Sounds of Liberation Featuring Andre Williams, Hosted by Clovice Lewis at Andre’s Lounge and on Zoom

Middletown Art Center (MAC) presents the fourth and final Sounds of Liberation conversation, this time with singer, songwriter Andre Williams on Saturday, November 12th, 5:30 pm at Andre’s Lounge in Lakeport and on Zoom. Williams, R&B vocalist, songwriter, producer and local entrepreneur, will be hosted by Clovice Lewis, composer, musician, educator, and social justice advocate from Upper Lake in a conversation about race and music. The evening includes an intimate performance by Williams and Lewis and an opportunity for audience questions. Doors open at 5:15 pm.

A pure vocalist, Williams’ smooth, warm tenor sounds blend R&B and Jazz. In 1991 he joined MC Hammer’s World Tour, “Too Legit to Quit,” as lead vocalist and continues to perform with Hammer to this day. Their performance credits together include The Arsenio Hall Show, the American Music Awards, Soul Train Music Awards, and the video “Bring Our Brother’s Home”. Williams has written or produced songs for musical artists, including Dorothy Moore, The Pointer Sisters and The Whispers. “They Don’t Know” is his latest solo album.

A music and food entrepreneur, Williams has been in business and radio in Lake County since 1995, starting in the Clearlake area. He established Drinx Bar & Grill in Lakeport in 2015 to provide a performance venue for local or guest musicians and opened Andre’s Lounge, a jazz and piano bar, this past summer.

Sounds of Liberation is a collaboration between Clovice Lewis and the MAC that honors the Black experience as told through musical genres that have contributed to and influenced contemporary North American music and culture and the personal experiences of Black musicians living in Lake County. The project launched on June 19, 2021 with a conversation between Lewis and arts and social justice advocate Sabrina Klein. Their conversation was followed by the inauguration of MAC’s annual Juneteenth Celebration.

The partnership between Lewis and the MAC was forged during A Community Call to Action (CCA): A loving response to systemic racism in America meeting. CCA, a local action group, was formed in response to the widely publicized and horrific deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“This series of interviews and performances are based on my research on the role of African music as the music of liberation,” explained Lewis. “My central thesis is that most African American music is, in some manner, a reflection of the harm of systemic racism and oppression.”

The primary goal of the Sounds of Liberation project is to create environments that support public exploration of challenging questions about systemic racism in America through music. Linkages between Big Band, R & B and rap will be explored during this Sounds of Liberation event.

Join Clovice Lewis and Andre Williams in person at Andre’s Lounge in Lakeport or on Zoom. Seating at Andre’s Lounge is limited, and Zoom pre-registration is required. Tickets are available by donation, no one turned away for lack of funds at www.middletownartcenter.org/sounds-of-liberation. Community members of all ages are welcome and invited to join. Andre’s Lounge is located at 150 N. Main Street, Lakeport, CA, 95453.

Sounds of Liberation is made possible with community support and with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at www.calhum.org.

The MAC Gallery is open Thursday – Monday, 10:30-5pm, or by appointment by phoning 707-809-8118. The current show on view is BELONGING. Learn more about the MAC and ways that you can support their work weaving the arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County at www.middletownartcenter.org.

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