Thornetta Davis to perform at the Detroit Symphony’s Poetry and Music Evening | Things to do | Detroit

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Poetry and music host The Shaun phoenix Moore.

On Friday, Detroit spoken word artist La Shaun Phoenix Moore will host an evening of poetry and music at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Sosnick Court.

Poetry and Music: Nothin’ But the Blues will feature the poetry of Emmy Award-winning poet Scott Woods and live music from raucous Detroit blues queen Thornetta Davis.

The event, much like Moore, who hosts the series of events, is decidedly black.

“It’s not a ‘g’ on nothing,” Moore clarifies of the event’s name on Zoom. “I do Black-ass events because I want to see black people shine and let us know that there are no barriers, there are no caps that can stop us from coming out here to create beauty and magic in the world.”

Moore has hosted the Poetry and Music Series at the DSO since 2018. Her past events have included poetry on the subject of everything from social issues to love. She also hosted Detroit rapper Miz Korona’s Healer and the Heartbreaker EP release party. This time, Moore offers her flowers to Thornetta Davis.

“She represented this city so well, so we should make sure to come out and support her with her hometown pride,” Moore said. “Outside of the blues, one of the things Thornetta does is she houses a lot of love for women in her bones, so she’s very much into sisterhood and collaboration.”

From the first moment Moore met Davis several years ago, the love and mutual support as black artists was clear. Davis came to an open mic party Moore was hosting at Cliff Bells at the time and completely shattered the idea that women with similar talents should hate each other. There was no diva mentality, just two women who both wanted to see themselves win.

“She came over and said ‘a lot of people told me I wasn’t supposed to like you because you sing like me and we’re both tall, brown black girls. So I had to come here and see what this phoenix was because they didn’t go and pit us against each other and we never even met,” Moore recalled. “She took off a bracelet and a ring that she had finger and she said, ‘We are sisters now.’ Then she took the stage and started singing for free at the open mic.

Moore notes that Poetry and Music is not a “100% clean show”, although people can bring their children and do so. Don’t complain later if the poets get a little too real to your kids’ ears, though. You have been warned.

Live performances of the event were put on hiatus during the pandemic and Moore and the Poets moved to an online broadcast format, but returned in person in March 2022.

Fellow Detroiters Jazmine Jamai and KeeBie Mitchell will also perform on Friday.

Although the event invites national artists (Scott Woods is from Columbus), Moore says she wants to highlight Detroit’s contributions to art and music, stressing that “there’s nothing such as ‘New Detroit'”.

“Detroit came through here,” she says. “Think of what Barry Gordy did with Motown… We have some of the best artists being praised – Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross – they all came out of that town, so there’s always that underlying pride . Despite all the stigma that has been placed on this city by the media, Detroit is much more than violence and disenfranchisement. There’s a lot of beauty here, and I love being an artist in Detroit, Michigan. There’s no national or regional act that can come in and do some bullshit in this town.

Poetry and Music: Nothin’ But the Blues begins at 7 p.m. Friday, June 24 at Sosnick Court; 51 Parsons St., Detroit. It will be held inside the DSO at the Cube in case of rain. Tickets are $20 or $100 for a VIP table. Folding chairs will be provided, but bringing your own chair or blanket is encouraged. For more information, see

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