American singer-songwriter Moses Sumney is performing two last-minute club shows in Montreal after pulling out of the Montreal International Jazz Festival over a show on slavery performed by whites.
The black artist canceled his Tuesday performance at the jazz fest because of its ties to SLAV, a theatrical production on black slavery put on by a primarily white group of entertainers.
Sumney complained of cultural appropriation in a note to festival organizers. In the letter, he says: "Their songs are taken from them by white people and performed to rooms full of other white people for high ticket prices. I much would have preferred seeing actual black Americans sing their own slave songs."
The festival says it respects Sumney's decision and hopes he will perform there in the future.
Sumney, who later released a full statement to explain his actions, in Twitter post that he would not be doing interviews as his decision was not based on gaining media attention.
Thnx so much to all for the support around the MTL show! I'm very surprised. & no love lost towards the festival; I hope this can be a learning experience for us all. I'm getting LOTS of press requests but am not doing interviews right now as I didn't do this for media attention.— Moses Sumney (@MosesSumney) July 3, 2018
AP and IOL