Show artwork for Strange Beautiful Music 15

Strange Beautiful Music 15

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Strange Beautiful Music 15

Sunday, September 18, 2022—7:00pm

Sunday, September 18, 2022—7:00pm
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
2 hours

New Music Detroit's Strange Beautiful Music 15!

Doors at 6pm.

This year's contemporary music marathon features some of our city's finest forward-thinkers in music, a world premiere commission from Marcus Elliot and chamber arrangements of music by Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond).

FRIDAY (Andy Arts Center):
New Music Detroit: Crumb & Evans
James Cornish Light Opera

SATURDAY (The Cube):
New Music Detroit performing: Kyriakidas and guest composers: Marcus Elliot + Shara Nova

SUNDAY (The Cube):
Sophiyah E. Ensemble
Marcus Elliot
Rafael Statin


Sophiyah E


Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Sophiyah Elizabeth draws inspiration from the desire to raise awareness surrounding liberation and spiritual reverence. Through community advocacy and musical production, the producer/songwriter/singer connects various mediums using frequencies of sound, visualizations and meditative practices. Sophiyah's love affair with piano and technology intertwines story-telling and ancestral influence amongst digital and analog textures! Elements of Toni Morrison, Sade, Idris Muhammad, Erykah Badu and Yusef Dayes have influenced this electric-soul fused vibration. Through dreamy sound scapes and an earthy warmth she conveys messages of truth, peace and empowerment that she hopes will uplift others.

Sophiyah’s appreciation and respect for the spirit keeps her deeply rooted in her community as well as traveling to encourage individuality, truth and peace. The healing power of art is a motivating force. Sophiyah is founder of Afro Moone—A Detroit-based wellness resource furnishing sonic healing practices, creative direction/strategy, and accessible aids for healthy living. Its most popular debut—Moone Shots of Afro Moone Wellness—are fresh-pressed immunity boosting ginger elixirs! In February of 2020, Afro Moone introduced “INDIGO,” a sonic exploration into spiritual and indigenous works; bringing focus to acknowledging the oneness within spirit, community and artistry. In honor of the natures cycles, this production is set to emerge quarterly.

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, social injustices and economic inequities impacting our communities, Afro Moone was driven to encourage positive change by way of spiritual and radical movement. June 2020, S.O.W. (Solidarity,Ownership,Wealth) formed as a live music pop-up organization for community building, social and economic wealth. This diverse community cultivation is powered by fellow musicians/artists and local organizations/business owners uniting to raise awareness and uplift via accessible community resources and networks.

Sophiyah impels a story-telling lens as Director of Artist Relations and Programming of DCIPHER—a Detroit based organization dedicated to advancing the community and music economy. Within this master mind collective, Sophiyah spearheads strategy and implementation to ensure that every event is an experience that engages audiences on all levels. She is responsible for building and facilitating relationships with artists, music professionals and business organizations within the community and abroad to connect through opportunities and services.

She believes ascension can be achieved through any medium and anticipates growing through her transparency, practicing dimensions of love.

Marcus Elliot

Marcus Elliot (Marcus Elliot Miller) is a saxophonist, composer, improviser, and educator based in Detroit, Michigan. Marcus is a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow, awarded by Kresge Arts in Detroit. His compositions and improvisations have been described by the New York Times as "convincing and confident, evolved in touch and tone...", and the Detroit Free Press has said, "Marcus Elliot represents next generation of jazz". Elliot leads and co-leads many different Detroit based bands including the Marcus Elliot Quartet, Clockwork, Balance, Beyond Rebellious, and Lanula. Elliot performs in the Shigeto Live Ensemble. He is a Fellow of the Geri Allen Gathering Orchestra. He co-founded the nonprofit Polyfold Musical Arts Collective. Elliot is the director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Jazz Ensembles. Elliot received his master's degree in improvisation from the University of Michigan. 

Elliot is a disciple of the Detroit music scene. His mentors include Rodney Whitaker, Marcus Belgrave, Robert Hurst, Donald Walden, Bennie Maupin, Marion Hayden, and Karriem Riggins. After graduating with a bachelors degree in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University, Marcus began to curate weekly performances in Detroit, showcasing some of Detroit's young jazz musicians. He held a weekly residency at Detroit's premiere jazz club, Cliff Bell's, for four years. Marcus self-released three albums with his ensemble, the Marcus Elliot Quartet and co-released an album with his duo project with Michael Malis, Balance.

As a Sideman, Marcus has performed with  Bob Hurst, Karriem Riggins, James Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Marcus Belgrave, Johnny O'Neal, Jimmy Heath, Shigeto, Thaddeus Dixon, Ettiene Charles, Mulgrew Miller, Rodney Whitaker, Talib Kweli, and many others. 

Marcus was a co-founder of Polyfold; a collective of musical artists who have joined together to develop, and present creative works. Founded in Detroit, Polyfold produces concerts and recordings, hosts outreach events and educational workshops, and fosters creative community in Detroit and beyond.

Marcus has traveled the world with trumpeter Anthony Stanco as a musical ambassador through the program American Voices. During his travels, Elliot has collaborated with musicians from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan.

Marcus is a member of the Shigeto Live Ensemble. This ensemble explores techno, funk, ambient, jazz, and hip-hop through using acoustic and electronic instruments.

As an Educator, Marcus has been giving private saxophone lessons since the age of 14. He was the saxophone instructor at The Young Musicians Program in Berkley, CA from 2009-2011. He was the Artist-in-Residence at Troy High School from 2013-2018 and one of the head directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Jazz Ensembles 2014-present. Marcus is a strong supporter of the arts and has created and funded a scholarship at Milford High School that gives monetary awards to young musicians and visual artists that plan to pursue the arts after high school. 

Marcus has received his Masters of Music degree at the University of Michigan, where he was awarded a graduate assistantship. He is active in the Detroit music community, collaborating with musicians in jazz, free-improvised music, techno, hip-hop, r&b, and classical music.

Rafael Leafar

Rafael Leafar, 2020 Film & Music Kresge Artist Fellow, is a rare multi-instrumentalist who can combine great passion, intellectual discipline, and a spiritual fire that is evocative of great artistic creativity. He has established himself as a remarkable composer and musician not defined by any one particular genre or style. 

Hailing from Detroit, Rafael’s connection to music was fostered from a musical family at an early age. His professional music career began in 2009, and he has since recorded/ performed with major artists such as Reggie Workman, Jeff Mills, Moodyman, Robert Hurst, Marcus Belgrave, Luis Resto, Vincent Chandler, Marion Hayden, Sterling Toles, Detroit Jazz Festival Band, Kamau Kenyatta, and Detroit Composers Collective.

Artwork for The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Presented at
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
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