MOBILE UNIT: IN TRANSIT
February 11 & February 14
In February 2023, The Public Theater's Mobile Unit and Joe's Pub are back on the road with their collaborative series IN TRANSIT. Bringing free, accessible, and unique artistry to Mobile Unit's community partners, IN TRANSIT is an intimate concert series that travels throughout New York City. Joe's Pub artist Sarah Elizabeth Charles delivers a bold, boundary-pushing, genre-bending sound that you can only experience on this one-of-a-kind tour. Join us as we hit the road again, bringing Sarah Elizabeth Charles: In Transit to our community partners.
Since 2016, Charles has been writing music to accompany Maya Angelou's poetry. Embracing Angelou's words has given Charles the opportunity to reflect on societal structures, her personal identity as a woman of color and imagining new ways forward that provide space for empathy and equity. This musical work has developed over time and now exists as a moment for Charles and her collaborator in performance, Jordan Peters (guitarist/producer/composer), to delve into Angelou's creative world, intertwining it with their own. With this project, Charles utilizes her multifaceted identity as a musician rooted in jazz, folklore, hymns, soul, rock, and blues to celebrate Angelou’s imaginative and profound poetry.
Sarah Elizabeth Charles
Sarah Elizabeth Charles is a vocalist/composer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has released three critically acclaimed albums with her band, SCOPE between 2012 and today. She is an active vocalist in a number of bands including SCOPE, Ajoyo, duo with Jarrett Cherner, Jesse Fischer and Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah. She has also had a commissioned composition performed at The National Gallery in Washington D.C. via The Canales Project "Hear Her Song" initiative.
In addition to her performances, Charles is an active educator as well. She works as a lead teaching artist with Carnegie Hall’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility Musical Connections workshop, is an adjunct professor at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and has developed an early childhood music education program with Rise2Shine, a non-profit organization based in Fond Parisien, Haiti. In 2020, she was selected to be one of five members of the Joe's Pub Working Group. Charles will be accompanied by Jordan Peters (guitarist) for the Sarah Elizabeth Charles: In Transit tour.
Charles' musical output has been described as a “genre of one” (DownBeat Magazine), “soulfully articulate” (NY Times) and “an unmatched sound” (Jay Z’s Life+Times). Charles has recently released her band's fourth album, "Blank Canvas" and is embarking upon many other creative endeavors; one can only look to the future for more unique and boundary pushing music from this one-of-a-kind artist.
Jordan Peters is a Canadian-born, New York-based guitarist, producer, artist, musical director, and teacher whose influences range from modern jazz, hip-hop, blues, folk, rock, funk, soul, and electronic music. Originally from Montreal, Canada, he holds a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance from McGill University's Schulich School Of Music, as well as a D.E.C. from Vanier College in Jazz Arranging, Composition, and Improvisation. His musical abilities have been recognized with many prestigious awards such as the Oliver Jones Scholarship and the Schulich Academic Music Scholarship For Excellence in the Arts. He received a scholarship to attend the International Jazz Workshop at The Banff Center for the Arts, where he had the opportunity to study alongside such jazz masters as Dave Douglas, Donny McCaslin, Geoffrey Keezer, Clarence Penn, and Anthony Wilson. He has worked, toured, performed, and recorded with numerous artists such as Lauryn Hill, Jon Batiste, The Weeknd, NAS, Billy Porter, Quiñ, The Roots, Andra Day, Antonio Sanchez, Jon Bellion, Tony Allen, Femi Kuti, Darlene Love, Bokanté, Alex Clare, Quinn XCII, Renee Neufville, Becca Stevens, AHI, Vassy, Malika Tirolien, Elise Testone, Thana Alexa, Sarah Elizabeth Charle, Jesse Fischer, Linda Briceño, and Bryan Adams. He has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” “Austin City Limits,” “The View,” “CBS This Morning,” NBC’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, and BET’s “Black Girls Rock.” He is the Musical Director for the Tony Award-winning singer, actress, and original Hamilton Cast star Renée Elise Goldsberry, as well as Broadway star and Recording Artist Joshua Henry. In 2021, he released his full length debut album entitled Dreams, a 12-song instrumental album (with one vocal feature) that blends electronic, jazz, indie, experimental, beat, and ambient elements, drawing from many of Peters’ musical inspirations. The album features several New York City musicians, including veteran drummer Obed Calvaire (SF Jazz Collective), vocalist Mike “Maz” Maher (Snarky Puppy), woodwind genius Sly5thAve (Ghost Note), violinist Lisanne Tremblay, drummer David Frasier (SZA), and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Fischer. His first single “Float,” featuring drummer Obed Calvaire (SF Jazz Collective) was featured on NPR’s “All Songs Considered: Best Music of October” podcast. As an educator, he teaches for Sonora Guitar Mastery Intensive, a world class guitar online course for intermediate level guitar students, and regularly gives masterclasses where he shares his expertise and deep knowledge as it relates to guitar, composition, and music theory. Furthermore, he also teaches for Musical-Mentors, a NYC based non-profit which provides free one-to-one music instructions to students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to lessons. He also works as a Producer and Content Creator for Output, a renowned and well-respected music software company based out of Los Angeles, California, producing content for their sample library Arcade, notably their successful TAPED line, which focuses on Downtempo/Vaporwave sounds and rhythms. In 2015, he collaborated with Brooklyn native singer/flutist Melanie Charles on a project called “Rat Habitat;” a mix of electro/soul/indie rock. Their co-produced EP Guns That Shoot Bubbles was released in May of 2015, and has gotten many powerful reviews on internationally recognized online blogs such as Okayplayer, AfroPunk, Soulbounce and Ebony. Past production releases include Canadian songstress Sarah MK’s album Worth It which received the “Editors Pick” at the 2011 world renown Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Mobile Unit is made possible by Abrams Foundation, The Tow Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The McLaughlin Children's Trust, and Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. The LuEsther T. Mertz Legacy Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities.