In recognition of Black Music Month, the Auburn Avenue Research Library will host cellist and composer, Okorie Johnson, who will perform Epi.phony, part of an ongoing concert series exploring a variety of musical styles. Each performance is part of a larger artistic vision, which includes solo-cello performance, looping, video, spoken-literature, and movement. Okorie has been playing the cello for 30+ years and has performed in many orchestras, quartets, and string-ensembles. While attending Morehouse College, he played classically in Spelman College’s string ensemble. During that time, he discovered the joy of playing contemporary music and began developing a facility for bringing melodic cello accompaniment to acoustic guitar based soul, folk, and jazz. He has performed or recorded with powerful Atlanta acts like Donnie, Doria Roberts, Marathon, Tony Rich, Jennifer Daniels, Grammy award winning India.Arie, and many more. He continues to perform and record a variety of music from country to electronica.
The year 2015 saw the debut of Okorie’s first solo-cello concert-series, Epi.phony – a multi-city, 12-show development of the relationship between solo-cello, live-sound-looping, and improvisation, much like on his album Liminal, where Okorie uses high quality amplification, looping technology, and sound processing to create songs that emerge from the collision of jazz and classical music. His songs also travel beyond those genres to include edm, reggae, funk, and more. His music is narrative and emotive and his set attempts to gather songs together that, like short stories, complement each other in spite of their individual and singular expression.