Program celebrates Classical Roots and includes BLKBOK’s original compositions in a high-energy performance with live production
Tickets on sale now at dso.org/cube
Detroit, (January 25, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will again welcome renowned pianist BLKBOK to the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube) for a program in celebration of Classical Roots, following his successful debut last season. The program will take place on February 10 at 8 p.m. and will feature a high-energy performance and live production. Cube fan favorite DJ Stacye J will also perform DJ sets during this event.
BLKBOK’s authentic style on the keys attract the ear with compositions situated in a bed of classical notes accentuated with pop forms, jazzy riffs, and hip-hop boldness—sounds that reference his love for rhythms and musicality ranging from Ice Cube and Tina Turner to Chopin and, of course, Bach.
The Classical Roots mission seeks to increase awareness of the significant contributions African American composers and musicians have made to classical music; this mission extends far beyond the concert program, with composer residencies, commissions, recordings, and a fellowship program, and beyond Orchestra Hall, with school visits, chamber recitals, and community events.
BLKBOK: A Classical Roots Experience will take place Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m. in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube), located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center at 3711 Woodward Avenue.
Please note: the DSO does not appear on this performance.
2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.
Tickets for this performance start at $30 for general admission, with cabaret seating option available for $60. Tickets can be purchased at dso.org or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Programming in the Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings Cube is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Peter and Julie Cummings. The Cube is the DSO’s black box performance space located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The CUBE is defined for the curated, urban, boundless experiences it delivers to audiences. The venue is designed to not only be accessible, but also relevant to communities the DSO serves through consciously curated arts programming that spans across musical and artistic genres.
BLKBOK: A CLASSICAL ROOTS EXPERIENCE
Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m.
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Returning from his sold-out debut, BLKBOK returns for a special evening of music, in celebration of the 2023 DSO's Classical Roots concert, with a high-energy performance and live production like none you have ever seen. BLKBOK’s authentic style on the keys attract the ear with compositions situated in a bed of classical notes accentuated with pop forms, jazzy riffs, and hip-hop boldness—sounds that reference his love for rhythms and musicality ranging from Ice Cube and Tina Turner to Chopin and, of course, Bach.
$30 – General Admission
$60 – Cabaret Seating
Born and raised in Detroit’s inner-city, BLKBOK (born Charles Wilson III), grew up in a music-filled house and by the time he was 8, BLKBOK was an acclaimed piano prodigy, winning statewide accolades and college-level competitions. When it came to music, most of the kids he grew up with pursued hip-hop, adopting rap names. However, it’s no coincidence that Charles chose the name BLKBOK, which echoes that of one of the greatest pianists and composers of all time. The tag is also an apt reflection of the elements that have contributed to the artist’s identity and symbolizes his colorful journey from pop and hip-hop culture to his critically acclaimed, neo-classical debut album Black Book, and various Mixtape projects and collaborations.
BLKBOK's live, high-energy performance is culturally reflective and seeks to entertain with a live piano-based performance like none you have ever seen before. BLKBOK's vision is to illuminate awareness for all, encouraging dialogue and counterpoint in the way we perceive ourselves and the world we live in together.
BLKBOK’s critically acclaimed debut album Black Book served as a founding cornerstone at the very first Juneteenth Foundation’s Freedom Concert and was re-released as a DLUX Edition in June, with two new tracks, Forgotten Girls and Kendrick + Karine, covering relevant topics in mainstream culture, and in the voice that is uniquely BLKBOK. His first mixtape release, CVRART, and mixtape project, Angels Watching Over Me (with world-renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee), illustrate the innovative and disruptive musical landscape that is BLKBOK. His original track Stars (Ad Astra) was performed as the first-ever piano duet from Space in April 2022.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.
Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.
A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.