Moses Sumney Pulls Out of Montreal Jazz Fest over Controversial 'SLĀV' Show
"I knew that I could not present my music at this same festival in good conscience"
Published Jul 03, 2018Moses Sumney has removed himself from the Montreal International Jazz Festival lineup, as organizers continue to defend SLĀV — a musical that has been deemed racist and culturally appropriative by many protestors.
In a message on Twitter, Sumney explained that he could not in "good conscience" perform at the same festival as a show that features a primarily white cast of singers singing slave songs, while dressed as field slave and cotton pickers.
He also criticized the Montreal International Jazz Festival for defending the show, even after protests that saw a woman of colour slapped by a white showgoer.
Sumney was slated to perform as part of the festival tonight (July 3) at Club Soda, but has instead pulled out of the festival slot and will perform his own headlining show at La Sala Rossa this evening.
All tickets purchased through the festival will be refunded, and discounted tickets are now available for the La Sala Rossa show. Un Blonde is also on the bill, and you can buy tickets for $10 here.
See Sumney's full message below.
Regarding our Montreal show: pic.twitter.com/I8dr7OM8SA— Moses Sumney (@MosesSumney) July 3, 2018
In a statement last week, the festival stood by the production, offering the following statement to CBC: "We are truly fortunate that artists as talented and recognized on the five continents as [performer] Betty Bonifassi and [director] Robert Lepage — in his very first collaboration — have chosen the festival to present this show as a world premiere. Before subjecting them to trial by public opinion, we firmly believe that we must wait and witness the show they will present to us all."
SLĀV, meanwhile, will be offstage for the second evening in a row tonight due to a performer injury. It is expected to return tomorrow (July 4) and run through to July 14, despite ongoing protests.