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Recorded during the month of March, the AfriClassical Series celebrates the contributions that Black women have made to make this world a better place. SistaStrings, The Milwaukee based sister duo combines their classical background and R&B with a touch of gospel influence that culminates in a vibey, lush sound. The sisters not only write and arrange but find pleasure sitting in with musicians and exploring what sounds come from improvisation and spontaneity. Through conversation and performance SistaStrings invites the Elastic audience into their world of virtuoso music making, social justice activism and female empowerment.
The sound of SistaStrings can’t be described in one word. The Milwaukee based sister duo combines their classical background with R&B with a touch of gospel influence that culminates in a vibey, lush sound. With thick string harmonies between violin and cello and soulful voices, SistaStrings takes you on a journey. Formed in 2014 after the sisters graduated from college, Chauntee (violin) moved back from her studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Monique from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the sisters began doing string arrangements for local hip-hop artists and the rest is history. Slowly but surely, SistaStrings built a following and began playing more shows with collaboration being one of their strongest points.
The sisters not only write and arrange but find pleasure sitting in with musicians and exploring what sounds come from improvisation and spontaneity. Outside of being their own act, SistaStrings can often be found playing alongside singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey. Having been raised in church, SistaStrings was able to build their improv skills and ear training. The classical background that the two sisters have had allows them to command their instrument at will. Between the two of them, they have performed in some of the most reputable halls, including Carnegie Hall and in their classical career they have soloed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Orchestra.
SistaStrings has performed with Malik Yusef, opened for Black Violin, Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, Lupe Fiasco, BJ The Chicago Kid, and The Roots. Outside of playing music venues, SistaStrings goes into schools and conducts assemblies, encouraging young people to pursue the arts and to not be afraid of hard work. Outreach and representation are important to these two young ladies as African American string players. The ladies are advocates for diversity in the arts and promote social justice in all that they do musically. SistaStrings will be releasing their debut EP in 2019.
Vocals, Violin / Chauntee Ross
Vocals, Cello / Monique Ross