Moses Sumney cancels show over slave musical

By: bbc
Moses Sumney
Songwriter Moses Sumney

LOS ANGELES singer-songwriter, Moses Sumney has pulled out of a forthcoming performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada in protest at another show on the bill which features white performers singing African-American slave songs.

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Directed by Robert Lepage and featuring singer Betti Bonifassi (both white), SLAV, described by the festival as “a theatrical odyssey based on slave songs”, has been subject to protests, with one black protester claiming to have been slapped in the face by a white theatregoer.

Now, in a statement on Twitter, Moses said: "When I learned that the festival continued to defend this show publicly... I knew that I could not present my music at this same festival in good conscience.

The festival have not commented on his statement, simply stating that ticketholders will be refunded.

Last month, Scottish Hip Hop trio, Young Fathers pulled out of a festival in Germany after the organisers challenged their support of a Palestinian-led organisation which calls for a cultural boycott of Israel.

Moses Frimpong Sumney, an American singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles, California was born on May 19, 1990 in San Bernardino, California to Ghanaian parents.

His self-recorded EP, Mid-City Island, was released in 2014 to positive reception. Sumney has performed as an opening act for Solange, Sufjan Stevens, and Erykah Badu.

Sumney released another 5-song EP in 2016, titled Lamentations; his first full-length album, Aromanticism, was released in September 2017.