All events are free and take place at UMMA unless otherwise noted.

Sep 23

Hear Us Now Quartet

Free and open to the public. No registration required. 

Gather to see two live performances by Hear Us Now, an exciting new quartet featuring Helga Davis (vocals), Ashley Jackson (harp), and Fred Cash Jr. (bass), and Justin Hicks (composer). The quartet will perform new work inspired by the exhibition Hear Me Now, The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina in which direct poetry and texts created by Edgefield potter David Drake are used to craft the composition.


Helga Davis is a vocalist and performance artist with feet planted on the most prestigious international stages and with firm roots in the realities and concerns of her local community whose work draws out insights that illuminate how artistic leaps for an individual can offer connection among audiences. Davis was principal actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera Einstein on the Beach.

Ashley Jackson, a harpist praised for her “soulful” and “eloquent” playing (Musical America), enjoys a multifaceted career as a highly sought-after musician and collaborator in New York and beyond. As a soloist, she has performed at Lincoln Center, Celebrate Brooklyn! and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolis Ensemble, the Qatar Philharmonic, and is the principal harpist of NOVUS NY, the contemporary music orchestra of Trinity Wall Street led by Grammy-nominated conductor Julian Wachner. She is a member of the Harlem Chamber Players, with whom she has developed a number of projects, including her first film, In Song and Spirit and the Harlem Walking Tour Series.

Fred Cash, Jr. hails from Chicago and was born into soul royalty, as the son of Fred Cash Sr. of The Impressions with Curtis Mayfield. After college, Fred moved to New York where he has worked with artists such as India Arie, Toshi Reagon, Alicia Keys, Henry Butler, Elvis Costello and George Clinton.

Justin Hicks is a Drama Desk-nominated composer, vocalist, and sound artist.  He’s worked with notable artists such as Abigail DeVille, Meshell Ndegeocello, Hilton Als, Steffani Jemison, Joan As Policewoman, Charlotte Brathwaite, Mimi Lien, and Toshi Reagon.  His work has been presented at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts,  The Public,  Baryshnikov Art Center, Festival steirischer herbst (Graz, AT), Symphony Space. He recently provided music for Lynn Nottage's Clyde's on Broadway and presented his commissioned work Outside as part of The Shed's Open Call series. Hicks was a member of Kara Walker’s 6-8 Months Space and holds a culinary diploma from ICE in New York City.

The Arts & Resistance Theme Semester, organized by UMMA and the U-M Arts Initiative, is generously supported by the U-M Office of the Provost, the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and Erica Gervais Pappendick and Ted Pappendick.

Hear Me Now is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with support from the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Lead support for UMMA's presentation of the exhibition is provided by Michigan Engineering, the U-M Office of the Provost, the U-M Office of the President, the Americana Foundation, the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the U-M Inclusive History Project, and Michigan Humanities. Additional generous support is provided by Larry and Brenda Thompson and Melissa Kaish and Jonathan Dorfman. 


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