This Week in Milwaukee: February 2-8, 2023

February is Black History Month. Join to pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who have faced adversity to gain full citizenship in American society.

feature film presentations by Milwaukee Film; Correcting the Narrative: Realities and Reforms in Our Prison System; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis; Hue Revue BIPOC Cabaret; Buffalo Nichols with Stephen Hull and more – this week in Milwaukee!

Thursday February 2nd

The Big Payback @ Oriental Theater, 7 p.m

Milwaukee Film’s Fifth Annual Black History Month https://mkefilm.org/MKEFilm begins with the documentary The Big Payback. An inexperienced councilwoman from Evanston, Illinois, presided over the passage of the first tax-financed slavery reparations bill in US history for black Americans. As she and her community struggle with the burden of making amends to their citizens, a national racial crisis engulfs the country. Will the debt ever be addressed, or is it too late for this reparations movement to finally get the big payoff? Likewise, Afrofuturism on Friday and The Last Dragonon Saturday. For more information on the Milwaukee Film screenings, talks and events curated by the Black Lens program in celebration of Black History Month, visit mkefilm.org/black-history-month-2022-milwaukee-film.

“Correcting the Narrative: Realities and Reforms in Our Prison System” @ Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, 7 p.m

In Wisconsin, approximately 40,000 people are in adult correctional facilities and more than 60,000 adults are under community custody at one time. Our state incarcerates more blacks in proportion to their population than any other state in the nation.

In conjunction with the exhibition Art Against the Odds presented by the Portrait Society Gallery of Contemporary Art shepherdexpress.com/news/issue-of-the-month/art-against-the-odds-shows-the-humanity-of – wisconsins-pri/ This discussion will focus on issues such as rehabilitation, reentry, restorative justice and possible prison reforms. Free with registration: eventbrite.com/e/panel-discussion-tickets-524583592647.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis @ Marcus Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m

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Conducted by Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will be accompanied by Iraqi oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma for a program entitled “Middle East Meditations”. Marsalis said: “He comes from a whole world of music in which he is a master. As a virtuoso and teacher, he changed the presence of the oud. Playing with Naseer is what being a musician is all about – all the hours and years spent practicing and trying to be serious – it’s worth it. We look forward to getting together to interpret his music.”

Friday February 3rd

Anime Milwaukee @ Hilton Milwaukee City Center and Wisconsin Convention Center, 9 p.m

This three-day anime convention celebrates and educates fans about anime, manga, Asian culture, music and gaming. It is also affiliated with the Entertainment and Culture Promotion Society (ECPS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating cultures in the Milwaukee area. ECPS conducts several events throughout the year to promote cultural diversity and education, and works in partnership with other educational organizations in the Milwaukee area, including the Japanese Language Division of UW-Milwaukee and the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago.

Anime Milwaukee features cosplay, a masquerade competition, video and tabletop games, children’s programming, and creative K-pop dance competitions. Until Sunday. More info here: animemilwaukee.org/about-amke.

Hue Revue BIPOC cabaret @ The Cooperage, 7 p.m

Hue Revue is a place for BIPOC artists to shine and showcase their talent. The burlesque and drag showcase will also include a BIPOC sales market.

“Toward the Sea – Water Festival”, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra @ Bradley Symphony Center, 7:30 p.m

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s three-week Water Festival concludes with waves of beautiful sound presented by principal musicians from the MSO. On the way to the sea II (Umi e II)Takemitsu’s homage to the sea includes alto flute, harp and strings to evoke the “spiritual domain” of water and nature, while David Ludwig’s Concerto for Bassoon, Images from the floating world, captures the poetic fluidity of water in relation to life. Debussys la mhe, inspired by the rich and changing moods of the Mediterranean, closes the program.

Also Saturday. More info here: mso.org/concerts/toward-the-sea/52999.

Saturday February 4th

Glove Fest 2023 @ Burnhearts, 1pm

A bloody street festival in early February with temperatures up to 34 degrees? No problem, it’s kind of a heat wave. It’s an age-old question we all ask ourselves at some point: what the heck were my ancestors thinking about settling in Wisconsin? As if answering a challenge, Mitten Fest delivers to prove we hail from hearty camps.

