PAFA Performances

Multitudes: Music and Poetry Inspired by Making American Artists

Event Information
Rhoden Arts Center
Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
Join Us
General Public
PAFA Members: $15
Lori Waselchuk
Graphic with Multitudes Feb 4 at PAFA and photos of featured artists

World Cafe Live and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) present Multitudes, a multisensory event series. Hear world premiere works from some of Philadelphia’s top performers commissioned by World Cafe Live, all inspired by PAFA’s current exhibition, Making American Artists: Stories from PAFA 1776 - 1976.

Multitudes asks five musicians and three poets to share their individual reflections of the artwork, presenting new narratives in American art history by spotlighting stories about women artists, LGBTQIA+ artists, and artists of color. The result is a highly personal and powerful illumination of what it means to be an American and an American artist today.

Opening Reception: 7:00pm

Toast this exciting new series! Enjoy complimentary wine, beer, and snacks and view the exhibition before the show begins at 8 pm.

Featured Artists:  Raina Leon, Salina Kuo and the Abundance Orchestra, Kendrah Butler Waters, Kirwyn Sutherland, Devi Majeske, and ILL DOOTS*

* ILL DOOTS will not be appearing live at this event, their performance will be streamed. 

View the whole upcoming Multitudes event series.

Featured Artists

Kendrah Butler Waters

Kendrah Butler-Waters is a Philadelphia based pianist, violinist, vocalist, composer and educator. Musician and scholar, she holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from Temple University and Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Drexel University. As a performer, this brilliant pianist culminates the sounds of Jazz, Classical, and Gospel into a wonderfully woven sound that is all her own. Butler-Watershas performed at countless jazz venues and jazz festivals including the Kimmel Center as the Kimmel Center’s 2015-2016 Jazz resident, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and was a featured artist at the Cape May Jazz and Lancaster Avenue Jazz festivals. Kendrah’s work has also been featured on NPR, WRTI, PBS, WHYY and countless other media outlets. Kendrah has been awarded several grant and music commission opportunities to compose new work and her 2021 “Faith Walk” album release has receive wonderful reviews and receives regular air play on various jazz radio outlets, like WRTI 90.1 FM. Kendrah recently completed a composer commission with ConsenSIS, a black female and femme collective founded and led by former poet laureates, Yolanda Wisher and Trapeta Mayson. She has many projects and commissions she is currently working on.

Salina Kuo and the Abundance Orchestra

Salina Kuo is a songwriter and self-taught guzhengist, with a background in classical percussion. On guzheng, Kuo recently played in the Public Orchestra, and as half of River Full of Fruit, a Chinese-American folk duo that combines song, improvisation, and poetry. As part of this duo they have also participated in Ensemble Evolution, the summer program from the International Contemporary Ensemble. Kuo plays vibraphone and leads an alt-rnb project, St. John’s Wort, and is an active member of Philadelphia’s free improv scene. The Abundance Orchestra features Salina Kuo - guzheng, vocals, music, lyrics; Anjali Shinde - flute; Siddharth Ashokkumar - violin;  Gabriel García-Leeds - acoustic guitar; Pete Dennis - upright bass.

Raina Leon

Raina J. León, PhD is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia (Lenni Lenape ancestral lands). She is a mother, daughter, sister, madrina, comadre, partner, poet, writer, and teacher educator. She believes in collective action and community work, the profound power of holding space for the telling of our stories, and the liberatory practice of humanizing education. She seeks out communities of care and craft and is a member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Macondo. She is the author of black god mother this body, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, sombra : (dis)locate, and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self. She publishes across forms in visual art, poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and scholarly work. She has received fellowships and residencies with the Obsidian Foundation, Community of Writers, Montana Artists Refuge, Macdowell, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annamaghkerrig, Ireland and Ragdale, among others. She is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts. She educates our present and future agitators/educators as a full professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California, only the third Black person (all Black women) and the first Afro-Latina to achieve that rank there. She is additionally a digital archivist, emerging visual artist, writing coach, and curriculum developer.

Devi Majeski

Devi Majeske is a singer-songwriter and sitarist from South Philly. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Devi began cutting her teeth playing basement shows with her indie rock band “Air Devi” in the Philly underground music scene. After graduating, Devi spent several months in India with her grandparents to get in touch with her heritage and to study sitar more seriously. As a biracial woman interested in both transcending borders and exploring the relationships between language, music, and culture, Devi has written lyrics in French, English, Gujarati, and Hindi. She has also been studying Khayal, a style of South Asian raga-based improvisational singing, which you can hear her implement on Air Devi’s recent release Dharti.

Kirwyn Sutherland

Kirwyn Sutherland is a Clinical Research Professional and poet who makes poems centering the black experience in America. He is a Watering Hole fellow and has attended workshops/residencies at Cave Canem, Winter Tangerine, Poets House, Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, and Pearlstein Art Gallery at Drexel University. Kirwyn’s work has been published in American Poetry Review, Cosmonauts Ave., Blueshift Journal, APIARY Magazine, FOLDER, The Wanderer and elsewhere. Kirwyn has served as Editor of Lists/Book Reviewer for WusGood magazine and poetry editor for APIARY Magazine. Kirwyn has a chapbook, Jump Ship, on Thread Makes Blanket Press.


ILL DOOTS has always and will forever be a body of change. Since their inception at University of the Arts in 2009, this musical collective of individuals has each brought their own lifetime of artistic influences and experiences into the fold to contribute to the group’s timeless and genre-defying music.  Hailing from all over the United States but unified under the undeniable grit and soul of Philadelphia, the band currently consists of four members: US - Emcee, Elle.Morris - Vocals, Scott Ziegler - Bass, & Jordan McCree - Drums.  From energy shifting live performances to commissioned theater works and educational workshops, 3 studio albums and countless mixtapes-- to deny ILL DOOTS’ output, advocacy, and relevance to the culture would be a disservice to the community that helped make it possible. Every member strives to embody the acronym behind the whole brand: ILL= I Love Living & I Love Learning.