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Black Arts Movement

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Tuesday 4/16/2019 Show: Nikki Giovanni

Photo: Nikki Giovanni | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday April 16, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features an interview with poet, writer, journalist and educator Nikki Giovanni. This program originally aired on August 17, 2014.

Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.

Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Lincoln Heights, an all-black suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. She and her sister spent their summers with their grandparents in Knoxville, and she graduated with honors from Fisk University, her grandfather’s alma mater, in 1968; after graduating from Fisk, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, Black Feeling Black Talk, in 1968, and within the next year published a second book, thus launching her career as a writer. Early in her career she was dubbed the “Princess of Black Poetry,”

Giovanni’s spoken word recordings have also achieved widespread recognition and honors. Her album Truth Is On Its Way, on which she reads her poetry against a background of gospel music, was a top 100 album and received the Best Spoken Word Album given by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers. Her Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, on which she reads and talks about her poetry, was one of five finalists for a Grammy Award.

The author of some 30 books for both adults and children, Nikki Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Ms. Giovanni’s latest book is titled “Chasing Utopia.”

(Bio adapted from Giovanni’s website)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited 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.

Web Extras:

Watch Giovanni recite “Gemini” in this live clip from the 1970s TV show SOUL!

Watch Giovanni recite “Talk to Me Poem, I Think I’ve Got the Blues” in this live clip from HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.

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Sunday 9/16/2018 Show: Mr. SOUL! Documentary – Melissa Haizlip

The next show will air on September 16, 2018 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. This broadcast puts a spotlight on the film Mr. Soul: Ellis Haizlip and the Birth of Black Power TV and features an interview with film maker and producer Melissa Haizlip.

 

In 1968 they asked him to produce the first “Black Tonight Show.” Ellis Haizlip did that, and more. SOUL! was one of the most controversial, successful, and socially significant TV shows in US history.

He was hip.
He was smart.
He was innovative, political and gay.

In his personal fight for social equality, this man ensured the Revolution would be televised.

The man was Ellis Haizlip. The Revolution was SOUL!

Ellis Haizlip was the host and executive producer of SOUL!, the first “Black Tonight Show.” In 1968, SOUL! was launched as a local, New York broadcast. In 1969 the series rolled out nationwide on PBS, on WNET Channel 13. By 1973, Haizlip had produced over 130 hour-long shows featuring a dazzling array of A-list guests: Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, Ashford and Simpson, Nikki Giovanni, Al Green and Muhammad Ali — even a sixteen-year-old Arsenio Hall doing magic tricks.

Mr. SOUL! invites us behind-the-scenes of this groundbreaking phenomenon, from its initial conception to its final broadcast, including the very public battle to keep it on the air despite a shifting political landscape.

Melissa Haizlip is a Yale University-educated award-winning filmmaker. She was Black Public Media’s (formerly National Black Programming Consortium) 2016 Artist in Residence and participated in the 2015 NALIP ARC Diverse Women In Media Residency. She is a Chaz and Roger Ebert Producing Fellow, and an alumnus of Film Independent’s Project: Involve, Firelight Media Documentary Lab, and the PGA Diversity Workshop. She produced You’re Dead to Me (2013) directed by Wu Tsang, about a grieving Chicana mother coming to terms with the loss of her transgender child on Día de los Muertos. The film won Best Short at the 2014 Imagen Awards, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora, Everybody’s Beautiful (Geneva), LesGaiCine Madrid, and Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival (Los Angeles).

In 2009, Melissa founded Shoes In The Bed Productions, an independent film production company producing cinematic works of non-fiction with an emphasis on diverse new voices and filmmakers of color. Mr. SOUL!, the company’s first feature-length documentary, has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, ITVS, National Black Programming Consortium, Firelight Media, Awesome Without Borders, support from IFP and Latino Public Broadcasting. She is currently in production on Mr. SOUL!

(Bio adapted from the Mr. SOUL! website.)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited 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.

