RiverArts® presents season finale of new music series, Channels, featuring Steph Davis 


Date: April 3, 2024 

Contacts: Gigi Lin, Marketing & Communications Manager; glin@riverarts.org 

RiverArts® presents season finale of new music series, Channels, featuring Steph Davis 

APRIL 3, 2024 – HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON: RiverArts presents the third installment in their brand-new Channels series, featuring Steph Davis on Saturday, April 13. 

Date – Saturday, April 13, 2024   
Venue – Purpl; 52 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 
Time – 8:00pm – 9:30pm 
Tickets – $30; tickets can be purchase at: https://riverarts.org/event/channels-stephdavis/  

Channels is a three-concert music series that defies boundaries and celebrates the river as a means of travel, exploration, and a source of new ideas. The mission of this concert series is to bring together artists and audiences in the spirit of connectivity and discovery. This series kicked off this past fall with the duo Sky Creature, and most recently featured Evan Chapman this February.  

Steph Davis presents like flower petals…, a program for marimba that combines West African gyil music, African American spirituals, and Black classical music traditions. Davis shares a bit about the inspiration behind this program, like flower petals…, “Describing Black folks’ hair…bell hooks once said, ‘our hair feels like flower petals.’ She was discussing language and its power to liberate – its power to generate narratives around Black identity that communicates beauty within a society where minstrel images and stereotypes run rampant[…]. Feeling my own kinky afro coils, I smiled when I agreed with her…Internalizing this simple, powerful description helped to shift how I view myself.”   

like flower petals… aims to shift how Euro-American societies view the marimba. Davis pays homage to the marimba’s rich ancient history rooted on the African continent, presenting repertoire for the instrument through the exploration in an Africanist/African-American lens. The program will include traditional spirituals as well as works by Kakraba Lobi, J. Rosamond Johnson, Florence Price, Errollyn Wallen, L. Viola Kinney, with arrangements and adaptations by Valerie Dee Naranjo and Davis themselves. 

About the Artist: 

Steph Davis is a marimbist, arranger, composer, Africana studies scholar, and cultural activist. Their work engages people, traditions, and technologies of the African diaspora as means for uncovering truthful historiographies, finding creative self-actualization, and reaching for collective liberation. ​ 

Hailed by the Washington Post as a “captivating” performer who brings “bright humanity and expressive depth” to contemporary music, Steph is an active marimba soloist and chamber musician, performing in venues across the United States — including Merkin Hall (NYC) and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), among others. Their repertoire spans a wide variety of musical styles, including traditional Ghanaian gyil music, African American spirituals, and Western classical, romantic, 20th-century, and contemporary music primarily by Black composers. A versatile and passionate collaborator, they have performed chamber music with noted artists, including Grammy-nominated flutist Nathalie Joachim, 

PaviElle French, Mazz Swift, Michi Wiancko, and Yasmin Williams, among others. Through their arrangements, commissions, and compositions, Steph has contributed over 20 works by Black composers to the marimba’s solo and chamber repertoire. They have premiered works by Avik Chari, Christa Duggan, Damien Geter, Alissa Voth, Pamela Z, and Bilin Zheng. Steph is a Marimba One Artist. 

​As a composer, Steph draws inspiration from Black expressive characteristics, free forms, and natural landscapes. Their music has been performed internationally in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Europe. They have been commissioned by New Works Project, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Modern Marimba, Spectrum Ensemble, Prism Percussion, Britton-René Collins, Michael Ptacin, and Cameron Denby. 

About RiverArts:   
RiverArts inspires Hudson River communities in lower Westchester County to come together through art. RiverArts’ year-round season of programming includes our two signature free, multi-village Tours – The RiverArts Music Tour and the RiverArts Studio Tour; an annual dance concert; a three-part Chamber Music concert series; a new music concert series, Channels, theater performances; and community events such as Drink & Draw, Salon Sundays, Artist Conversations as well as a Music Education program and a multi-arts summer camp for kids of all ages.      

For over 60 years, RiverArts has been the catalyst that connects performers, musicians, and art-makers with Rivertowns audiences. We believe in the power of art to express, transform, and bring joy to our lives and our community.       

Please visit RiverArts on-line to read more about its mission, core values and programming calendar.    



About RiverArts

Celebrating and cultivating the arts in the Rivertowns for over 60 years, RiverArts has been the catalyst that connects performers, musicians and art-makers with Rivertowns audiences. Motivated by a belief in the power of art to bring insight and delight, RiverArts delivers programs that have repeatedly brought us together, welcomed newcomers, and created experiences that strengthen our sense of community. The free, five-town Music Tour and Studio Tour expand our combined local and metro area audiences to 20,000. P.O. Box 60 414 Warburton Avenue Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 General Information: 914.412.5120