Klassik’s "QUIET" Album Listening Event

November 21, 2019 - 7:00pm

A Call & Response to the work of Rosemary Ollison at the Lynden Sculpture Garden

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Tickets: $20/$18 members - includes light refreshments and a copy of the CD. Register online or by phone at 414-446-8794.

Although the experiences and processes that helped shape Kellen “Klassik” Abston’s latest full-length album QUIET began over four years ago, before he was even familiar with the work of Rosemary Ollison, the commonalities between Ollison’s exhibition at Lynden, Prosperity In A Million Scraps, and Klassik’s QUIET make them complementary artistic explorations of the power of art as a means of healing, and growing through trauma.

“At the opening of her exhibit, Rosemary told this humbling story about how she went through an abusive and toxic relationship, and had been so broken down by it that she felt she only deserved scraps, and so that is how she started collecting all of these fragments from which her art was born. That vulnerability, that exposing of pain and letting the story of healing essentially piece itself together, immediately reminded me of my own self-work, and how QUIET came about. One of the central themes of this new album is serenity: accepting that you can’t change everything, being courageous enough to change the things that you can, and being wise enough to know the difference. In Rosemary’s story I saw serenity in the way she allowed art to move in and heal, and seeing my own experiences reflected in that, I knew that there was no better place to share my artistic representation of growth, courage, and healing than within the loving and beautiful world she created with Prosperity In A Million Scraps.”

Join Kellen “Klassik” Abston for an informal listening session amidst Rosemary Ollison’s work. Light refreshments will be served. Wes Tank will preside over a simultaneous screening in the conference room. The program, which repeats, includes the music video he made with Klassik for “Active”; some of Tank’s community documentary film work; and videos from Klassik’s KLASSROOM one-take video series, which were filmed and edited by Sam Neufeld of Noof Designs.

You can also secure a copy of the vinyl LP by pre-ordering via Confluence Records at this event.

This is a Call & Response event.

About the Artist
"More than nearly any other musician in the Milwaukee scene, Klassik wears many hats: rapper, soul man, producer, collaborator, mentor, keeper of the American songbook. His modernist, jazz-saturated compositions are unlike anything else coming out of the city, but he has a gift for more traditional styles as well, as he demonstrated on American Klassiks, his recently recorded live album with SistaStrings and Nickel&Rose. Regardless of which side of the booth he’s on, he’s a force." (Evan Rytlewski, Shepherd Express, citation on winning the 2018 Shepherd Express' Best Of Milwaukee Rap-Hip Hop Producer for the third consecutive year)

This is the sonic realm of Klassik, the multi-instrumentalist producer and performer. He is as dexterous a rapper as he is an impassioned and soulful singer, often highlighted by his intense and incisive falsetto. All of this is intertwined with his own unique, personal and unbridled storytelling. With a penchant for curation and collaboration, which he likens to that of one of his biggest inspirations, Quincy Jones, Klassik’s production is crafted with intent, beauty and depth of musicality.

At the age of 10, he began studying saxophone with the Milwaukee jazz legend Berkeley Fudge, whose teachings provided the musical foundation that informs his work to this day. Klassik’s development continued through years of public arts schools, a (very) brief collegiate trip, and throughout all of this, an evolution from jazz saxophonist to producer, emcee, singer and all-around entertainer. His debut EP, DEATH OF A BEATMAKER, established him within the local scene, and his subsequent full-length, IN THE MAKING, introduced him to a national audience. Quickly garnering numerous awards over the next few years, Klassik took advantage of his growing acclaim by stepping up to huge opening performance opportunities for highly-acclaimed and established artists, including Ludacris, Talib Kweli, Kendrick Lamar, Banks, DJ Premier, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Rakim.

Since his last full length, the critically acclaimed SEASONS, Klassik has spent time continuing to broaden and refine his production skills. In 2017, he curated TRIBE UNCOVERED at Turner Hall, where he led 20+ of the city’s most exciting musicians in a re-imagining of the work of Tribe Called Quest. He followed this in 2018 with curating, recording, and releasing his first live album, AMERICAN KLASSIKS, a reinterpretation of classic hymns, anthems and spirituals, re-imagined with deep 808s, lush strings, and deft lyrical and musical improvisation, delivered as both social commentaries and declarations of hope and resilience. As Klassik prepares his latest full-length effort, QUIET, he is now poised to make his musical mark on a much larger stage, having grown and matured through trauma and challenges to a point of introspection and understanding that is as transparent as it is emotive and special. A true class act, Klassik works to stir the souls of listeners into action with empathy, passion, and purpose through his own self-reflective sonic art.

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