"Freedom: The Spirit and Legacy of Black Music"

Freedom! premiered at the Stratford Festival.

The description of what the cabaret is about is clear and resounding: From the moment Black people landed on North American soil, their music took root and became the basis of much of the popular music we hear today. There is an endless list of exceptional Black musicians who have been lost to history, while their white counterparts gained fame. From church hymnals to the blues, from jazz to rock n roll, R & B and rap, we owe much of our musical history to Black culture, and it's time to give credit where credit is due.

In Beau Dixon's meticulously curated cabaret of 23 songs and reading, the spirit and legacy of Black music are clear and bold. The cabaret is divided into categories: Negro Spirituals, Silent Voices, Message Lost in the Voices, Encore, and Reading (Emancipation Poem by Haui (Howard J. Davis).

Dixon puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of Bob Marley and his songs in the expression of freedom and emancipation. He includes four Bob Marley songs: One Love, Zimbabwe, Slave Driver, and Redemption Song, One Love might seem a gentle one but it has a solid message. The others by Marley are more pointed in their intention.

The Blues are given their due with a fascinating comment that even though they depict darkness in their lyrics, they also convey humour and wink as well.

Join us for more! Stay for a talkback immediately following the performance with Beau Dixon hosted by Jermaine Marshall, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Advisor, Queen's University Human Rights & Equity Office.

Jermaine Marshall (he/they) is a proud Jamaican born social justice educator with a passion for enacting change through the fostering of young minds and the implementation of equity based institutional reform.  

After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Law from the University of the West Indies, Jermaine went on to complete their Masters in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University, where he worked coordinating intercultural, anti-racism and gender based violence prevention initiatives and campaigns.  

Jermaine currently works at Queen’s University as the Inclusion and Anti-Racism Advisor and in their spare time they freelance as a queer vocalist and poet whose artistry seeks to create a vibrant soundscape that captures the contours of lived pain and joy within an oppressive society. 



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