Mr. SOUL! is scheduled to screen at this year’s Urbanworld Film Festival on Friday, September 21 at the AMC Empire Theater 10 and the Reel Sisters of the African Diaspora Film Festival on Saturday, October 6 at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. Q&A with Melissa Haizlip at both screenings. Co-Director Sam Pollard will join the Q&A at Reel Sisters.

Web Extras:

PBS’s archive page for SOUL! (the TV show, not the current documentary film) with some of the original 1970s episodes streaming is here.

Watch the trailer for Mr. SOUL!

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 10/2/2016 Show: Milford Graves

milford_graves_suga_cover
Photo: Milford Graves at the Vision Festival – 6/13/2013 | Joyce Jones. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, October 2, 2016 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. This broadcast features a rare interview with percussionist/drummer, acupuncturist, herbalist, gardener, builder, scientist, inventor and martial arts master Milford Graves.
 

 
Milford Graves (born August 20, 1941 in Queens, New York) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist, most noteworthy for his early avant-garde contributions in the early 1960s with Paul Bley and the New York Art Quartet alongside John Tchicai, Roswell Rudd, and Reggie Workman. He is considered to be a free jazz pioneer, liberating the percussion from its timekeeping role. In fact, many of his music contemporaries, musician inspirees, and fans world-wide would argue that Graves is perhaps the most influential known musician in the development and continuing evolution of free-jazz/avant-garde music, to date. Milford Graves taught at Bennington College, in Bennington, Vermont, being a tenured professor from 1973 to 2011; in 2011, he is awarded Emeritus status.
 
Initially playing timbales as a kid growing up in Queens, Graves has worked as a sideman and session musician with a variety of jazz musicians throughout his career, including Pharoah Sanders, Rashied Ali, Albert Ayler, Don Pullen, Kenny Clarke, Don Moye, Andrew Cyrille, Philly Joe Jones, Eddie Gómez, and John Zorn. He has invested his time in research within the field of healing through music.
 
In 2013, Milford Graves along with Drs. Carlo Tremolada and Carlo Ventura received a patent for an invention that relates to a process of preparing a non-expanded tissue derivative, that is not subjected to cell proliferation in vitro, which has a vascular-stromal fraction enriched in stem and multipotent elements, such as pericytes and/or mesenchymal stem cells, or for preparing non-embryonic stem cells obtained from a tissue sample or from such tissue derivative, wherein the tissue derivative or such cells are subjected to vibrations derived from a heart sound to control the degree of differentiation or possible differentiation of the stem and multipotent elements into several other types of cells and optimize their potency. The invention relates also to a device for carrying out the process, to stem cells obtainable by the process as well as a drug for the regeneration of an animal tissue.
 
Bio adapted from Graves’ Wikipedia entry.
 
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited 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.
 
Graves will be appearing at The Village Vanguard with saxophonist Jon Zorn on October 9th and at The Stone in a trio with guitarist Marc Ribot on December 3.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Milford Graves and saxophonist John Zorn in a 2013 duo performance at the Museum of Modern Art.
 

 
Watch Graves play with saxophonist Marshall Allen and bassist Henry Grimes in this live 2012 set.
 

 
Watch Milford Graves lead a trio in this vintage 1973 clip from European TV.
 

 
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 12/14/2014 Show: Oliver Lake

Oliver_Lake_OrganTrio 475

Photo: Oliver Lake | John Hurd/Flickr. Creative Commons licensed. Some Rights Reserved by photographer.

The next show will air on Sunday, December 14, 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. This broadcast features an interview with poet, painter, performance artist, saxophonist and composer Oliver Lake. Join us as Lake discusses his past work with the Black Artists Group, continuing work with the World Saxophone Quartet, Trio 3, his visual art and poetry and his upcoming performances at the 2015 Winter Jazz Festival. You can hear a short preview below.

