STONINGTON – Opera House Arts is pleased to welcome Mali Obomsawin to the Stonington Opera House stage on Saturday, July 23 at 7 p.m. Obomsawin is an award winning songwriter, bassist, and composer from the Wabanaki (Abenaki) First Nation at Odanak. With an eclectic background in American roots, jazz, and indie rock, she carries several music traditions. Obomsawin will be playing her newest original songs with an indie rock sound, joined by Magdalena Abrego on guitar, Antonija Schubat on bass, and Chuck Rodin on drums. Her songs infuse gentle and ethereal landscapes with sharp lyrical content that addresses fury, love, and colonialism. For more information and to purchase tickets visit operahousearts.org.
As of July 9, Opera House Arts no longer requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend indoor shows and events. During live performances and events, patrons are required to wear face coverings at all times (including while seated during performances) in all areas of indoor facilities for Opera House Arts. Those arriving without an appropriate face covering will be provided a face mask at the door. For more information on Opera House Arts’ Health and Safety Policy, visit operahousearts.org.
A Smithsonian Folkways Recordings artist, Obomsawin has received acclaim from NPR and RollingStone and toured internationally with her band Lula Wiles. She received the International Folk Music Association’s “Rising Tide Award” in 2022, which recognizes new generation artists who embody the values and ideals of the folk community through their creative work, community role, and public voice. Obomsawin frequents the folk music circuit as both frontwoman and sidewoman, appearing at festivals like Newport and Philly Folk with Jake Blount and Lula Wiles, and also performs in the creative music scene with the likes of Peter Apfelbaum, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Bill Cole’s Untempered Ensemble. She is a proud member of Welcome To Indian Country, an Indigenous Performance Production started in 2020 to highlight five leading Native voices in jazz and roots music.
As a composer-arranger, Obomsawin recently scored the upcoming film “We Are Warriors,” collaborated with Red Sky Performance and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Palaver Strings. Her latest project, Sweet Tooth, explores concepts of Indigenous identity, colonization, and resistance using original compositions for sextet and archival material from the Wabanaki community. Beyond the stage Obomsawin is a community organizer and advocate for Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and landback. She works as a writer and educator with Sunlight Media Collective, a Wabanaki-driven media team, to document and promote stories at the intersection of environmental justice and Tribal Sovereignty. Obomsawin’s journalism has been published recently in Smithsonian, National Performance Network, and the Boston Globe. In 2020, she co-founded Bomazeen Land Trust, the first ever Wabanaki land trust, where she currently serves as executive director.
Obomsawin studied upright bass at Berklee College of Music from 2013-14. From 2014-18, she studied jazz and improvised music at Dartmouth College with mentor Taylor Ho Bynum and had the opportunity to work with Peter Apfelbaum (NY Hieroglyphics, Don Cherry), original members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Mary Halverson, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, and Tomas Fujiwara among others. During college, Obomsawin was a twice attendee of the selective Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, Georgia. She toured and taught music extensively across the U.S., Canada, and overseas during her time at Dartmouth and Berklee, and graduated with a B.A. in comparative literature and government from Dartmouth College in 2018. To learn more visit maliobomsawin.com
Opera House Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 1999 to restore the 1912 Stonington Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places, to its original role as a performance venue and a community gathering space. We offer a year-round schedule of professional theater, music, film, dance, educational programs, community events, and more. Performances take place in multiple venues, including the Stonington Opera House, the restored Burnt Cove Church Community Center, and at site-specific locations across Deer Isle and Stonington, Maine. Opera House Arts’ programs serve all of Hancock County’s winter and summer residents and visitors, with a special emphasis on the residents of Deer Isle and the Blue Hill Peninsula.