The word “jazz” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when Stevie Wonder is mentioned, but the soul artist now known for pop ballads utilized disparate influences in his early career. His magnum opus “Songs in the Key of Life” bore clues with its homage to Duke Ellington and “Contusion,” a jazz-fusion number that sounded as if it could have come from Frank Zappa or Chick Corea.
The Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (MOJO) will look at jazz’s impact on Wonder with a program Monday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in Bernheim Hall in the Ben May Main Library (701 Government St.), when keyboardist Cedric Brooks leads a nine-piece band in a tour of Wonder’s catalog.
Entrance is $15, $12 for students/military and $10 for MOJO members. A reception and refreshment area will be adjacent to the concert hall.
Participatory MMoA exhibit opens Jan. 26
In 1993, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier birthed a perpetual and participatory exhibit entitled “do it” that has made its way around the globe. Now it’s our turn to join the creative and interactive fray when “do it” premieres at the Mobile Museum of Art (4850 Museum Drive) on Jan. 26.
Drawing inspiration from schools such as Dada and Fluxus, Olbrist initially asked a dozen artists to create artworks based on written instructions available for open interpretation. They were given formal presentation in designated spaces, on TV and even circulated internationally in a book.
The Mobile version will involve a wealth of local artists, such as Bruce Larsen interpreting the score of Nicolas Paris, Phillip Counselman creating his version of Yoko Ono’s “Wish Peace” (1996), Colleen Comer enacting a Tracey Emin instruction, a Sol Lewitt piece performed by the Spring Hill College Art department and many more. The exhibit will remain in place until July 1.
Stay tuned for a look at this intriguing experience in Artifice.
For more information, go to mobilemuseumofart.org.
Chamber Music welcomes pianist Pohjanen
A brilliant Scandinavian star dips into the Deep South when Mobile Chamber Music presents Finnish pianist Juho Pohjanen on Sunday, Jan. 28, 3 p.m. at Laidlaw Performing Arts Center (5851 USA Drive S.). With a style The New York Times called “sure and even” that “turned toward gentle poetry or raw power as appropriate, often in quicksilver alternation,” Pohjanen is sure to mesmerize his Mobile audience.
The program features César Franck’s Prelude, Chorale and Fugue, Maurice Ravel’s notoriously difficult “Gaspard de la nuit” suite, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor and Franz Schubert’s Fantasy in C Major, “The Wanderer.”
This will be the annual Alma and Anthony Fisher Memorial Concert commemorating the founders of Mobile Chamber Music.
For ticket information, call 251-476-8794 or go to mobilechambermusic.org.