7/18 Reading the works of venerable poet- Sekou Sundiata

FREE - The works of Sekou Sundiata

Sekou Sundiata

18, JULY  2013  

Free: Amplified
featuring HPrizm (Anti-Pop Consortium)Tamar-kali, Douglas KearneyPatrickRosalKamala SankaramJasiriVal-JeantyKassa Overall,  Lisette SantiagoJuliette 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 !!!!

 

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