Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Welcome to the month of May. We're already in the fifth month of 2012. Time's moving much too fast, but what can you do? It's been a little while since I've posted. I've been working on a number of projects (big surprise) and performing (bigger surprise). So, let me jump into what's been going down on my end.
I've been lining everything up for the Collaborations Atlanta show that will be taking place on the 12th of this month. I'm going to be heading down the day before for rehearsal, which should be fun. It will also give me the opportunity to meet the people I've only been corresponding with by e-mail, so I'm really looking forward to that.
There's been a change to the show for me though. The person I was originally going to collaborate with had another engagement, so I'll be working with a photographer. I'm in the process of writing a piece to come a bit closer to the theme of the photographs that she'll be showing. It gives me an opportunity to write about Hip-Hop and celebrate one of the four elements, so we'll see what happens... and, hopefully, we'll see DOPENESS!
Also, on June 28th, I'll be performing at The Hunter Art Museum. I'm not at liberty to say exactly what the performance will entail yet (I still have some things to cement before I can let the cat out of the bag), but it will be big fun, and truly something to see. Stay tuned for more details on that. The MANIFEST banner will be flying high!
Last Thursday night, I had the privilege of performing as a part of my dear friend Shane Morrow's Jazz Appreciation Month ceremony at the BMW dealership in town. I've never been there before, but it was a really cool layout. My job was uber easy. I gave a performance of my Mingus poem (which I STILL need to give a proper title to), and that went well. What I really enjoyed though was getting to hear the singers do their thing and hearing what the recipients of the awards had to say.
You know, I get called a lot of things (some of which are good! j/k), including a Hip-Hop poet every now and again. While I am very much a part of and influenced by Hip-Hop culture, I've always thought of myself as more of a jazz poet. A lot of the ways that I'll arrange the poems I deliver live mirrors horn sounds. Riffs, melodies, rhythms, etc. As a matter of fact, the first time that I performed in front of people was on the birthday of one of my biggest heroes and inspiration's birthday – Mr. Miles Davis.
I've always been a big fan of jazz. I love the juggernauts who pioneered different sounds and brought fresh ideas to the music, and I've always been intrigued by the works of jazz poets such as Yusef Komunyakaa (who is my favorite modern poet), Amiri Baraka (have you ever heard him scat while he reads?), and Bob Kaufman. So, having the chance to sit in a room with people who've devoted significant parts of their lives to the history and culture of jazz really meant a lot to me. I learned a great deal.
Speaking of learning, if you've been following the blog since last July, you know that I've written at length about trying to different parts of my life. I've really learned a lot about slowing down, turning my focus inward, letting go of things I don't have control over, etc. I realize just how fortunate I am to have people that in my life that completely believe in me and my talents. So, if you're reading this and you're a friend, a part of my family, or just a fan of my work, I sincerely appreciate you and your positive energy. It truly means, and has meant, the world to me.