Image courtesy of nmwa.org
By Jacqueline Jedrych
If quarantine has you missing live concerts, you may be interested in The Tea, an online concert series presented by the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Women, Arts, and Social Change public program initiative. This initiative is a part of the Fresh Talk program, which features conversations with activists, artists, designers, social innovators, and others. The Tea is live-streamed on the NMWA’s Facebook page on the first Friday of every month, kicking off on September 4 with Tamika Love Jones.
The series showcases female musicians. Each segment begins with a short interview with the artist, during which they detail their creative process over a cup of tea. The artist then performs a set of original work, around 40 minutes long.
This week’s live stream was with D.C. native Tamika Love Jones. Since her debut in 2009, she has released three albums of original music incorporating soul, hip-hop, jazz, funk, blues, and classical influences. Jones is also very involved in social justice advocacy, as well as a highly sought-after Teaching Artist. She has collaborated with Sibley Hospital Ward Infinity Project, Bloombars, Global Kids, F.R.E.S.H.H. Inc., and Guerilla Arts. Jones is also a mother of two.
Almost 2,000 people across the country tuned in Friday afternoon to listen to Tamika Love Jones and her band. In her interview, Jones spoke about her creative process, especially in light of current world events.
“We are essential workers, artists,” Jones said. “People are looking for healing in all types of ways right now.”
Jones stressed the importance of listening, in this time that there are so many perspectives being brought up. She expressed the importance of taking the time to journal and ensure that she has the time to create. Jones works as a musician for an improv theater group and has noticed how healing it has been for them to create stories and express themselves during such a turbulent time.
Jones’ music describes her life. Her diverse set included songs about her tough childhood in D.C., learning to be vulnerable and to love, adolescent crushes, as well as the din created in our society by social media.
The Tea will be back on Friday, November 6, with an interview and performance by local jazz singer, Heidi Martin.