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Living the question

Music review seeks to start a conversation

On Saturday, November 18, a sizeable collection of Tulsa musicians will assemble at the Colony and ask, “What’s going on?”

The event, curated by Delaney Zumwalt, is titled “What’s Going On? Songs for a Better World.” The night will feature 15 performances total, including four full bands assembled from the talented lineup.

“It’ll be set up kind of like an open mic,” Zumwalt said. “We have solo artists, and we have duos and trios of musicians trying out new collaborations with people they haven’t performed with before. And there will be recognizable covers, of course, but plenty of original material as well.”

Performances will be bookended by artists’ explanations of their original compositions or cover choices.

Zumwalt booked the slot in early August but switched the scope of the evening after the white supremacist demonstration—and ensuing fatal clash between counter-protesters—in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“I remember getting ready for a Brujo Roots gig and seeing that report on the news and just crying,” she said. “I turned the TV off and turned some music on shuffle. I was telling myself to get it together because I had to perform in a few hours, and ‘What’s Going On?’ by Marvin Gaye came on.”

The show will feature performances by the aforementioned Brujo Roots, Cucumber and the Suntans’ Mike Gilliland, Desi and Cody, and many others.

“I basically reached out to all my friends who play music and asked who was willing to donate their time and prepare songs for a show like this,” she said. “The number of people wanting to be involved has been amazing. I also encouraged people to collaborate with other musicians who aren’t in bands with them that they normally wouldn’t have the chance to work with. So, everyone has kind of been preparing and practicing on their own.”

“I just want everyone to feel heard, and I want to start a dialogue,” Zumwalt said. “I want people to talk to each other about these heavy and important issues we are all facing. We can’t change anything if we don’t talk about it.”

Some proceeds from the event will benefit the Iron Gate food program at Trinity Episcopal Church. There will also be a coat and blanket drive to keep Tulsa’s less fortunate warm this winter. 

What’s Going On? Songs for a Better World
The Colony, 2809 S. Harvard Ave. | November 18, 9:30 p.m. | $7 cover

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