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Concerts & Events

Sunday, October 2, 2022  ·  7:00 PM CDT

Mississippi River Suite written & directed by

Michael J. Miles

featuring Zahra Glenda Baker with Lloyd Brodnax King & Jill Kaeding

4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000

This event features the world premier live performance of "WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?" It is the overpowering second half of the Mississippi River Suite that brought rave reviews from critics and reached #9 on the National Folk charts in 2021.

Originally inspired by a concert he gave in a state prison right on the Mississippi River, and haunted by the political madness of the red-blue nation, Miles has created a musical portrait of now.

Part I, Mississippi River Suite uses the river that ‘divides the nation' as the premise for this portrait of a ‘divided nation.' Part 2, Which Side Are You On calls the question, visits Washington D.C., and travels in time only to reach a conclusion that may surprise you.

With this work, Miles has gone deep inside America and his views of our struggling nation—mixing his poetry and musical compositions.

The banjo is featured with percussion, flute, cello, and the powerful and penetrating voice of Zahra Glenda Baker— known across the country for her extraordinary prowess as singer & storyteller. Lloyd Brodnax King is one of America's finest jazz flute players. Jill Kaeding is a renowned, consummate professional cellist who has shared the stage with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

“Mississippi River Suite is an evocative, haunting, beautiful, timely, epic work of music and spoken word. Miles shows how music can speak to these times we're living in.” - Chris Kennedy, Professor Emeritus, Western Wyoming College

"This is a masterpiece— this piece is overpowering.” - Tony Trischka, world renowned banjoist

“This is the finest roots/Americana music to come along since Jay Ungar was in his Harvest Home phase … a killer work throughout that takes organic music to whole new realms.” - Chris Spector, Midwest Record Review

“Michael Miles does it again! Known as an innovator, multi-instrumentalist Miles paves new road with the banjo (guitar, and other instruments) taking people along on his journey. A stage play, Talking Blues? Spoken Word? Poetry? with music, it is all of the above, and done quite well.”

- John McEuen, Founder of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band