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Photo of JJJJJerome Ellis.

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First Friday: Angel Bat Dawid

Friday, Nov 4

7:30 PM–9:00 PM


Music is a language, you see, a universal language.” –Sun Ra

Join us on RVA First Friday for a concert by acclaimed Black American composer, clarinetist, pianist, vocalist, producer, educator and DJ Angel Bat Dawid. She will be joined by Virginia-based artist JJJJJerome Ellis for a one-of-a-kind performance blending music, poetry, and mysticism.

Followed by a conversation with Chioke I’Anson, director of the VPM + ICA Community Media Center.




Angel Bat Dawid is a Black American Composer, Improviser, Clarinetist, Pianist, Vocalist, Educator and DJ. In 2019 she released her debut album The Oracle with Chicago label International Anthem. Recorded using only her cell phone in various locations, the album received widespread critical acclaim, with Pitchfork declaring it, “a vibrant, spiritual, free-jazz document of black life as it stands today.” Known for her prowess as a bandleader and performer, Angel has composed and performed several live pieces including “Requiem for Jazz” at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and “Peace: A Suite for Skylanding,” commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago for Yoko Ono’s outdoor Skylanding installation. She tours globally with her septet Tha Brothahood with whom she released the album LIVE in October 2020, which received numerous accolades, including making NPR Music’s “Best Albums of 2020” list and Pitchfork’s “Best New Music”. Angel also leads the all-woman ensemble Sistazz of the NittyGritty. As an educator, Angel teaches her “Great Black Music” course at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center through Old Town School of Folk. She is clarinetist in Damon Locks’ Black Monument Ensemble, and she hosts a monthly music show on NTS Radio. All of this and more is why Pitchfork recently highlighted Angel‘s work in their “Pitchfork 25 Next” cover story and included her on the “Pitchfork 25 Next” list, which identifies a select group of artist’s shaping the future of music. Named Winter Jazzfest’s 2022 Artist-in-Residence, where she debuted her “fearless expedition to ‘Afro Town’” (WBGO), and The Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year,” Angel returned to the stage this year for a performance at Carnegie Hall’s Afrofuturism Festival.

JJJJJerome Ellis is an animal, stutterer, and artist. He was raised by Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants in Tidewater, VA, where he prays, gardens, and resides among the egrets and asters. Through music, literature, performance, and video he researches relationships among blackness, disabled speech, divinity, nature, sound, and time. He dreams of building a sonic bath house!