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Liberation: A Festival of Arts & Culture Honoring Juneteenth

Monday, June 7, 2021 to Saturday, June 19, 2021
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As more institutions begin recognizing Juneteenth as a national holiday, it is important to uplift and name the Black joy, resistance, and expression that have always been at the core of this jubilant celebration. From June 7 to 19, SCG invites members and the community to a two-week journey highlighting ten Los Angeles-based Black musicians, cultural workers, and dancers. 

Register now to receive daily videos showcasing artists and their stories accompanied by guided questions for self-reflection and meditation. Join us to pause, re-connect, and honor this sacred day.


Artist Lineup - Week 1

Qur’an Shaheed

Qur'an Shaheed (b. 1992, Pasadena, CA) is a pianist, poet, singer and songwriter based in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA. She has been playing piano since the age of four, trained extensively in classical music through the expertise of her mother Sharon Shaheed and grandmother Monique Simpson. Since 2012 she has been developing her practice as a songwriter alongside her solo piano and ensemble work. She released the album Process, with producer Jesse Justice and Preference Records, in 2020 and regularly performs in and around Los Angeles.

Her sound is innovative, highly personal and experimental, incorporating elements of improvisation as well as neo-classical and neo-soul techniques. Shaheed often collaborates with others and has worked with Koreatown Oddity, filmmaker Vashni Korin and the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (of which her father Nolan Shaheed is also a member). She is the keyboardist for Jimetta Rose’s gospel choir The Voices of Creation. In 2020 she was interviewed by KCRW for their Private Playlist series and featured in a special mixtape project by waltz for Gucci Shibuya Parco in Tokyo. Shaheed is also engaged in composing for moving image and film scoring, particularly drawn to projects that reflect on society, history and unifying acts.


Samad Raheem Guerra

Samad Raheem Guerra is a director, multidisciplinary performing artist and arts educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his BA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance from UCLA in 2014. Since graduating, he has worked as a teaching artist, program coordinator at a youth homeless shelter and toured internationally with CONTRA-TIEMPO. He has also performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Amphitheater with Viver Brasil and Sergio Mendes, and co-produced his own work at the LACMA, Main Museum in downtown Los Angeles, Hamburger Bahnhof and daadgalerie in Berlin, Germany. 

Currently, Guerra directs the World Dance program at S.O.T.A, an audition-based performing arts high school in San Francisco. When Guerra is not teaching or working on art projects, he enjoys spending time in the wilderness. A big part of his healing practice also includes the ancient practice of sweating, which involves prayer and meditation. It has helped him stay grounded and connect to his higher purpose in life. He is grateful to the community of Navajo elders and teachers who introduced him to the practice and continue to be a source of inspiration in his life. Aho Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ (To All My Relations)

Rachel Hernandez

Extra Ancestral is a cultural movement dedicated to educating and entertaining audiences through the fusion of different cultural manifestations of the African Diaspora. In their performances, audiences are likely to experience genres such as Afrobeat, Reggae, Jazz, Salsa, and many traditional African musical forms of the Diaspora. Narrated through powerful ancestral dancing, Extra Ancestral provides an in-depth education of temporal and geographic borders from Africa to the Americas and back, providing lessons from the past to hone tools for the future. Music and dance are the ensemble’s healing tools, and led by some of LA’s most dynamic artists, their revolutionary performances of black survival invoke while poignantly resisting 500 years of forced transatlantic passages between West Africa and the Americas. Extra Ancestral unifies music, dance, visual arts, and community engagement as forms of empowerment to reduce the trans generational trauma that exists in communities of color. Historically, music and dance have been considered the oldest form of medicine and Extra Ancestral seeks to combine the tradition of healing through their performances to elevate and empower communities of color. Their vision manifests into performance productions, dance classes, workshops and music education with artists from across the African Diaspora.  Co-Artistic Director Kahlil Cummings, Rachel Hernandez, and Alberto Lopez.

Jamael Dean

Pianist and producer Jamael Dean is a jazz prodigy. Just 22 years old, he’s already collaborated and performed with the likes of Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Carlos Niño. 

Jamael's music reflects the dual influence of his Los Angeles contemporaries and jazz ancestors, including Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and soul jazz drummer Donald Dean — who is also his grandfather. LA, he says, is “the only place I can go in the same day to a jam session with music from the 20s and 30s to another session with music in the 40s through the 80s, and after that play music with my friends from that era onwards."

Kibrom Birhane

Ashe an Ethiopian-born multi-instrumentalist and keyboardist extraordinaire, Kibrom Birhane is a leader among jazz artists, mixing spiritual and Ethiopian jazz motifs to create a uniquely deep sound that resonates across cultures and musical concepts. Kibrom with him an ancient tradition, a spirit of dedication to roots and ever-expanding innovation. Kibrom’s deep understanding of Ethiopian tradition and sublime ability to fuse those sounds with funk, gospel, pop and folk earned him an All African Music Award nomination for best male artist.



No cost to participate

Who May Attend

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If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

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