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Musique Noire: Musique, Mind & Meditation

May 20, 2023 @ 7:30 pm

Musique Noire

Musique Noire

Musique, Mind and Meditation

Saturday, May 20th, 2023 at 7:30 PM

“Musique Noire is an exuberant, jazzy ensemble. . .experience this magical, sophisticated chamber performance and be transported to many other lands via soulful, global Detroit.”
Marsha Music – Liner Notes from “Reflections: We Breathe”

Through original compositions and arrangements combining world music, jazz, and experimental sounds, the women of Musique Noire will present an array of aural experiences representing their place as Black women in the world. Featuring Michelle May (violin/flute), Tia Imani Hanna (violin), Leah Celebi (violin/viola), Marion Hayden (bass), Mike List (percussion), and Elden Kelly (guitar).

This performance is generously supported by Series Underwriters, Dallas & Sharon Dort.

Michelle May, violin/flute
Tia Imani Hanna, violin
Leah Celebi, violin/viola
Marion Hayden, bass
Mike List, Percussion
Elden Kelly, guitar
Michelle May, violin/flute

Michelle May is a Licensed Professional Counselor, professional musician, and coach for creative professionals residing in Detroit, MI, where she was born and raised.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Language Arts (Elementary Education) with a minor in music from Marygrove College (Detroit, MI) and a Master’s in Counseling and Post-Master’s work in Instructional Technology from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI).  She has a Certificate in Music Recording Technology from Schoolcraft College.

Michelle has worked in mental health since 1988, beginning with working at Adult Learning Systems, an organization committed to mainstreaming adults with physical challenges and mental illness.  Michelle also served on the Board of Adult Learning Systems. In 1996, Michelle and her sister, psychologist Dr. Angela May, co-founded A.M. May & Associates, Inc. a counseling and consulting firm in Detroit.  Michelle was a counselor in higher education from 1991 to 2021, working at both Wayne State University and Oakland Community College (Oakland County, MI).

Michelle is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development and a former member of the American College Counseling Association, where she served on the Community College Counseling Taskforce.  She is a past board member of the Centers of Wellness for Urban Women, based in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She is a past Board member and President of the Michigan College Personnel Association, a Division of the American College Personnel Association.  She is a past Board member of the Marygrove College Alumni Association, serving as its Vice-President and a past Board member of the Historic Boston-Edison neighborhood association. Michelle is a current Advisory Board member for the Charles W. Reid Community Help Center in Detroit, MI.

Michelle has presented numerous workshops on higher education topics, stress management, time management, diversity, self-esteem and motivation.  At Oakland Community College, she was responsible for developing and presenting workshops related to community health and wellness, including founding and facilitating an on-campus women’s group known as “Celebrating Sisterhood”.   Michelle is a passionate advocate of women, Black people and the issue of diversity in the arts and is often called upon to lend her voice to these causes as a blogger, speaker and panelist.

Michelle is a violinist and flutist, and is the manager and bandleader of Musique Noire, a women-led strings and percussion ensemble performing world jazz music. She is the Executive Producer of the ensemble’s four CD releases and two music films. She has performed with numerous high-profile, Grammy-award winning musicians, such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood, and KEM to name but a few. Michelle has made numerous appearances at festivals and concert halls including the Detroit International Jazz Festival, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, Detroit’s Concert of Colors, the Chicago (IL) String Summit, Arts Beats and Eats (MI), Friday Night Live at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit River Days and Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI, to name but a few. Michelle is a 2018 Kresge Artist Fellow, a program of Kresge Arts in Detroit, sponsored by the Kresge Foundation. She is a 20-year plus member of The Recording Academy, which annually produces the GRAMMY Awards. Michelle founded, produces and directs “Concerts in Boston-Edison”, and “Concerts in Indian Village” which has presented house concerts in these historic Detroit neighborhood since 2011 and 2021 respectively. As a coach and educator for upcoming and professional creatives, she has worked with the Detroit Public Schools, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Marygrove College, Chamber Music America, Kresge Arts in Detroit, and the Sphinx Organization.

