© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WOSB 91.1 FM in Marion is off the air. In the meantime, listen online or with the WOSU mobile app.

JUXTA New Music Concert Series

Juxta logo

Major funding for JUXTA is provided by the Johnstone Fund for New Music

The JUXTA concert series creates a fresh and important experience around the creative energy that happens when different elements are juxtaposed in an unexpected way.

Presented by Classical 101, JUXTA is a collaboration between local Central Ohio artists and WOSU Public Media.

JUXTA’s sponsor, the Johnstone Fund for New Music, helps to fund the creation and performance of new works and foster collaboration between performers and composers.

JUXTA 2022

Black Odes: A Reclamation Suite is a new musical composition by Dr. Mark Lomax II and Scott Woods performed by The Urban Art Ensemble.

This world-premiere performance on October 20, 2022 features poetry by Scott Woods and visual art by Richard Duarte Brown.

Antistrophe: Ho’oponopono
Antistrophe: Ho’oponopono. Painting by Jason Wood

What is Black Odes?

In the 19th century, Black Codes were laws designed to restrict the liberty of Black people.

Black Odes: A Reclamation Suite is a passionate celebration away from that reality and into another; a musical, poetic and visual celebration of a world in which the values of beauty, joy and liberty are not only a goal, but the starting point for existence.

This performance is a multi-disciplinary expression of what it would be like to actually live fully in America’s promise while being unapologetically Black.

This is not a mere vision of what it might be like to experience Black liberty, but an attempt to strip away all negative associations with blackness and then create from that space. The world of Black Odes isn’t merely aspirational, but an occasional and achievable state of being.

Creation of the music, poetry and visual art required each creator to strip away existing weight and gazes, then reconstruct new, original views of Blackness devoid of negative connotation, while maintaining that what we are – what we look like, what we think, and what we find beautiful – remains a source of pride and worthy of celebration.

We do not have to time travel or edit history or otherwise qualify what we are. At our core, what we are is worthy of joy as a goal unto itself.

What is an Ode?

The ode was originally an ancient Greek poetry form used to celebrate athletic victories. It was later adopted by English romantic poets who used them to distill emotional expression. The modern ode is a form of praise, of holding something or someone up in high regard.

Odes are written in three parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. The arrangement of Black Odes subscribes mainly, but loosely to the Horatian tradition.

Artist Bios

Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a critically acclaimed composer, recording artist, drummer, activist, and educator. In one of the timeliest and unprecedented pieces of work of our history, Lomax released 400: An Afrikan Epic in January 2019. This magnum opus consists of a 12-album cycle, a curriculum, and a documentary that ambitiously tells the story of the Afrikan diaspora.

A highly sought-after lecturer, Lomax specializes in the socio-political, and spiritual aspects of African-American art, music, race, and using the arts to build community.

These ideas are documented in his TED Talk “Activating The Transformative Power Of Trust,” and his weekly COVID-inspired YouTube show, “Drumversations.” Lomax adamantly declares that “there has never been a time in his life that music was not a part of me.”

Heavily influenced by his father, a pastor, and mother, a composer of gospel music, Lomax was introduced to gospel and jazz at an early age. He continued his study of gospel music with Dr. Raymond Wise, founder of the Center for the Gospel Arts.

Lomax has toured with the Delfeayo Marsalis Sextet and worked with notable artists such as Clark Terry, Marlon Jordan, Azar Lawrence, Bennie Maupin, Billy Harper, Nicholas Payton, Ellis Marsalis, and Wessel Anderson, among others.

Jazz Times says Lomax’s “forceful drumming would have made Elvin Jones proud.”

He has also been a resident artist with the Cincinnati Symphony (2019), Denison University (2017), and has presented the 400 across the country at various colleges, universities, art and community organizations.

Dr. Lomax holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree in composition from The Ohio State University.

His myriad experiences have allowed him to create a unique blend of styles in his music. Whether he’s interpreting the Negro Spiritual through jazz, arranging gospel music for a symphony orchestra, or performing his original works, his music is relevant, probing, and inspiring.

Lomax is a recipient of the 2019 Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio.

Scott Woods is an Emmy award-winning writer and event organizer in Columbus, Ohio. Woods is the author of Urban Contemporary History Month (2016), We Over Here Now (2013) and Prince and Little Weird Black Boy Gods (2017).

He has been featured multiple times in national press, including appearances on National Public Radio.

He is the founder of Streetlight Guild, a performing arts non-profit, a 2018 Columbus Foundation Spirit of Columbus Award recipient, as well as the Greater Columbus Arts Council winner of the 2017 Columbus Makes Art Excellence Award for his event series “Holler: 31 Days of Columbus Black Art."

Woods was named the first-ever “Face of Columbus” by Columbus Alive. He is the 2022 winner of the Press Club of Cleveland’s Ohio Excellence in Journalism award for Best in Ohio Essay Writing.

He is the co-founder of the Writers’ Block Poetry Night and an award-winning essayist. In 2006, Woods became the first poet to ever complete a 24-hour solo poetry reading; a feat he bested seven more times without repeating a single poem.

Richard “Duarte” Brown is a master artist with the TRANSIT ARTS Youth Program and the Ohio Alliance for the Arts Education's Art in the house program.

For more than 20 years, Brown has dedicated his talent to helping young people in Columbus through countless programs including CAPACITY (CAPA’s Youth Art Program), the Short Stop Youth Center, the King Arts Complex, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s (and formerly GCAC’s) Artists-in-Schools program, GCAC’s Children of the Future, Ebony Boys, Art Safe and VSA Ohio.

Brown has also worked as a high school art instructor at the Arts and College Preparatory Academy in Columbus.

Duarte began drawing at age 6-years-old, creating art from found objects such as rice, glue, shoe polish and cardboard, and he continues to work primarily in mixed media.

His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and locally in dozens of exhibitions, including at All People Arts, Beck Center for the Arts, Streetlight Guild, The Vanderelli Room, Ross Art Museum, Ohio History Center, ArtPop Street Gallery, Angela Meleca Gallery and McConnell Arts Center.

Brown was selected for the 2022 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship, created by the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) and the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA). Brown is a recipient of the 2022 Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio.

Major funding for JUXTA is provided by the Johnstone Fund for New Music