Jazz fest show: appropriation or not?

The show selling the most tickets so far at the jazz festival is called SLĀV, a co-creation by Robert Lepage and singer Betty Bonifassi, and it’s going to be talked about, as explained here by T’cha Dunlevy: she’s collected slave songs over several years and is going to perform them herself.

Dunlevy evokes cultural appropriation right from the headline, then shows Bonifassi trying to justify herself. He doesn’t do her any favours, calling in academic opprobrium on the other side of the balance. The cited professor thinks the show should have used “a black singer and more specifically one whose ancestry is rooted in transatlantic slavery.”

Update: Bonifassi has been performing this stuff for awhile. Example.