Nio Levon, Vuyo Sotashe, Samora Pinderhughes, Jehbreal Muhammad Jackson, and Nia Drummond in Samora Pinderhughes, Rituals for Abolition, 2022. Performance view, The Kitchen at Westbeth, December 10, 2022. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk

Samora Pinderhughes

Rituals for Abolition

On View: December 10-December 10, 2022

The Kitchen at Westbeth (163 Bank Street, 4th Floor Loft)


4 pm

In conjunction with the exhibition Samora Pinderhughes: GRIEF The Kitchen presents a series of monthly commissioned performances set into three “chapters.” Throughout the exhibition, moving image pieces will rotate every four weeks in direct conversation with, and alongside, the premiere of three distinct live shows featuring Pinderhughes and a unique lineup of collaborators who will perform live within the installation.

For the performance in December, Pinderhughes will be joined by Nio Levon, Jehbreal Muhammad Jackson, Dani Murcia, Amanda Krische, Saudade Toxosi, Savannah Harris, Immanuel Wilkins, Vijay Iyer, Elena Pinderhughes, Jack DeBoe, Nia Drummond, Boom Bishop, Chris Pattishall, and Vuyo Sotashe.

Acclaimed pianist-vocalist-composer and multidisciplinary artist Samora Pinderhughes uses music, visual arts, film, language, and creative process as abolitionist action. On the heels of his world premiere of The Healing Project, a multipronged work that springs from interviews the artist conducted with people of color in fifteen states surrounding experiences of incarceration and structural violence across the United States, Pinderhughes further expands his work of creating communal space for grieving and healing. One element of The Healing Project is his latest album, GRIEF. At Westbeth, Pinderhughes and collaborators will perform newly reimagined selections from the album within the installation, creating bold new performances that meld songcraft, ritual, and conversation alongside a rotating presentation of moving image works to be screened at intervals between live performances. The films serve as companion pieces to the GRIEF album, and present Pinderhughes’s work with his collective RSCK (alongside Christian Padron, Kassim Norris, and Ray Neutron), as well as the results of long-standing collaborations with filmmakers Christian Padron, Josh Begley, Vashni Korin, and Daniel Pfeffer.

This performance accompanies Samora Pinderhughes: GRIEF at The Kitchen at Westbeth, November 10, 2022—January 24, 2023, on view during select dates.


Samora Pinderhughes is a composer, pianist, vocalist, filmmaker, and multidisciplinary artist known for striking intimacy and carefully crafted, radically honest lyrics alongside high-level musicianship. He is also known for using his music to examine sociopolitical issues and fight for change, and he works in the tradition of the Black surrealists, those who bend word, sound, and image towards the causes of revolution. Pinderhughes is a prison abolitionist and an advocate for process over product. His music is renowned for its emotionality, its honesty about difficult and vulnerable topics, and its careful details in word and sound. As an artist, Pinderhughes’s goal is that people will LIVE DIFFERENTLY after experiencing what he makes—that it will affect how they think, how they act, how they relate to others, how they consider their daily relationships to their country and their world. Pinderhughes has collaborated with many artists across boundaries and scenes, including Herbie Hancock, Common, Glenn Ligon, Sara Bareilles, Daveed Diggs, Titus Kaphar, and Lalah Hathaway. He works frequently with Common on compositions for music and film, and is featured as a composer, lyricist, vocalist, and pianist on the new albums August Greene and Let Love with Common, Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins.


Samora Pinderhughes: GRIEF is made possible with generous support from Arison Art Foundation and Agnes Gund; endowment support from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; annual grants from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Special thanks to Yamaha for providing the piano used in performances.

Season programming is made possible in part with support from The Kitchen’s Board of Directors and The Kitchen Leadership Fund. Learn more about the Leadership Fund.