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Music Talk: Meshell Ndegeocello with Staceyann Chin

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For its Music Talks program, the MCA pairs genre-defying musicians with prolific artists, activists, writers, and thinkers to take on big ideas in art and culture. Audiences are invited to join an array of emerging and established musicians for intimate evenings of performance and conversation that reveal their inspirations, creative processes, and projects.

This event featured singer-songwriter and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, who has performed with Prince, Madonna, Missy Elliott, The Rolling Stones, and many others. Ndegeocello performs a musical palette that ranges from funk and soul to reggae, hip-hop, and rock. She is joined by spoken-word artist, LBGTQ activist, author, and long-time collaborator Staceyann Chin for an evening of conversation and musical exploration.

“Every day I get better at knowing that it is not a choice to be an activist; rather, it is the only way to hold on to the better parts of my human self. It is the only way I can live and laugh without guilt.” —Staceyann Chin, "The Other Side of Paradise," 2010

“I don’t think I believe in politics anymore. I understand how it works. I have to participate, but I want to prepare people. It’s not an easy fix. Let me address the things that people see as ephemeral instead. [My work is] just a vehicle for people to come together and talk. It just allows people to create space—not ranting and raving, but we can sit with each other and use ritual to deal with these questions and discomfort.” —Meshell Ndegeocello reflecting on her work in an interview with WNYC News, 2019

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