Show on slavery prompts artist to quit Montreal Jazz Fest

July 03, 2018 - 9:24 pm

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — 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.

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