Event - Sundays on the Lawn – Live Music Performances

Sundays on the Lawn – Live Music Performances

08.05.18, 1:30 pm

Join us Sunday afternoons, 1:30 – 4pm for Sundays on the Lawn, a new outdoor program featuring internationally renowned bands and musicians, plus free art making classes and lawn games. Bring your friends and families for an afternoon on the museum’s lawn. Grab a picnic from the cafe and enjoy a stellar line-up of bands organized around the theme of call and response and calls to action by guest curator Ariana Hellerman. Art making classes and lawn games start at 1:30pm, music performances start at 3pm.

*In case of rain, all programs will take place inside the museum!

BAND: Innov Gnawa 

Innov Gnawa is a Grammy-nominated musical collective dedicated to exploring Morocco’s venerable gnawa music tradition in the heart of New York City. Formed in the summer of 2014 by Moroccan expat Samir LanGus, the group draws on the expertise of Maâlem Hassan Ben Jaafer, a master gnawa musician, originally from Fes, Morocco. Innov has delved deep into the roots and rituals of gnawa music, playing some of the city’s most prestigious rooms including Lincoln Center, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Bowl. Hailed by Brooklyn Magazine as one of the “5 Bands You Need to Know in Brooklyn’s Arabic Music Scene”, Innov Gnawa make great use of this traditional repertoire, and add their own, contemporary spin with additional African and Latin percussion. Taken as a whole, this exciting new outfit works hard to fuse a centuries old North African tradition with the pulse and attitude of New York City now.

Gnawa music is the ritual trance music of Morocco’s black communities, originally descended from slaves and soldiers once brought to Morocco from Northern Mali and Mauritania. Often called “The Moroccan Blues”, gnawa music has a raw, hypnotic power that’s fascinated outsiders as diverse as writer/composer Paul Bowles, jazz giant Randy Weston and rock god Jimi Hendrix. The music is utterly singular, played on an array of unique instruments — from the lute-like sintir that the Maâlem uses to call the tune, to the metal qarqaba (castinets) with which the kouyos (chorus) keep time and pound out clattering, hypnotic rhythms.


More about:


CALL and response

CALL to action

Call and Response is a form of interaction in which the speaker’s statements (“calls”) are punctuated by direct commentary from the audience. In music, it is a technique where one musician offers a phrase and a second player responds. The musicians build on each other’s offerings and move the song forward, collectively. Forms of call and response music are widely present in parts of the world touched by the trans-Atlantic slave trade and in this country, can be seen in the most famous of African-American music genres including gospel, blues, soul, R&B, and hip hop. Often times, the lyrics reflect the social struggles experienced.

A Call To Action is an instruction to an audience, designed to provoke an immediate response. Calls to Action have inspired radical collaborations that call for change, whether for peace, the end of war, community formation, or political resistance.

Artist’s Calls to Action have inspired songs that become protest anthems, fighting issues of injustice, including institutional racism, income inequality, and war. In the United States, Sam Cooke penned the Civil Rights masterpiece “A Change Is Gonna Come;”  folk and mainstream artists like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, helped to create the soundtrack to the anti-war movement during Vietnam.

In many ways, both Call and Response music and musician’s Calls to Action relate to civic life and the struggle for social justice. Call and Response is often a pervasive pattern of democratic participation— used in public gatherings, in the discussion of civic affairs, and in religious rituals – it ensures that all voices are heard and that all issues are addressed. Politically, social Calls to Action are usually sparked when something has gone awry; it signals an alarm for change.

In this series, we have engaged artists from different parts of the world, whose music shines light onto one of the two Calls. “Call and Response” music and musical “Calls to Action” are quite similar in that they both tell interactive stories and are both dependent on a collective experience.  In these dire political times, we are in need of dialogue and each other.


– statement by Ariana Hellerman