18, JULY 2013
featuring HPrizm (Anti-Pop Consortium), Tamar-kali, Douglas Kearney, PatrickRosal, Kamala Sankaram, Jasiri, Val-Jeanty, Kassa Overall, Lisette Santiago, Juliette Jones with video by Marilys Ernst.Artistic Direction by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / Performance
Sponsored by MAPP INTERNATIONAL and brilliantly curated by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, “FREE Amplified” was a well-attended multimedia presentation at the David Rubenstein Atrium in Lincoln Center. The assemblage and re-interpretation around collected works of the brilliant poet, and playwright Sekou Sundiata was pleasure to be a part of.
Growing up watching Sekou as a media figure in the MTV era was powerful. I saw him as poetry’s equivalent to Deep Space Nine’s Commander Captain Benjamin Sisko. His countenance, his projection and his connection to griot culture gave his pieces a gravitas that I was very much inspired by. In commemoration of his life-works during a month-long tribute, Diggs assembled a group to re-interpret his first published book entitled “Free” hence Free:Amplified.
I did my best to pay homage with a particular piece in which he referenced Jamal Al-Amin then known as H.Rap Brown’s sentencing hearing* :
“…Mr Brown faced eastwards with his palms turns up and said ‘ I am raindrop in the center of the storm, a scribe whose ledger is the wind, a rainbow in the mind of the blind”.
With the a lovely chorus , operatic accompaniment, band accompaniment and live breaks from the SP-404, it was great to have his works as a muse to inspire and enliven my performance. In engaging his pieces, there was a reconnection with the artform that I greatly appreciated. Being in such strong company was a definite upside as well !!!!