Though Moses Sumney was initially scheduled to take the stage at the Montreal Jazz Festival on Tuesday night, the artist just announced he's withdrawing from the festival. In a note posted to his Instagram, Sumney cited the festival's persistent defense of a musical titled SLĀV as reason for cancelling his set. The Robert Lepage-directed SLĀV, which features a mainly white cast singing slave spirituals, faced a number of local protests.
A week ago, Sumney called out the Jazz festival on Twitter regarding SLĀV's placement on the lineup, and although he thanked them for "dialoguing" with him on the subject, he ultimately decided to cancel the set. "I knew that I could not present my music at this same festival in good conscience," Sumney wrote in his statement. “Especially on a day sandwiched between Canada Day and Independence Day, two bittersweet holidays that have long left black, brown, and indigeneous voices out.” Sumney will still perform in Montreal on Tuesday, at La Sala Rossa.