I performed at the Gardner last June . I’m more of a rock/soul/hip-hop artist, and they wanted to bring something different into the hall. I and Simone Scazzocchio, who’s co-curating with me, designed a show that’s similar to a classical piece in terms of the development of the music and how we put my three sets together. They loved it. Soon after, we started having conversations about Rise and what this type of music series would look like at Calderwood Hall.
The title of the series represents the breakthrough and rising up of art and music at the museum. We felt Rise was symbolic of the shape of Calderwood Hall. Both the audience and the performers have to really engage through the four levels of the hall to experience the full breadth of the performance space, which is really unique, being a cube shape. What makes it different is that it’s a pop/hip-hop/folk music series. The hall was built to support classical music, so it’s different to take on the challenge of getting bigger sound into an intimate space and allowing audience members to have a more immersive and closer experience with the performers.
Our opening act [is] King, three women working with electronic loops and piano and voice. For our second, we have pop act Yuna. We are running the gamut, and we hope to stretch that out more.
I hope [Rise] inspires people that wouldn’t feel like they have a place in the museum to feel like they belong. Artists have the ability to gracefully open up hearts and minds and bring so many faces and colors and diversity into a room for one cause. The acts that we chose will do that.
RISE UP The three-event Rise series kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. For information and tickets, visit gardnermuseum.org.