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Amiri Baraka

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Sunday 5/11/14 Show: Amiri Baraka Presente!

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Photo Credit: Joyce Jones. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The next show will air on Sunday, May 11, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this membership/fund drive special, Suga’ In My Bowl will feature Amiri Baraka Presente. We will continue to remember New Jersey’s Poet Laureate with a presentation, which was conceived, produced and hosted by The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church on April 5, 2014. WBAI recorded the event with cooperation and permission of The Poetry Project.

“Amiri Baraka at the Poetry Project” was held at St. Mark’s Church on April 5, 2014 and featured tributes to Amiri and readings of his works by several poets and musicians. Among those performing were Toi Derricote, Ammiel Alcalay, Quincy Troupe, Basil King, Martha King, Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic, Greg Tate, Oliver Lake, Julie Patton, David Henderson, Bob Holman, Latasha N Nevada Diggs, Steve Dalachinsky and Matthew Shipp, Tracie Morris and Vijay Iyer, Anne Waldman and Ambrose Bye, Devin Waldman, and Steven Taylor.

We’ll be offering the poetry tribute as a 2-CD set along with a 2011 broadcast of a conversation between Amiri Baraka, Joyce Jones, Hank Williams and and Kazembe Balagun on 2-CDs . The entire 4-CD package is available as a thank you gift for a pledge to WBAI. So pledge for the CD set or simply just donate to WBAI (any amount over $5) if you can, but be sure to join us for what’s sure to be a great show!

Broadcast show produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Suga in My Bowl thanks The Poetry Project and individual artists for their generosity in allowing us to record the event and their commitment to supporting listener sponsored community radio in New York City. Special thanks goes to Poetry Project Director Stacy Szymaszek and Program Manager Simone White, whose attention to detail and logistical help made the collaboration possible!

Special note: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 is Election Day in Newark, NJ. Poet and Amiri’s son Ras Baraka, whose campaign Amiri dedicated some of his last days on earth working on, is running for mayor. Details are at his campaign website.

Sunday 4/13/14 Show: Amiri Baraka

Amiri_CMayfield_475w

Photo Credit: Joyce Jones. Creative Commons licensed.

The next show will air on Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this installment, Suga’ in My Bowl continues its celebration of National Poetry and Jazz Appreciation Month with a 2011 interview we did with the late poet, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka.



With influences on his work ranging from musical orishas such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and Sun Ra to the Cuban Revolution, Malcolm X and world revolutionary movements, Baraka is renowned as a founder of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s that became, though short-lived, the virtual blueprint for a new American theater aesthetics. The movement and his published and performance work, such as the signature study on African-American music, Blues People (1963) and the play Dutchman (1963) practically seeded “the cultural corollary to black nationalism” of that revolutionary American milieu.

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, Amiri Baraka left this world, but his Blues People (1963), remains a landmark work on African-American music a half-century after its publication and in 2012 he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Jazz Journalists’ Association for his music writings. With influences on his work ranging from musical orishas such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, and Sun Ra to the Cuban Revolution, Malcolm X and world revolutionary movements, Baraka is renowned as one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s that became, though short-lived, the virtual blueprint for a new American theater aesthetics. His Obie award-winning play Dutchman (1963) and The Slave (1964), helped solidify the revolutionary aesthetics of Black Arts and laid claim to the movement’s position as the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement.

Baraka’s Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems includes the title poem that headlined him in the media in ways rare to poets and authors. The recital of the poem “that mattered” engaged the poet warrior in a battle royal with the very governor of New Jersey and with a legion of detractors demanding his resignation as the state’s Poet Laureate because of Somebody Blew Up America’s provocatively poetic inquiry (in a few lines of the poem) about who knew beforehand about the New York City World Trade Center bombings in 2001.

Baraka lived in Newark with his wife and author Amina Baraka; they have five children and led the word-music ensemble, Blue Ark: The Word Ship. Baraka was Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his awards and honors included an Obie, the American Academy of Arts & Letters award, the James Weldon Johnson Medal for contributions to the arts, Rockefeller Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts grants, and Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Show engineered by Joyce Jones. Hosted by Arts Producers Joyce Jones, Hank Williams and contributor Kazembe Balagun.

In February 2014, we aired portions of a combination poetry tribute to Baraka and Jayne Cortez (who we interviewed in 2013). Both can be found in our audio archives.

Web Extra: Watch Baraka perform his classis “Whys/ Wise” with saxophonist Rob Brown.

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