Tia Imani Hanna, violin

Tia Imani Hanna is a musician who takes listeners from one deep, swelling moment to the next, rarely pausing between chords without inhaling a fresh breath of passion into the river of her work. Ms. Hanna says her mission is “to create music that makes the listener remember they are spiritual beings, that spirit moves within us through sound, through vision, through dance…with joy and love.”

Born in Detroit, she was nurtured by a family of musicians, including her aunt, Naima Shamborguer, the popular Detroit jazz vocalist, and world renowned jazz pianist. The late Sir Roland Hanna, who inspired her to pursue this indigenous American art form
Ms. Hanna began performing in Detroit area festivals, benefits and concerts. After college she also hosted a popular weekly radio show called Take the “A” Train. The artist moved to New York City in 1998. Since being in New York City, Ms. Hanna has performed in various clubs as a violinist with a number of different groups. Hanna was a featured violinist for the Fourth American Jazz String Summit. , Where Hanna premiered her composition “Brazil the First Time.” Hanna was the musical force behind the independent film, Inside, an original dance and music project composed by Ms. Hanna with video-choreographer, Andrea E. Woods. It has become a permanent part of the Jerome Robbins Dance collection at the New York City Public Library. She has toured with The Souloworks Dance Company and worked with dancer Gesel Mason in the Washington D.C. area. She has also performed with jazz greats Paul West, Eddie Locke and Richard Wyands Ms. Hanna’s Debut CD The Book of Tia is also available at tiaviolin.com.

Leah Celebi, violin/viola

Leah studied viola and piano at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and received a Bachelors in Viola Performance in 2003.  In 2006, she received a Masters in Viola Performance from the University of California Santa Barbara Studying with internationally-renowned soloist and pedagogue Helen Callus.  While in Santa Barbara she performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and the Irish band, Dannsair.

As a certified Suzuki teacher, she joined the faculty at Suzuki Royal Oak Institute of Music in 2008 where she teaches both viola and violin. Although a classically trained musician, Leah can be heard performing live and in the studio in a variety of genres as a member of the critically acclaimed world jazz ensemble Musique Noire.  She has also performed behind nationally renowned performers such as Aretha Franklin, Three Mo’ Tenors, Marcus Belgrave and many more.  Currently she is the Vice President of Community Engagement and Programming at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI)

Marion Hayden, bass

Born in Detroit, MI, a crucible of jazz, Marion Hayden is one of the nation’s finest proponents of the acoustic bass. Mentored by master trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Hayden began performing jazz at the age of 15. She has performed with such diverse luminaries as Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson, Geri Allen, Regina Carter, Steve Turre, Lester Bowie, David Allen Grier, James Carter, Dorothy Donegan, Joe Williams, Lionel Hampton, Frank Morgan, Jon Hendricks, Hank Jones, Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Willis, Vanessa Rubin, Sheila Jordan, Mulgrew Miller, Annie Ross and many others. She is a co-founder of the touring jazz ensemble Straight Ahead- the first all woman jazz ensemble signed to Atlantic Records. She is a member of the Detroit International Jazz Festival All-Star Ambassadors touring ensemble.

Widely recognized as a standard bearer of culture and artistic history, Hayden received a 2019 Art X Grant and a Creators of Culture Grant for original musical works. She was Artistic Director for a 2018 Knight Arts Foundation Grant encouraging young women in jazz. In 2016 Hayden washonored for her work as a performer and educator with the prestigious Kresge Artist Fellowship – a 1 year fellowship and grant award given an elite group of creative artists. She was the recipient of a 2016 Jazz Hero Award.- a national award given by the Jazz Journalists Association recognizing people who have made a significant contribution through their artistry and community engagement.

As an arts advocate, Hayden has served as Grant Panelist for the Detroit Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Art-Ops and the Highland Park Cultural Commission. She also serves as panelist or consultant for South Arts, Detroit Sound Conservancy, Charles Wright Museum of African American History, the Kresge Foundation, Jazz Education Network and Society of the Culturally Concerned.

