About this Event
Interdisciplinary artist and Tenderloin resident OnSean Zion premieres a suite of original musical arrangements that showcase his instrumental and orchestration skills learned and honed during his recovery from a period of being unhoused.
Tenderloin resident OnSean Zion performs a suite of soulful music at the Tenderloin Museum as a way to share his struggle with and recovery from mental illness and homelessness, as well as to showcase his recently cultivated instrumental and orchestration skills. An interdisciplinary artist who worked as a competitive dancer, entertainer, and teacher for many years, OnSean has a rich artistic vision and ambitious drive to create and learn. Presented as part of TLM’s “Sounds of the Tenderloin” live music series, OnSean’s musical performance animates his time in the Tenderloin to tell a story of hope, resilience, and transformation.
A native of Guyana, OnSean moved with his family to the US for a better life. At a young age, he made a life for himself as a competitive salsa dancer, and in 2005 was voted the #6 salsa dancer in the world. This led him into a career of dancing on the international circuit, but when he invested all of his savings into an ill-fated creative project at the height of his success, he ended up broke and, before long, unhoused and suffering from a slew of mental and physical illnesses. His life began to turn around in 2019, however, when he obtained permanent supportive housing in a residential hotel in the Tenderloin. This stability reinvigorated OnSean’s creative life: he learned how to play 8 instruments, sing, and arrange for large ensembles.
“A Soulful Celebration” is the fruit of OnSean’s studies as well as of his recovery. He has assembled an eclectic repertoire that ranges from popular songs, classical melodies, Broadway numbers and spirituals. OnSean personally arranged each musical selection, re-casting these familiar songs with a sound he says is informed by his experiences growing up in Guyana, dancing salsa professionally, and overcoming hardship on the streets of San Francisco.
OnSean Zion will share his story and the songs of “A Soulful Celebration” in a solo performance, accompanied by lush backing tracks that he orchestrated himself, to demonstrate the range of his instrumental and compositional skills. Reflecting on this body of work he has honed while living in the TL and during the isolation of the pandemic, OnSean says, “I need to let people see that you’re NOT your mistakes. YES, life will knock you down, but you can’t stay there. Let’s get UP together, dream bigger, reach higher, always with love and unity.”
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy Street, San Francisco, United States
USD 0.00 to USD 10.00