2496 S. Wentworth Avenue, Milwaukee, WI | Booking Inquiries

Event Details

Fri 11/16/18
$12 ADV // $15 DOS

American Klassiks: Live Album Recording ft. Nickel&Rose and SistaStrings

“I, too, sing America.”
–Langston Hughes


AMERICAN KLASSIKS is Kellen “Klassik” Abston’s reinterpretation of American spirituals, hymns and anthems rooted in the honest and unabashed narrative of our common history.

In 2017, the Milwaukee Art Museum invited Klassik to perform a radical re-imagining of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” for their 2017 Rashid Johnson feature exhibit “Hail We Now Sing Joy.” MAM’s video received over 60,000 views on social media, exponentially greater than previous MAM social media posts.

Two more invitations along this path suggested further creative inquiry. Milwaukee Record invited Klassik to interpret “Amazing Grace” for their “Public Domain” series. And Johanna Rose invited Klassik to perform as part of her “Guthrie Uncovered” concert at Turner Hall, where he repeated his performance of “This Land Is Your Land” and joined Rose in a duet of Guthrie’s “Ship In The Sky.”

These performances inspired Klassik to create an evening of re-interpretation in honor of his late father, Robin Abston. Originally presented at a private event this past February, the response was electric. It became apparent to all involved that a recording of this concert was in order.

On Friday, November 16 at Cactus Club, Klassik will be joined by Nickel&Rose and SistaStrings for a performance and live recording of “American Klassiks.” Individual opening performances by the two duos will culminate in a one-time only performance of all five artists to present AMERICAN KLASSIKS, which will also be a live album recording, to be released before year’s end.

This collaboration is presented at a time in America where our diversity and the importance of our individual cultural experiences are of paramount value. Please join us in this special moment of artistic community.



Klassik is truly an old soul. His fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz, among other genres, pays homage to the many legends of generations past. His music is not based around braggadocio or glorification of the world’s ills, but rather portrays a positive, forward thinking person, fueled by his inspiration to constantly create and innovate. SEASONS out now.


(Milwaukee )

Nickel&Rose is an American folk-music duo made up of Upright Bassist Johanna Rose and Guitarist Carl Nichols. They formed in the summer of 2016 and spent their first winter and the following spring traveling Europe, playing dozens of shows in France, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. While in Berlin they recorded their EP, Oh Sweet Love, released in April 2017. Oh Sweet Love, is a sweet-sounding auditory souvenir of Nichols’ and Rose’s four month European journey and a recorded testament to the two-piece’s ability to turn tough times into something vibrant with help from a traveling companion.

Nickel&Rose have influences that span the spectrum of American music. Carl’s background brings elements of West African music and Blues while Johanna brings her experience playing Bluegrass, Folk and Jazz. From loss to heart break to love, Nickel&Rose address the human experience with gentle harmonies and soul stirring cries. With a shared appreciation for traditional music and a desire to break rules, the two have have created a unique sound that embodies Americana's past and future.


(Milwaukee )

Monique and Chauntee come from a musical family of 5. Each of the 4 daughters played one stringed instrument a piece while their brother played piano. The girls began singing and playing as a group in their church and soon they were invited to churches all over the midwest. As each sister graduated high school and went off to college, the group became smaller. Finally, Monique and Chauntee were the only ones left and the only ones who desired to make a career with their music.

SistaStrings is currently based in Milwaukee, WI where they collaborate with local artists and play at various events and weddings. They can be seen on weekends on the corner of michigan and ontario wearing sunglasses and performing in front of a very large Crate & Barrel. There they perform classical music and improv on popular hymns. They are both classically trained musicians having studied at the String Academy of Wisconsin and the Music Institute of Chicago. Both are pursuing higher education in music performance. Although they are classically trained and are passionate lovers of the classical music genre, their first love is gospel music. Their sound is soulful and fresh, a very unique blend of their eclectic musical background. Individually, they have accomplished a lot musically. They've opened for gospel artists Witness, Virtue, and Fred Hammond. Their background in gospel music has allowed them to cultivate their improvisation skills and use their instruments as their voice. After years of being harassed about making a recording, Monique and Chauntee finally feel like they have a perspective and a message that they want to convey to others through their music.

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Cactus Club
2496 S. Wentworth Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207
  • WED & THURS: 4:00 PM—12:00 AM
  • FRI: 4:00 PM—2:00 AM
  • SAT: 11:00 AM—2:00 AM
  • SUN: 11:00 AM—10:00 PM
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