Local Artists To Remix National Anthem With Unconventional Performances

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When you think of how the Star-Spangled Banner sounds, most of you will conjure up nearly identical versions of the song in your mind.

Now with the Star-Spangled Celebration just over a week away, Mike Schuh shows us a group of local artists is re-imagining the anthem.

“For Whom It Stands” is an exhibition of artist interpretations of an icon–the power and feelings which our flag can generate. Hand in hand with the flag is Baltimore’s contribution–the National Anthem.

It’s a patriotic song people expect to be sung in a traditional way. But in 1968 at the World Series, Jose Feliciano caused controversy by bringing forth a new interpretation.

A year later at Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix reignited the debate. Americans all over thought it was disrespectful to change the anthem.

Friday, artists gathered at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum to show their modern take on change.

World renowned beat box artist Shodekeh curated a look at 15 previous unconventional performances. He will perform two Sundays from now.

“So it makes the statement that you can personalize it beyond anything nationalistic,” Shodekeh said.

Wendel Patrick is a professor, producer, musician and half of the team Baltimore Boom Bap.

Schuh: “The whole idea of re-imagining the National Anthem, why do that?”

Patrick: “I think really the answer, even if it sounds like a typical answer, is why not?”

Why not? The musical answer to this question is revealed in just two weeks.

That event is 5 p.m. Sunday night, September 14 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum downtown.

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