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Spoken Word

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Tuesday 4/30/2019 Show: Ngoma Hill

Photo: Ngoma Hill | © 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! We’re also pre-empted on May 7 for WBAI’s Spring Fund Drive. After this show, we’ll be back on May 14.

The next show will air on Tuesday April 30, 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 and multi instrumentalist (guitarist, electronic violinist, flutist and yidaki/”didgeridoo” player) and “artivist” Ngoma Hill.

Ngoma is a performance poet, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, Artivist and paradigm shifter, who for over 45 years has used culture as a tool to raise socio-political and spiritual consciousness through work that encourages critical thought.

A former member of Amiri Baraka’s “The Spirit House Movers and Players” and the contemporary freedom song duo “Serious Bizness,” Ngoma weaves poetry and song that raises contradictions and searches for a solution to a just and peaceful world.

Ngoma has curated and hosted the poetry slam at the Martin Luther King Family Festival of Social and Environmental Justice at the Yale/Peabody Museum since 1995. He was also selected to participate in the 2009 Badilisha Poetry Xchange in Capetown, South Africa. In December of 2011, he was initiated as a Priest of Obatala in Ibadan,Nigeria. In June of 2013 he was initiated as a Priest of Ifa.

Ngoma was the Prop Slam Winner of the 1997 National Poetry Slam Competition in Middletown, CT and has been published in African Voices Magazine, Long Shot Anthology, The Underwood Review, Signifyin’ Harlem Review, Bum Rush the Page/Def Poetry Jam Anthology, Poems on the Road to Peace (Volumes 1, 2, and 3) and Let Loose On the World-Amiri Baraka at 75.

The Understanding Between Foxes and Light-Great Weather For Media and New Rain/Blind Beggar Press 35th Anniversary Issue. He was featured in the PBS spoken word documentary “The Apropoets” with Allen Ginsburg.

Ngoma was selected as the Beat Poet Laureate of New York for 2017 by The National Beat Poetry Foundation.

Ngoma has released seven recordings as a solo recording artist, which can be purchased via the CD Baby Music Store.

(Bio excerpted and adapted from his CD Baby site.)

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.

Ngoma Hill will be at the Skylight Gallery readings in Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza on May 9 (and the second Thursday of every month), the Fat Tuesdays music and poetry showcase at Harlem’s Sister’s Uptown Bookstore on May 21 (and the third Tuesday of every month).

Web Extras:

Watch Ngoma perform “This Poem is Free.”

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.

Tuesday 4/23/2019 Show: Carl Hancock Rux

Photo: Carl Hancock Rux | © 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 23, 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, playwright, novelist, essayist and recording artist Carl Hancock Rux. This program originally aired on April 13, 2013 right before the release of “Homeostasis.”

Carl Hancock Rux is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, essayist and recording artist. He is the former head of the MFA Writing for Performance Program at the California Institute of the Arts (2006–09) and has taught or been in residence at the University San of California–Diego, Stanford University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hollins University, the University of Iowa and Brown University.Rux is the author of the novel, Asphalt, the OBIE Award winning play, Talk, and the Village Voice Literary prize-winning collection of poetry, Pagan Operetta.Rux has also worked as a writer and frequent guest performer in dance, collaborating with Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women, Jane Comfort & Co., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Martha Clark.Rux received a BESSIE© award for his direction of the Lisa Jones/Alva Rogers dance musical, Stained. Rux originated the title role in the folk opera production of The Temptation of St. Anthony, directed by Robert Wilson with book, libretto and music by Bernice Johnson Reagon as part of the RuhrTriennale festival in Duisburg, Germany. The opera made its American premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music/ BAM Next Wave Festival in October 2004 and official world premiere at the Paris Opera, Garnier.

His CDs include Rux Revue (Sony/550), Apothecary Rx (Giant Step) and Good Bread Alley (Thirsty Ear). His latest release is “Homeostasis,” which is “an exploration of jazz and 1960s/70s psychedelic vinyl…lush arrangements—a return to music beyond the cookie cutter format of beats and the omnipresent vocoder vocals.”

He is the recipient of several awards including the Herb Alpert Prize, NYFA Prize, NYFA Gregory Millard Fellow, and NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residency Fellow. He is currently working on his new novel and awaiting the premiere of his opera, Mackandal, in the fall of 2013 (book & lyrics by Rux/ music by Yosvany Terry/art by Edouard Duval Carríe)

(Bio adapted from Rux’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.

Carl Hancock Rux created poetry for and will perform in “A Walk Into Slavery” running for only one week at The Billie (The Billie Holliday Theatre) inside Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza from April 30th -May 4th. This production is conceived and directed by Indira Etwaroo, Executive Director of The Billie and follows award-winning international designer and photographer Hollis King’s journey that he’d put off for a lifetime to Africa.

Web Extras:

Watch Rux perform “Razor and Blade” live at Joe’s Pub

 

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.

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.

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.

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