Extremely few artists could embrace such a diverse array of musical styles and disciplines. Lake is not only able to thrive in all of these environments, but does so without distorting or diluting his own remarkable artistic identity. Part of this is due to his experience with the Black Artists Group (BAG), the legendary multi-disciplined and innovative St. Louis collective he co-founded with poets Ajule and Malinke, and musicians Julius Hemphill and Floyd La Flore over 35 years ago. But in reality, Oliver’s varied artistic interests go back even further than that.

Born in Marianna, Arkansas in 1942, Lake moved to St. Louis at the age of two. He began drawing at the age of thirteen (and paints daily, using oil, acrylics, wood, canvas, and mixed media), and soon after began playing cymbals and bass drum in various drum and bugle corps. At 17, he began to take a serious interest in jazz. Like many other members of BAG and its Chicago-based sister organization, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Lake moved to New York in the mid-’70s, working the fertile ground of the downtown loft scene and quickly establishing himself as one of its most adventurous and multi-faceted artists.

A co-founder of the internationally acclaimed World Saxophone Quartet with Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett and David Murray in 1977, Lake continued to work with the WSQ and his own various groups – including the groundbreaking roots/reggae ensemble Jump Up – and collaborating with many notable choreographers, poets and a veritable Who’s Who of the progressive jazz scene of the late 20th century, performing all over the U.S. as well as in Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

While he has continued to tour regularly with his own groups, collaborations and guest appearances, Lake recognized the changing trends and new challenges facing creative artists, especially those working in the jazz tradition. Always a strong proponent of artist self-empowerment and independence, in 1988 Lake founded Passin’ Thru, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to fostering, promoting and advancing the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of jazz, new music and other disciplines in relation to music.

Under his artistic direction, Passin’ Thru has commissioned new works, sponsored performances by emerging artists, documented works by prominent artists, and has established on-going educational activities not only in its home base of New Jersey and New York, but also in Florida, Minnesota, Arizona and Pennsylvania, along with occasional activities in other locales all over the U.S. The organization also operates Passin’ Thru Records. In addition to Lake’s albums, ranging from solo to big band, Passin Thru has also issued recordings by the late, legendary multi-reed master Makanda Ken McIntyre, piano great John Hicks, the first recording by Lake’s mentor, St. Louis tenor sax giant Freddie Washington, and renowned trombonist Craig Harris.

Lake currently, performs, composes, and tours with his Organ Quartet, Steel Quartet, Big Band, the WSQ and Trio 3.

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited 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.

Web Extras:

Watch Lake perform live in Poland with the World Sax Quartet in 1998.



Watch Lake perform live with Trio 3 at the 2012 Vision Festival in New York.



Watch the closing song from Lake’s live performance with Trio 3 at the <a href="2012 Vision Festival” title=”2012 Vision Fest” target=”_blank”>2012 Vision Festival.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5_btir6j6k&feature=youtu.be

Sunday 11/2/2014 Show: Revisiting the Black Arts Movement

SOScover_Amiri
Photo: Amiri Baraka | Joyce Jones
The next show will air on Sunday, November 2, 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. This installment of Suga’ will continue our discussion on the legacy of the Black Arts Movement with Sonia Sanchez and Drs. John Bracey and James Smethurst of the University of Massachusetts Amherst at a release party for their new book on the Black Arts Movement, SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader.

Sonia_sanchez_9217Sonia Sanchez, whose been previously featured on Suga’ in My Bowl, while best known for her poetry and central role in the Black Arts Movement, is also a playwright, activist, and educator. In her presentation, Sanchez recalls the origin of Baraka’s decision to come to Harlem and help organize Black artists and discusses the beginning of Black Studies programs. She also speaks about the role of the Black artist and what she expects of herself as a poet. Sanchez also talks about her discovery of the Schomburg library and Micheaux’s legendary Harlem bookstore and Malcolm X’s influential role in her political and intellectual development.

