LC Artist Spotlight
REBIRTH, COLLABORATION, and MUSICAL ACTIVISM
By Karynn Brown
Dominique Morgan’s personality is as warm and magnetic as her work.
The black, transgender, musician, artist, and activist takes to Lincoln’s Bourbon Theater stage on Saturday, October 3 to showcase her talents in a cumulative work entitled, “Rebirth”.
Lincoln Calling’s final night of performances will feature a carefully curated sequence of live and pre-recorded work organized by Dominique Morgan. At its heart, Saturday’s showcase is the journey of a rhythm and blues album in the making, starting and finishing in Morgan’s background as a community advocate. The soon-to-be-released album entitled “Pisces Rising in E Flat Major” utilizes many of the same artists as Saturday’s showcase. The showcase will include Morgan’s performances in duets, features, and remixes with other artists, including JCrumb, Miss Mikey, E Rawq, and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns.
Lincoln Calling will be Morgan’s first public performance since transitioning. For her, this event is a comeback show, and a chance to uplift artists around her.
“Everything in this event is intentional and purposeful. I want to give people moments they can look back on and remember ten years from now.” Morgan said.
The highly personal nature of this show lends itself to Morgan’s curation choices throughout the night. She is working to transform the Bourbon’s main stage into a living room set.
“If I invite you to my home, we are family,” Morgan said. “[This stage is] inviting people into my home of music.”
Morgan is influenced by the long history of R&B music, and calls this new work “[an expression of] falling back in love with R&B music.” For Morgan, the beauty of R&B is in its technicality. The challenge of writing and executing R&B lyrical runs is seen throughout her work.
Morgan’s work is a collective conversation between the worlds of R&B and advocacy. Morgan, the current director of Black and Pink, has roots in Heartland Pride, NAACP, Omaha Area Entertainment Awards, Queer Nebraska Youth Network, and Queer People of Color, among many more progressive organizations. Morgan’s blend of music and advocacy is an expression of her life’s passion and purpose. This energy reflects the deeply personal and articulate nature of her work.
“After a year of working at Black and Pink 90/10, advocacy/music, I felt my advocacy suffer,” Morgan said.
She notes that the intersection of music and advocacy comes from traveling the country and seeking out voices that continuously challenge one’s worldview.
“Musicians are an integral part of advocacy,” she said. “They make soundtracks to hurt, pain, and joy.”
For her, both of these passions can be simplified: “you get out of it what you put in.”
Morgan learned the hard way that the best practice for finding shows and growing one’s musical talent is to create opportunities for yourself. As a curator, Morgan has learned to seek out younger voices, and artists doing work that she wouldn’t otherwise encounter. That’s her goal for “Rebirth,” as well: to amplify and provide opportunities for artists she respects, listens to, and loves.
“I’ve seen success, I know what that looks like.” Morgan said, “Now it’s a matter of saying ‘what can I do to use my platform and privilege to uplift someone else, to give someone else this opportunity?’”
In 2020, giving others that opportunity can be as simple as buying an album. Morgan’s goal is to help provide for other artists by promoting, streaming, and most importantly, buying their works.
In addition to familiar Omaha artists, Morgan’s lineup also includes a recent UCLA graduate whose dissertation is a series of raps and poetry focusing on black education. Morgan wants this event to be a commencement as much as it is her own comeback show.
The showcase also features a drag show tribute to Morgan’s main influence and favorite artist, Whitney Houston.
Dominique Morgan’s performance and curated showcase will be streamed live from the Bourbon Theater through Lincoln Calling’s website and Youtube channel on Saturday, October 3, starting at 7:00pm.
In Morgan’s own words: “It’s guaranteed to entertain the hell out of you.”