top of page

The Black String Triage Ensemble plays concerts at scenes of violence.

"When a community is shattered by violence, Dayvin Hallmon and his musicians start repairing the cracks.

Hallmon is the founder and music director of the BlackStringTriageEnsemble, a Milwaukee-based group of Black and Latinx string players who bring their instruments to the scenes of tragedy — shootings, usually. But also suicides, overdoses, car accidents," Chicago Tribune Columnist Heidi Stevens reports in today's paper.

They play concerts around the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They play a song for each stage, plus a sixth song for what Hallmon calls a sixth stage of grief: faith. They set up away from the crime tape, out of the way of the police, but close enough for the neighbors to hear them.

“To guard against hardening our humanity ... The humanity that’s been lost — whether it’s because we view someone as expendable or just a sheer lack of care and compassion — this is how we begin to rescue that back," Hallmon told Stevens.

Chicago, Hallmon said, needs three Black String Triage Ensembles — North Side, West Side and South Side. He said he’s been hearing from Chicago musicians who want in for months.

“There’s more than enough Black and Latinx string players in Chicago,” he said. “Recruitment will be fast and easy.”

I'd add Evanston to Hallmon's list.

What do you think?

bottom of page