| Credit: Provided

The eclectic sounds of local musicians Mike Brown and Benny Starr have spanned genres, and most recently, artistic mediums. In celebration of Harlem renaissance painter Romare Bearden, Gibbes Museum commissioned Brown and Starr to create a musical response to its current Bearden exhibition, Abstraction to unveil at the museum’s Jan. 7 event, “Improvised: A Hip-hop Experience.”

“The way I see music is almost visual, so it actually worked perfectly for me,” Mike Brown told City Paper. “Most times before I write my songs, I see the video concept. So for me to interpret these artworks, it came naturally to feel and see and create.”

For the event, Brown will perform jazzy compositions that retain a more relaxing, slow-paced R&B rhythm accompanied by a backing band that includes jazz pianist Demtrius Doctor, keys player Jordan Brown, drummer Caleb Harper and bassist Tristen Cills, with vocals from gospel artist Nelson Gibson and up-and-coming singer JP. 

In addition to Brown and Starr’s original performances will be spoken word poetry from acclaimed South American writer Alayssa Thomas and hosting the event will be Charleston radio personality Kris Kaylin, heard on Z93 Jamz as The Weekend Diva. Tickets for the 6 p.m. show are available here.

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