A host of bands are taking it to the streets to remind us that the first day of summer is just over four months away. The Steph Lippert Project warms things up, followed by Credentials from Math Rock Proponents. Emmy-nominated rap artist Genesis Renji is followed by headliners Convert – who could easily have been called Flame Thrower. As always, in addition to clothing donations, Burnhearts will also accept cash and non-perishable items for the Hunger Task Force.

10th Annual Guitar Festival Concert Featuring Leonela Alejandro and Gohar Vardanyan @ Latino Arts, Inc., 7pm

Latino Arts and the Latino Arts Strings Program present the 10th Annual Guitar Festival Concert, concluding the annual Guitar Festival and Competition. Featuring a youth guitar competition, master classes with internationally renowned talent, workshops focusing on classical guitar technique, construction and maintenance, the evening concert will highlight the winners of the youth competition and feature solo performances by internationally renowned guitarists from Puerto Rico such as Leonela Alejandro and Armenian-born Gohar Vardanyan. More info here: latinoartsinc.org.

Lady Cannon with The Namby Pamby and Julia Blair @ The Tonic Tavern, 8:30

Trio from Fort Wayne, Indiana The Namby Pamby’s debut LP marketplace features one-to-one lyrics paired with intimate performances ranging from folk to rock. Lady Cannon displays a kind of passionate intensity as she delves deep into tales of longing and heartbreak, while the band’s line-up adds exciting layers to their Midwestern Americana style.

Sonic Consigliere Julia Blair, a key figure in Appleton’s Crutch of Memory Enterprises (recording studio, music label and book publisher), emerged with her album Better outside than inside, a collection that alludes to both Americana and Carole King. She demonstrates her gift for dynamics: from the explosive nature of a pop hook to the firm, soothing grip of a lullaby.

Sunday February 5th

Buffalo Nichols with Stephen Hull @ Cactus Club, 5pm and 8pm

Carl Nichols from Milwaukee, a kind of homecoming, has done his gambles before. As part of the duo Nickel & Rose, he played jazz and blues clubs across Europe before settling in his current hometown of Austin, Texas. With his 2021 album on the venerable Fat Possum Records, Nichols became the first blues act to sign to the label in nearly 20 years. At times it hinted at deep hill country tones from giants like RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. shepherdexpress.com/music/album-reviews/lost-lonesome-by-buffalo-nichols-fat-possum

Of this record he said: “Part of my intention to feel more comfortable with this release is to bring more black stories into the folk and blues genres. When I listen to this record, I want more black people to hear themselves in this music that’s really theirs.”

Monday February 6th

Almost Monday with DOUBLECAMP at The Back Room @ Colectivo Back Room, 8pm

After countless garage jams, DIY gigs in the back of a surf shop, and countless hours of writing together, Almost Monday fill the California sun with their funky basslines, ecstatic choruses, and danceable grooves. The band, which first emerged in 2020, have amassed more than 100 million total streams while wowing audiences everywhere.

Tuesday February 7th

Talisk @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m

Cross-genre Scottish trio Talisk use accordion, guitar and fiddle to create a layered, signature sound. Awards and festival appearances in Chile, Denmark, Borneo, Canada and the Milwaukee Irish Fest show that the group brings a fresh touch to traditional folk music.

Wednesday February 8th

“The Harlem Renaissance” @ Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, Marcus Performing Arts Center, 11 a.m

Black Arts MKE presents “Harlem Renaissance” during Black History Month for Milwaukee students. The Savoy’s Ballroom explores a high point in black history. Young audiences will highlight four towering figures of the era: Ella Fitzgerald, Jacob Lawrence, Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, and young audiences will experience swing, jazz, scattering and, most importantly, one of America’s most monumental artistic revolutions. Please note that this production is only open to schools and youth organizations, not to the general public. Until February 24, dates and info here: blackartsmke.org/season//harlem-renaissance.php.

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