to Keep Moving are as mesmerizing as they are revealing.

Featured in the musical ensemble is pioneering drummer and improviser Gerald Cleaver. According to the Detroit Free Press, Cleaver “more than any other Detroit jazz export of his generation… has earned his reputation on the cutting edge.” Cleaver has performed with a who’s who of the jazz and creative improvised music community, including luminaries Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, Reggie Workman, and Muhal Richard Abrams.

A Guggenheim Award recipient and the Kresge Foundations’ Eminent Artist for 2011, Bill Harris has been described as “a compelling force in Detroit’s — and the nation’s — literary community for decades” (Kresge Arts in Detroit). His plays have been produced over one hundred times nationwide, and he is also the author of volumes of poetry, and collections of critiques of American history. Called “two of Detroit’s most important young jazz musicians” by the Detroit Free Press, Marcus Elliot and Michael Malis’ “intuitive improvisations” stand on the threshold of composed and improvised music, creating intimate portraits of musical expression that deal in the language of subtlety. In 2017, they released their eponymous debut record, “Balance,” which was praised by the Detroit Metro Times as “contemporary jazz of the highest order, a benchmark for where the genre can go.”

Friday April 5, 2019 6:30pm - 8:30pm EDT
Toledo Museum of Art