Poolside Performances are an exploration of experimental music, movement, and mark-making. In Quilts Threaded in Wind multi-Instrumentalist Rafael Leafar will weave a woodwind synthesis through sonic patches from the catalog of Sterling Toles, composed of layered diasporic textures amid the verdant surroundings of the Cranbrook Art Museum grounds near the Triton Pools. 

Hailing from Detroit, Rafael Leafar is a multi-instrumentalist—master of saxophones, clarinets, flutes, piano, and electronica—as well as a composer, producer, educator, and creative improvisational performer. His connection to music was jazz, fostered by a musical family from an early age. His parents made life-changing investments to guarantee him access to quality education, moving back and forth to the suburbs while providing fruitful performance opportunities in Detroit that resulted in graduation from DSA, Detroit Civic Jazz Orchestra, and The New School for jazz. Since 2009, Leafar has had major recordings and performances with legendary artists such as: Reggie Workman, Robert Hurst, Marcus Belgrave, Spencer Barefield, Wendell Harrison, Jeff Tain Watts, Marion Hayden, and Sterling Toles. 

Sterling Toles is a sound and visual artist that emerged from Detroit’s early 90’s hip hop scene. He was educated completely in Detroit’s Cass Corridor before attending the College for Creative Studies where he received a BFA in Illustration. Seeing the creative process as the seed of collective healing, his personal creativity has led him to creating media projects with youth through Detroit Summer, Living Arts Detroit, and the Rosa Parks Youth Program. He is the producer of the critically-acclaimed Boldy James album Manger on McNichols, Stereogum’s 2020 Rap Album of The Year. He has scored short films and documentaries including Our School and Brewster Douglass: You’re My Brother. In 2022, he completed his first solo art exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.  His work is a means to undo conditioning to allow the purest reception of the intuitive voice. Sterling is a 2016 Kresge Fellow. 

Free and open to all, advanced registration is encouraged.  Please RSVP using the form below.

In the case of inclement weather, this event will occur in the lower level lounge in the art museum.