BraceyPhoto2011Dr. John Bracey is chair of the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst, where he’s taught since 1972. In the 1960s, Bracey was active in the Civil Rights and Black liberation movements in Chicago and has focused on this time period in his research. In his presentation, Bracey discusses Baraka’s contributions to the Black Arts, provides context for the emergence of the movement, and makes connections to current artists in hip hop.

Dr. James Smethurst is Professor of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst. He is author and editor of several books, including The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s and The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946. He is also working on a history of the Black Arts Movement in the south. Smethurst gives a timeline of the Black Arts Movement and discusses the role of Amiri Baraka in the movement.

SOS—Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power Movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists’ circles, writers’ workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers, and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African-American population. Black Arts activists extended the reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio.

Special thanks to the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn for permission to record the presentations at their event and to WBAI producer Dred Scott Keyes, who gathered the sound and presented parts of it on his WBAI show Cutting Edge.

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Sound recording and engineering by Dred Scott Keyes. 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.

This show will feature highlights of our premium for the fall fund drive, which is a 2-CD presentation of the book release event at the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College on October 9, 2014. Discussion panelists were co-editors Sonia Sanchez with Drs. John H. Bracey Jr. and James Smethurst. For your generous financial support to WBAI-FM, you will be able to get a copy of this program, the SOS—Calling All Black People reader, or both! You can also support WBAI (and the show) by donating as little as $5 during the fund drive.

Photos: John Bracey via UMass Afro Am | Sonia Sanchez via Wikimedia Commons / Slowking

Web links:

Pledge for the Suga in My Bowl Black Arts Movement 2-CD audio premium
Pledge for the SOS—Calling All Black People reader from the University of Massachusetts Press.
Donate whatever you can to WBAI to support Suga’ in My Bowl

Sunday 10/19/2014 Show: SOS Black Arts book presentation

SOScover_Amiri
Photo: Amiri Baraka | Joyce Jones
The next show will air on Sunday, October 19, 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. This installment of Suga’ will focus on the legacy of the Black Arts Movement and feature talks by Sonia Sanchez and Drs. John Bracey and James Smethurst of the University of Massachusetts Amherst at a release party for their new book on the Black Arts Movement, SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. You can hear a short preview below.

Sonia_sanchez_9217Sonia Sanchez, whose been previously featured on Suga’ in My Bowl, while best known for her poetry and central role in the Black Arts Movement, is also a playwright, activist, and educator. In her presentation, Sanchez recalls the origin of Baraka’s decision to come to Harlem and help organize Black artists and discusses the beginning of Black Studies programs. She also speaks about the role of the Black artist and what she expects of herself as a poet. Sanchez also talks about her discovery of the Schomburg library and Micheaux’s legendary Harlem bookstore and Malcolm X’s influential role in her political and intellectual development.

BraceyPhoto2011Dr. John Bracey is chair of the W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst, where he’s taught since 1972. In the 1960s, Bracey was active in the Civil Rights and Black liberation movements in Chicago and has focused on this time period in his research. In his presentation, Bracey discusses Baraka’s contributions to the Black Arts, provides context for the emergence of the movement, and makes connections to current artists in hip hop.

Dr. James Smethurst is Professor of Afro American Studies at UMass Amherst. He is author and editor of several books, including The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s and The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946. He is also working on a history of the Black Arts Movement in the south. Smethurst gives a timeline of the Black Arts Movement and discusses the role of Amiri Baraka in the movement.

SOS—Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power Movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists’ circles, writers’ workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers, and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African-American population. Black Arts activists extended the reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio.

Special thanks to the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn for permission to record the presentations at their event and to WBAI producer Dred Scott Keyes, who gathered the sound and presented parts of it on his WBAI show Cutting Edge.

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Sound recording and engineering by Dred Scott Keyes. 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.

This show will feature highlights of our premium for the fall fund drive, which is a 2-CD presentation of the book release event at the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College on October 9, 2014. Discussion panelists were co-editors Sonia Sanchez with Drs. John H. Bracey Jr. and James Smethurst. For your generous financial support to WBAI-FM, you will be able to get a copy of this program. You can also support WBAI (and the show) by donating as little as $5 during the fund drive.

