Moses Sumney cancels Montreal Jazz Fest set over racist theatre production

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American composer Moses Sumney has cancelled the set he was due to perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

With the festival’s continued support of the highly controversial theatre production SLĀV. The musical production is said to be a traverse and tribute to the searingly painful, yet incredibly powerful slave songs – historically sung throughout the horrors of slave work. This production has claimed itself as a “tribute”, yet proven itself to be another racist appropriation of black peoples history – rightly protested by the black community and many others, SLĀV depicts a largely white troupe presenting the production and the slave songs; white people depicted as the slaves, and presenting slave songs ingrained in black history. Something definitely does not sound right there.

Moses Sumney has felt equally as strongly about the matter and due to the festival’s continued support and defense for SLĀV despite reasonable continued protest, Moses has pulled out of the festival stating,“I knew that I could not present my music at this same festival in good conscience” adding, “Especially on a day sandwiched between Canada Day and Independence Day, two bittersweet holidays that have long left black, brown and indigenous voices out.”

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