HOLLAND-BORN, HOUSTON-based DJ and producer DJ Sun has been spinning, creating and otherwise proselytizing for groove-centric soul, jazz and electronic music since the early ’90s, and the respect he enjoys from artists across the city’s creative landscape is immeasurable. On Saturday, July 23, at Moores Opera House at UH, DJ Sun will be joined by a handful of those artists — including drummer Chris Dave, rapper Fat Tony, bassist Tim Ruiz, astrologist Jasmine Richardson, singers Louis Morales and Khaili Sam-Sin, Houston Poet Laureate Outspoken Bean and a 14-piece orchestra conducted by Marlon Chen — to bring his new studio album Loveletter to life before a live audience.
Pianist, singer and trombonist Henry Darragh is also on board, creating transcriptions of the music on Loveletter which is primarily electronic, and realized with DJ Sun’s “instrument of choice,” the Akai MPC-1000 sampler. The concert event is presented by the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston with the support of an Innovation Grant awarded by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Art.
Bean will perform two original poems with musical accompaniment by the Loveletter orchestra. The first, a “break-up” poem he says is also a “love letter” to himself is titled “The Wreckage.” The second poem, “Black Royal,” is “a love letter to Black American royalty,” which Bean originally read in his recent one-man show Poetraits at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Outspoken Bean, Houston's poet laureate
“These two poems mean a lot to me,” says Bean, who and juggles the demands of not only being the city’s poet laureate and recently producing this year’s Black is Primary Juneteenth Festival for POST Market. “I’m honored to be a part of this. I want to make this time count, for sure!”
The musical inspiration for Loveletter is, not surprisingly, eclectic and very hip, with sonic references to French New Wave film and ’60s soul. DJ Sun also describes the album and concert event as “a reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment,” something Bean admits he has some trouble doing. “Man, I wish I did more of that!” says Bean, who writes, walks and exercises in an effort to give fidelity to the moment. “It’s hard to do that in a Capitalistic country.”