Join us for a special outdoor concert celebration for Juneteenth, featuring music from Dexter’s Lab and an original presentation from Hartford artist Jedda Williams! This concert will take place on the beautiful CHS lawn. Grounds are open for seating and picnicking from 5 PM, and music is from 6PM-7:30PM. All of the CHS outdoor concerts are free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and food, and the Curbside Vibes food truck will be available onsite. In case of rain, the concerts will move indoors to our auditorium. All our summer concerts will be livestreamed to our YouTube Channel.
About the Artists
Dexter Pettaway, the director of Dexter’s Lab, has played drums since he was a young child raised in the musical environment of the Black Christian church. He went on to study jazz percussion and excelled there, yet he remains deeply connected to the cultural roots of this music, serving as music director for multiple churches in the Hartford area during the last fifteen years, and he continues to support his local church in their music ministry. A versatile performer with many Hartford connections, Dexter can also be found performing at Black Eyed Sally’s and Bushnell Park, as well as teaching drums at home, at his studio, or at churches.
Pettaway argues that the church formed the basis for many forms of Black music, including gospel, R&B, and jazz. As a professional drummer, Pettaway has recorded and played alongside jazz artists like Phil Perry, David Davis, Mary Taylor, Lisa Glover, Maysa, and Asa Livingston, as well as gospel artists like Vicky Mariconde, Jonathan Dubose Jr., Nile Parker, H. Doobie Powell, Marlowe Smith, and Jeffrey Holmes. As Dexter’s Lab, Pettaway calls on his community of excellent musicians, some of whom he has played with for over 20 years, to play jazz, soul, gospel, and R&B for appreciative audiences locally and beyond.
Dexter’s Lab will be joined by Anne Marie “Jedda” Williams, who will be making a special presentation in honor of Juneteenth. Jedda is an Early Childhood Educator, Master Teaching Artist, an Educational Program Designer, and Performing Artist who is a songstress, dancer and actress, and an architect of each form. She is the founder, artisan and educational program designer of K La Rue Educational Art in Motion “Where Learning is an Adventure!” which was inspired in 1986 and established in 1987. Jedda serves as an educational resource for schools, teachers and parents in the Greater Hartford area and the surrounding towns for the past thirty-five years. She will be making a special presentation in honor of Juneteenth.
Inside the museum, we’ll also have a special corner display of artifacts from the CHS collection that help tell the story of African American history in Connecticut.
Our Summer Concert Series is funded through the support of the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD; and the National Endowment for the Arts.