Photos: John Bracey via UMass Afro Am | Sonia Sanchez via Wikimedia Commons / Slowking

Sunday 9/7/14 Show: Abiodun Oyewole

Abiodun_Oyewole_flower

The next show will air on Sunday, September 7, 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. This installment of the program will feature an interview with poet and vocalist Abiodun Oyewole. You can hear a short preview of the show below.

Abiodun Oyewole grew up Charles Davis in Queens, NY. Listening to his parents’ jazz and gospel records and studying Langston Hughes and other great poets in school helped nurture Oyewole’s love of poetry. His mother taught him to “throw [his] voice” by making him recite the Lord’s Prayer in their basement so that she could hear him in the kitchen.

When he was 15, Charles Davis and a friend went into a Yoruban Temple in Harlem out of curiosity. The Yoruba priest there performed a ceremony with Davis and gave him the name Abiodun Oyewole. He began reading about the Yoruba gods and the significance of one’s ancestors, and felt a deep spiritual connection to the religion: “I could say a prayer to my ancestors every morning so they could help me through my life. [That] made all the sense in the world to me.”

The Last Poets were born on May 19, 1968, when David Nelson, Gylan Kain, and Abiodun Oyewole read poetry at a memorial for Malcolm X. Their goal was to be a poetic voice for Malcolm’s call for self-determination and black nationalism. Like many black activists of the time, they were tired of Martin Luther King’s integrationist agenda. They were much more influenced by the politics of radical members of the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), and the Black Panthers.

Their style of poetry reflected the radicalism of the day: “…with the Poets, we were angry and we had something to say. We addressed the language. We just put it right in front of your face.” But Yoruba also had a profound influence on Oyewole’s poetry: “It’s given me a foundation to elevate my way of thinking and to connect me with the Motherland, as well as to create images that are wholesome and holistic, as opposed to having to repeat the Tarzan madness that has been given to us.”

The Last Poets went through many incarnations as members came and left – including Oyewole, who served four years in a North Carolina prison for robbery. They released several albums and wrote the classic poems “Niggers are Scared of Revolution,” “This is Madness,” and “When the Revolution Comes.” They are widely acknowledged as being the fathers of the hip-hop movement.

The original 1970 album, titled simply The Last Poets and released on Douglas Records, remains a landmark of Black Arts Movement spoken word.

The Last Poets, consisting of original member Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan with Don Babatunde Eaton on percussion, are now enjoying a resurgence of popularity.

Oyewole’s latest projects are a book of his collected work, Branches of the Tree of Life, published by 2Leaf Press, and a CD of new poetry, titled #Gratitude, which is schduled for release in fall 2014 and has a Kickstarter campaign to provide the necessary funding for independent production and distribution and an affiliated documentary film.

Show engineered and edited by Joyce Jones. Produced and hosted by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. 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.

Program note: Last call for Suga in My Bowl’s premium of Howard University professor Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr‘s fantastic biography of the legendary Pan African scholar Dr. John Henrik Clarke that we previewed last month on the show. You can support WBAI (and our show) by pledging for a copy of the Dr. Clarke special on CD or donating as little as $5 at WBAI’s secure online donation site.

Web Extras:
Listen to one track from Oyewole’s forthcoming #Gratitude release.

Watch a short preview of Oyewole’s forthcoming 2Leaf Press book Branches of the Tree of Life, filmed and produced by Vagabond Beaumont.

Watch the Kickstarter video for Oyewole’s #Gratitude release.

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.

Sunday February 16th Show: Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka tribute

Cortez_Baraka

The next show will air on Sunday, February 16th, 2013 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 installment, Suga’ in My Bowl honors former Suga’ guests Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka to continue to not forget our cultural warriors as part of Black History Month. Join us as we celebrate their life work and influence with help from participants of a recent tribute hosted by the Institute of African American Affairs at New York University.

