Ernest Wilkins speaks to the multidisciplinarian ahead of his politically charged audiovisual Black Monument Ensemble show at RBMF Chicago.
Chicago’s Damon Locks is a multimedia and visual artist, activist, educator, vocalist, musician and DJ whose artistic output and philanthropic efforts are driven by the desire to educate, connect and find power in protest. Locks has been a musician since the ’80s, founding bands Trenchmouth, the Eternals and jazz ensemble Exploding Star Orchestra. This month, as part of Red Bull Music Festival, Locks will present his multi-sensory show, Black Monument Ensemble: Where Future Unfolds - Flowers for Chicago, a musical and visual odyssey inspired by the church-rooted black activism of the ’60s and ’70s. On today’s show, he speaks to Peak Time correspondent Ernest Wilkins about the genesis of his sound, supporting Chicago’s creative community, working with the legendary Roscoe Mitchell and what we can expect from this monumental event.