Oberlin College and Conservatory

Mwenso and the Shakes with OBBO, Starla Online

Monday, April 29 at 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse, Hales Annex
180 West Lorain Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Mr. Mwenso, a Sierra Leonean vocalist, comes from the jazz world, but his messages arrive in the form of a growl, not a croon, and his band, the Shakes, is a thrashing hybrid whose concerts often take the form of a prewar revue. If a tap dancer arrives to blow your mind midsong, don’t say you weren’t warned.”— New York Times

“It’s my own personal vibe,” Mwenso says. “It’s theatrical, with a costume component, which comes from my upbringing of being a young performer in musicals. We present folk music with African American music. There’s a spiritual message and it’s empowering.’’

For this tour, the band features 10 musicians from South Africa, Europe, Hawaii, and Jamaica. Their latest show is called ‘‘Protest Songs From Africa to America.’’ The show features African folk songs, South African music from the Apartheid era,  African American church songs, along with new protest songs from the band.

Event Type

Performing Arts


Academic, Africana Studies, Jazz Studies





Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse
Photo Alternate Text

Photo of the Mwenso and the Shakes band in bright outfits posing against the wall.

Contact Person

Hanne Williams-Baron

Contact Phone Number


Contact E-mail Address


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