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Michele Rosewoman’s Sweet Rhythm

After three decades, jazz is finally catching up to the pianist-composer

Michele Rosewoman
Michele Rosewoman and her New Yor-Uba ensemble at Philadelphia's Painted Bride Art Center, 2013

In the belief systems of Nigeria’s Yoruba society-whose influence has crept across the globe in the form of art, philosophy and, most of all, music-lines of division tend to disappear, and aesthetics are inseparable from substance. Anything of great social value ought to have a kind of loveliness. One of the essential words in the Yoruba language is amewa, “knower of beauty.”

In the United States, whose influence has covered the world like pavement, value equals currency. Success is a kind of accumulation that emphasizes difference. It’s up or down, legal or outlawed, young or old.

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