The Jazzcat

Xenogenesis Suite: A Musical Tribute to Octavia E. Butler

by on Oct.28, 2016, under Events, News


So excited to be here at the world famed Huntington Library and on such an incredible occasion! The Nicole Mitchell‘s Black Earth Ensemble, tonight comprised of premium musicians from Chicago Los Angeles, New York all coming together in celebration of Octavia E. Butler‘s futuristic four part Xenogenesis Series!
Science Fiction novelist Octavia Butler, wrote the stories and blended the races of humans with their alien counterparts. A take over, a revival, a resurrection and an exploration into other worlds of complicated strife and triumph.


Inspired by her work, Nicole has composed an array of compositions that delve into the mastery illusion of images, thought provoking alienonic, futuristic creativity that all are sonically being expressed and channeled through the brilliance of one woman’s imagination called The Xenogenesis Suite

Nothing is off limits when it comes to the music. The search to connect Earth with extraterrestrial life forms. A call for sounds beyond our realm, a beam of light shining down exchanging energy as we tap into each other’s galaxies. Some might say experimental but, this is music with intentional sound creating synapse firing thought into existence!


The Black Earth Ensemble: Anthony Davis, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Eric Reeves, Avreeayl Ra, Mankwe Ndosi, Ras G, Stephanie Richards, David Boykin

Like a galactic star cluster traveling out through the Universe discovering new sources and exchanging nuances throughout their journey. The Black Earth Ensemble does not cater, does not reminisce on nostalgia, nor entertain resolution. They are not here to comply but, to teleport us into alternate realities, new ways of feeling and thinking, discover of our own intellect and to ponder on the possibilities. Comprehension, we can all spin our own individual Pollock and provide our version of the image.

Look at the cookie cutter world we live in full of rules, routine, complacency, anger and self hatred. Music heals, transcends, and sometimes dares us to challenge ourselves and others. Openness and curiosity are good things. Exploration is a must if you seek to discover truth through any art form. Feel now and understand later, the answers reveal themselves.


The Ensemble allows you to lower your wall of insecurity and judgement and let the light and love in. These instruments speak and within the sound are hidden jewels, treasures for you!

[metaslider id=25697]


Listen, can you “Smell the Fear”?  Our minds have been trained since infancy to think, hear and feel a certain way. Have you ever questioned that? These musicians thrive on uncharted territory, pealing back layers to unveil, absorb and as a gift, return it in an interpreted unspoken language for all to understand.

img_7538A standing O to Julia Meltzer, Clockshop and the Huntington for recognizing the power that lies in “The Sequence of Shadows”.
Imagery is a humans greatest gift. Our thoughts, dreams and introspective intuition can turn into brilliant reality. Through art, through dance, through music; what did not exist before now lives and breathes among us. eadim-huntington-library-1

A soundtrack to imagination, Nicole Mitchell and this compelling version of her Black Earth Ensemble has my mind is dancing and my body exhaling! From words to music, read and create!


LeRoy Downs

Leave a Reply

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...