Since its inception, One Detroit has shared stories that bring value and context to our audience’s daily lives. The One Detroit team now re-shares some of these impactful stories in a series of “Best Of” episodes. Tonight, One Detroit presents Best Of: Artists and Musicians With a Message. 

This Week on One Detroit:

Northwest Detroit Development Named After Artist Tylonn Sawyer

A new mixed-use development project coming to Northwest Detroit will be named in honor of a local artist some Detroiters might know. The project will be named Sawyer Art Apartments in honor of Detroit contemporary artist Tylonn Sawyer, who plans to provide interior and exterior artwork for the new building. In light of this news, One Detroit’s Will Glover sits down with Tylonn to discuss the development’s name, how digital media may help or hurt Black artists, and what it’s like to address racism in America through a Black artist’s eyes.

30 Year Friendship Paves Way for Common Chords Nonprofit

A friendship sparked 30 years ago at a local radio station has paved the way for the founding of Common Chords, a Detroit-based nonprofit focusing on understanding diverse groups of people and creating connections between shared values using music. When Rev. Robert Jones Sr., who grew up in Detroit, and Matt Watroba, a former teacher from Plymouth, connected 30 years ago, they found something special when they began creating music. Audiences reacted positively to their camaraderie on stage, which led the two to create Common Chords.

One Detroit producer Sarah Smith met up with Jones Sr. and Watroba at the reverend’s church, Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, to hear more about Common Chord’s mission and vision for the organization’s future.

Portraying X: Davóne Tines Discusses Detroit Opera Residency, His Role as Malcolm X

He’s been called one of the most powerful voices of our generation by the Los Angeles Times, and he won the 2020 Sphinx Competition Medal of Excellence, which recognizes extraordinary classical musicians of color. Now, classically-trained bass-baritone opera singer Davóne Tines has landed in Detroit as the 2021-2022 artist-in-residence at the Michigan Opera Theatre, where he’ll portray Malcolm X in the upcoming production of  “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.”

One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson sits down with Tines to talk about his residency and his role in portraying Malcolm X in composer Anthony Davis’ “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” for the May 14-22, 2022 show. Plus, Tines shares how he got involved in singing and music at an early age, and the barriers he’s had to face an African American man coming up in a predominately white space.


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