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Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager
Apr 15, 2021
Updated June 1, 2021
For our latest throwback, we turn the spotlight on Columbus-based musician and composer Dr. Mark Lomax, II and his Wex Artist Residency Award-supported work, 400: An Afrikan Epic. The ambitious (and gorgeous) 12-album cycle chronicles the African American experience from the arrival of the first slaves on American shores to an imagined Afrofuture. JAZZIZ noted that the work is "the culmination of a lifetime of musical and historical study," and music critic Tom Hull put it at the top of the list he submitted for NPR's poll of the best jazz albums of 2020. And just this May, he's released a compelling documentary about 400, which you can watch here.
Recently, Lomax has been working on a breakout project connected to the sixth album in the cycle, Four Women. And he spent some time online with our Executive Director Johanna Burton and artist Ann Hamilton for an episode of Always Subject to Change, a collaboration between the Wex and WOSU Public Media.
Below, you can check out videos from Lomax about the creation of 400, as well as a conversation between the musician and educator Melissa Crum about the curriculum guide she created with co-author Deva Rashed-Boone, to highlight how An Afrikan Epic can be used as a teaching tool.
Top of page: Mark Lomax performs inside an installation by Jason Moran during the preview event for the Wex's spring 2019 exhibitions; photo: Kathryn D Studios
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