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Sound Off x Abolitionist Law Center @ Philadelphia Ethical Society: 2022-2023 Finale & Philly Debut!

Sound Off x Abolitionist Law Center @ Philadelphia Ethical Society: 2022-2023 Finale & Philly Debut!

Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

Sun, July 9, 2023 6:30 PM, EDT

Pay the musicians
52 of 75 tickets still available
Vaccine policy
Bring proof of COVID vaccination with booster
Testing policy
COVID testing not required
This is an indoor event
Mask policy
Masks are recommended
Greeter checks
Greeter will confirm safety precautions
If you feel sick, stay home
Drinking policy
Bring your own drinks
Wheelchair access
Wheelchair Accessible
Kid-friendly event

This is a Groupmuse Massivemuse

Epic performances in unexpected spaces.


Jay J. (they/them)
Groupmuse Superhost

NOTE: Show will start promptly at 7 PM. Seating will begin at 6:30!

Hello Groupmusers! Musical-abolitionist collective Sound Off: Music for Bail (musicforbail.com) is partnering with Groupmuse to present a season finale worthy of the three-year mark this July 9th. For the very first time, this NYC-based group is bringing the sound of change to Philadelphia!

This show, coming right on the heels of our NYC finale show, features four of the East Coast's finest string musicians (violinists Justus Ross + Che Buford, violist Kyran Littlejohn, and cellist Emmanuel Losa) in string works by Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa, Sebastien Zel, Florence Price, and Akua Dixon We'll be hosted by the incredible Philadelphia Ethical Society, who are generously sharing their beautiful auditorium in Rittenhouse Square with us. Regardless of faith or credo, we are proud to collaborate with progressive organizations that share our ideals of a better world through targeting the root causes of harm and injustice.

It's an honor to collaborate as well with Abolitionist Law Center Executive Assistant, nationally published writer, and former Prison Radio correspondent Sergio Hyland, who will be serving as featured speaker. From the ALC's website:

The Abolitionist Law Center is a public interest law firm inspired by the struggle of political and politicized prisoners, and organized for the purpose of abolishing class and race based mass incarceration in the United States. Abolitionist Law Center litigates on behalf of people whose human rights have been violated in prison, educates the general public about the evils of mass incarceration, and works to develop a mass movement against the American punishment system by building alliances and nurturing solidarity across social divisions.

And if you can't make it to Philadelphia on the 8th but are in New York on the 9th, you're in luck -- we'll be presenting the same musical program at the People's Forum at 7 PM! Stay tuned for more details.


The Philadelphia Ethical Society Auditorium is wheelchair accessible by means of a custodian-operated lift at the Manning Street entrance, and there is an accessible restroom. Regular accessibility is up 5 stairs from street level.

See you there!

What's the music?

Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa - Rurimi rwaAmai
Sebastian Zel, with text by Yaz Lancaster - (report)


Florence Price - Five Folk Songs in Counterpoint
Akua Dixon - Ladies’ Blues



Justus Ross (he/him) has completed performance degrees in violin performance at University of Southern California and New England Conservatory under Dr. Lina Bahn and Ayano Ninomiya. While at USC, Justus was a finalist in the Concerto Competition and a member of the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee. During his time at NEC, he won first prize in the Dorothy Bales competition where he was loaned a Guarneri violin. Justus has performed in many ensembles such as the Fermata Chamber Soloists, Myrska Trio, American Youth symphony, Juventas and Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra. As a member of the Griot String Quartet, he has also had the opportunity to tour with pianist & arranger Damien Sneed.


Che Buford (he/they) is an NYC-based artist whose work explores creating new narratives within the world of music while engaging in themes of memory and place.

Che performs as a violinist in various musical settings such as traditional orchestras, chamber music, solo, improvisational performance, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Their own work explores the possibilities of timbre and acoustical phenomena and connects them to elements of place, memory, poetry, and the quotidian. Che has had the privilege of creating with artists such as Longleash, The Rhythm Method, New York Philharmonic, Castle of our Skins, mal sounds, Steph Davis, Adama Delphine Fawundu, and Deborah Jack. Their work has been presented and performed in spaces that include Roulette, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joe's Pub, Antenna Cloud Farm, The DiMenna Center, and David Geffen Hall.

Che holds a degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee as a presidential scholar in violin performance where he studied with Rictor Noren. In the fall, He will begin his DMA in composition at Columbia University. When Che isn’t interacting with music, he enjoys taking long walks, cooking vegan food, and thrifting.


Kyran Shaun Littlejohn Jr. (he/him) is a native of Philadelphia, PA and began playing the viola at age 13 in school with Matthew Ackiewicz. Kyran didn't have viola lessons until he was 16 and was granted the opportunity to study with Kerri Ryan of the Philadelphia Orchestra with the help of Principal Timpanist Don Liuzzi and All-City Philadelphia. While studying with Kerri Ryan he won 1st place in the All-City Concerto Competition and performed at Verizon Hall. Kyran also participated in the Philadelphia All-City Orchestra, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Trowbridge Orchestra and numerous region orchestras, all while attending the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts . Kyran has also participated in numerous music festivals such as Kinhaven, Chautauqua, Summit and Philadelphia International.

When it came time to pick a college, Kyran chose to pursue a career in music. With the help of his teacher and support of his parents, he was accepted into the Manhattan School of Music, where he recently graduated studying under Karen Ritscher and Molly Carr.


Born in 1998, cellist Emmanuel Losa (he/him) grew up in Marietta, Georgia to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother. Emmanuel began his cello studies at the age of 12, and later began studying with his primary instructor Joel Dallow, cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Emmanuel enjoys spending his summers at various festivals, having attended Bowdoin International Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Aspen Music Festival (to name a few) and has played in masterclasses for various esteemed cellists including Ilya Finkelshteyn, Robert deMaine, Brinton Smith, Astrid Shween, and Steven Isserlis.

With a focus on pursuing an orchestral career, Emmanuel has recently finished a fellowship with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and is a substitute cellist with the Philly Pops, Virginia Symphony, and the New World Symphony.

A former student of Alan Stepansky, Emmanuel received his undergraduate degree in cello performance at Peabody Conservatory. He will be continuing his studies at the Eastman School of Music with master teacher Steven Doane.

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