Adapting History

“Adapting History” is an oral telling of American music through history and American history through music. From gospel to blues, jazz to R&B, America has produced some of the most innovative music of the 20th century. Although the songs are easy on the ears, their inception occurred in cultural climates that were often discordant. In “Adapting History,” Dahlak Brathwaite uses spoken word poetry and hip-hop sampling  to narrate and re-imagine the complex history of our nation. This musical chronicle shows that despite conflict and misunderstanding, we can still be brilliantly creative.
With Accelerator funding, Dahlak was able to add an international component to the work, traveling to Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands with producer Amadeu Goncalves, where they conducted historical and musical research.  “Adapting History” was created in collaboration with and commissioned by OneBeat partner Montalvo Arts Center’s Education Department in 2016. A virtual version of the piece will premiere through UC San Diego on November 17th, followed by UC Davis in January of 2021.