A passionate advocate for youth music education, Hayden teaches for Michigan State Univ. Community Music School Detroit and is an educator in residence for the Detroit Jazz Festival. As well, she conducts the Next Gen Ensemble- a performing group of some of the areas best young musicians. Hayden holds faculty positions in the Jazz Studies Departments at University of Michigan and Oakland University. Hayden is the Bass instructor for the Geri Allen Jazz Camp, Newark, NJ. , and in 2021 will join the faculty at Centrum Jazz, Port Townsend, WA.

Mike List, Percussion

Music has been a part of Mike List’s life since he was a kid. The percussionist grew up in Metro Detroit, where he played in the school music program, youth group, and basement rock bands. This interest led him to study music at Central Michigan University, where he was exposed to classical, jazz, and a heavy dose of avant-garde music. While obtaining his master’s degree, he expanded that interest to a number of non-western musical traditions, which included five months of study and volunteering in India.
Mike’s background and experience include a variety of styles and traditions. He appreciates the precision and accuracy of classical music, the experimental nature of jazz and avant-garde, and the release provided by playing with rock and worship bands. His work is informed by cultures — both western and non-western — with deep traditions of groove, rhythmic complexity, and fascinating sounds. The collision of those cultures and styles is where Mike finds his most authentic expression. He has played world music fusion in bars, tabla in church services, and classical music in punk anarchist communes. His typical setup includes drums from West Africa, the Middle East, Japan, South America, and other sound objects he has made or collected.
Mike has worked with the Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet (world music fusion), Rela (percussion quartet), CutTime Simfonica (string quartet), Nessa (Celtic fusion), Dr. Pete Larson (psychedelic nyatiti rock), Common Sounds (classical/world music), Porcelain Hammer (avant-garde rock), Inscribe (avant-garde world jazz), Wisaal (Mediterranean fusion), and To Hit (percussion duet) to name a few. Mike holds a master of music and bachelor of music in percussion performance from Central Michigan University and has studied tabla, mbira, and Arabic percussion. He has released several albums, teaches privately, accompanies modern dance, and teaches courses that include History of Rock and Roll, Classical to Jazz, and World Music.

Elden Kelly, guitar

Elden Kelly is a seasoned jazz improviser, band leader, and a highly skilled solo guitar fingerstylist, composer and songwriter. He is the perfect artist for your Jazz or World music stage, or to add a remarkable flair to any lineup. Possessing guitar techniques that are the envy of many top players, Elden has captivated his audiences with his virtuosic songwriting and a voice that has been compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley.

With a strong grounding both in traditional genres and fusions, Kelly mixes classical, world music and jazz. His nylon string guitar and exotic-sounding 11-string fretless guitar evoke traces of Latin, American roots, flamenco, and Indian music underpinned by modern swing, African polyrhythms and cross-cultural grooves. Elden aptly cuts his own path through the music world and brings to audiences across the country, music that is recognizably, uniquely outstanding. He develops and feeds a fan base of loyal followers who crave the exceptional.

Although Michigan claims him as their own, Elden is originally from Vermont. He carries a degree in Contemporary Improvisation from Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory of Music. He served as teaching assistant at the Conservatory for theory and keyboard harmony classes and also while living in Boston was a member of the staff faculty at the Allegro Music School. He directed a weeklong “Guitar Intensive” educational program in Richmond, Vermont, which was sponsored by the Huntington Valley Arts Organization. In 2008 he was honored with a full scholarship, coupled with a teaching assistant position at Michigan State University with Rodney Whitaker, earning a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology in 2011. Elden continues to be an active educator and currently teaches guitar and leads “Sold Out” workshops at the renowned Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan.

Impossible to pigeonhole, Elden creates music beyond genre borders and stretches the imagination and expectations of audiences. He possesses the multi-faceted talents of stellar musicianship, engaging performance and outstanding teaching abilities. A once in a lifetime lightning strike of talent makes him an amazing artist and much in demand for concert series and festivals, teaching camps and workshops and venues who look to bring in the extraordinary.

COVID-19 Policy for Indoor Concerts at Kerrytown Concert House

  • Masks are welcome and available as needed.
  • Please do not attend a performance if you are feeling ill or have any symptoms of COVID-19.


May 20, 2023
7:30 pm
Event Category:


Kerrytown Concert House
415 N. 4th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 United States
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Kerrytown Concert House