Don’t forget the program is the premium, so please tune in and donate whatever you can to help us continue this listener-supported experiment.



On Friday, December 28, 2012, Jayne Cortez left this world. Jayne Cortez was born in Arizona, grew up in California, and currently lives in New York City and Dakar, Senegal. She is the author of ten books of poems and performer of her poetry with music on nine recordings. Her voice is celebrated for its political, surrealistic, dynamic innovations in lyricism, and visceral sound. Cortez has presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. Her poems have been translated into many languages and widely published in anthologies, journals, and magazines. She is the recipient of several awards including: Arts International, the National Endowment for the Arts, the International African Festival Award, The Langston Hughes Award, and the American Book Award. Her most recent books are The Beautiful Book (Bola Press, 2007), Jazz Fan Looks Back (Hanging Loose Press), and Somewhere In Advance of Nowhere (Serpent’s Tail Ltd). Her latest CD recordings with the Firespitter Band are Taking the Blues Back Home (Harmolodic and Verve Records); Borders of Disorderly Time and Find Your Own Voice (both by Bola Press). Cortez directed the film Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future, and organized the “Slave Routes the Long Memory” and “Yari Yari Pamberi: Black Women Writer Dissecting Globalization” conferences. Both conferences were held at New York University. She was president of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc. and appeared on screen in the films: Women In Jazz and Poetry In Motion.

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, Amiri Baraka left this world. Baraka’s Blues People (1963), remains a landmark work on African-American music a half-century after its publication. 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.

We’re not offering any special premium or thank-you gift this week. We’re just asking listeners who can to donate to WBAI in support of our show. You can give as little as $5 online and full station membership is $25. Anything you can pitch in will help a lot, especially in sending the message to station management that the type of show we do is still relevant.

Show produced, engineered, and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Both Baraka and Sanchez were profiled in previous full Suga’ in My Bowl shows, which can be found in our audio archives.

Sunday, February 9th Show: Nelson Mandela and the South African Freedom Struggle

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Photo: Sharpeville Massacre via Wikicommons

The next show will air on Sunday, February 9th, 2013 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 installment, Suga’ in My Bowl presents a rebroadcast of a tribute to Nelson Mandela and the South African freedom struggle writ large in honor of Mandela’s transition and to continue to not forget this chapter as part of Black History Month. Please join us and help keep this listener-supported experiment alive. In this show, we’ll take a look at how jazz played a part in the struggle both in the US and on the continent. We’ll also look at the relationship of jazz to musicians in South Africa and how South African musicians had to leave because of the danger that the music posed.



Since Mandela was not the only one in the movement, we’ll present some critical analysis from activists and experts to assess how his life and work fit into the broader goal of ending the apartheid regime. Nana Dr. Leonard Jeffries, recently retired Professor of Black Studies (and former department head) at the City College of New York will walk us through the big picture of Mandela’s role in the struggle and what it meant internationally from a talk recorded live this week at a community forum in Brooklyn. Omowale Clay of the New York-based December 12th Movement will provide insight into the ongoing work on reparations and radio personality Bob Law will talk about media’s important role in the movement.

We’ll then turn to the role that music and artists played in the international struggle. Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard University and author of Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa, will talk about the connections forged by African American artists. Poet Rashida Ismaili Abubakr will discuss how exiled South African singer Sathima Bea Benjamin and musical collaborator Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) raised consciousness with their art.

Finally, in signature Suga’ style, look for as much great music as we can fit in from Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, the Blue Notes, Archie Shepp, and Randy Weston!

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.

We’re not offering any special premium or thank-you gift this week. We’re just asking listeners who can to donate to WBAI in support of our show. You can give as little as $5 online and full station membership is $25. Anything you can pitch in will help a lot, especially in sending the message to station management that the type of show we do is still relevant.

Show, produced, engineered, and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Web Extras

Watch Hugh Masekela perform “Stimela (The Coal Train)” live at UNESCO’s 2013 International Jazz Day.

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