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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Classical, hip hop and history combine in Juneteenth celebration featuring Blkbok

Blkbok at a grand piano
Allison Farrand/Allison Farrand
Detroit Tigers
Blkbok at a grand piano

Juneteenth will be celebrated with a free, family-friendly music event co-sponsored by Bell’s Brewery and The Gilmore from 12 - 5 pm on Sunday, June 18. It is headlined by Blkbok, a pianist from Detroit who plays his original, classically-influenced pieces in multi-media shows around the country.

Blkbok tells Cara Lieurance that he is returning to Michigan after shows in Los Angeles and Los Vegas. He talks about “Black Book,” the collection of instrumental music he composed that changed his musical direction, and how those songs without words have given him new ways to connect with audiences. Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom, creativity, and family he says. Blkbok is also celebrating his forthcoming second album of original works, and introduces the first single, “What Is Truth.”

Blkbok will take the stage at 4 pm on Sunday, but the festivities begin earlier at 12 pm with kids games, historical displays, and music from DJ Disobedience and keyboardist Brandon Fitzpatrick, bandleader of Minor Element and a soul-fusion specialist. Admission is free at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.