Soft Cedar Performing Arts Society

Khari Wendell McClelland

Khari Wendell McClelland

The York Theatre | Feb 2 | 8pm


Feb 02 | York Theatre | 8pm

Soft Cedar was proud to present the release of the album version of Khari Wendell McClelland's Freedom Singer. On February 2 at The York Theatre Khari was joined by The Sojourners, Tonye Aganaba, Desiree Dawson, Jillian Christmas, and many others to release Freedom Singer and celebrate Black history. 

As a way of documenting the work we present on our stages and to encourage more critical writing about Vancouver's music scene, Soft Cedar asks someone to write a reflection on each event we produce. Here is Jillian Christmas' piece about the February 2nd event:

Talking With Ancestors After The Show Freedom Singer
Feb 02 2018

“Say the name of a person
who has loved you into existence”     
          Reminder to the audience:
          There is a bright body, alive on the stage
Invite them into the space
Can you feel their generous bending?

          Swell of a praise-song, quick and rocking at the back of our throats.
          A room transformed by light. An entire body smiling at the sight of YOU
Did you hear? There is a man ALIVE!?
Did you hear it too? This body, claimed, unbroken

          Beautiful and Brown as the banks of the river that birthed me and fed you
          A freedom song dancing at the edge of our lips
This story of us, rolling on and under swaying tongues
What kind of free could we choose to be? If we could choose to be?

          Nothing stolen under this sharp unblinking night
          No mournful son
Some brave black wild dream?
Some sweet dark splendid sugar plum thing?

          Chords strike an echo at the walls of these fresh lungs        
          Ask us how much sinew are we willing to split
Never once bit down on the aching taste of escape
Now THAT is a memory to look in the face

          Imagine, no body breaks and we carry each other
          If there is a moment, this is it
‘Known better than to beg a minute's sojourn
Reminder to the artist: this is it.

Check out Khari Wendall McClelland's website here
Follow him here:  Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

For this presentation, Soft Cedar partnered with Project: Humanity on their national Freedom Singer Concert tour, supported by TD.