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Poetry & Jazz: Three Dynamic Duos

April 9, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm UTC+0

Poetry & Jazz: Three Dynamic Duos. Three amazing sets of poets and musicians blend words and music: Michael McClure with saxophonist George Brooks, Devorah Major (from Daughters of Yam) with harpist Destiny Muhammad, and Genny Lim with Francis Wong on saxophone. Saturday, April 9, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, 3rd Floor Community Meeting Room.

“McClure’s poetry is a blob of protoplasmic energy.”
— Allen Ginsberg

“Michael McClure’s poetry and prose is one of the more remarkable achievements in recent American literature.”
— The London Times Literary Supplement

“Blowing gorgeous tones ….. [Brooks] succeeds to a startling and almost rapturous degree.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

Michael McClure at the age of 22 gave his first poetry reading at the legendary Six Gallery event in San Francisco, where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl. Today McClure is more active than ever, writing and performing his poetry at festivals, colleges, and clubs across the country.

He has performed and recorded extensively with musicians including Ray Manzarek, the Doors’ keyboardist, composer Terry Riley, and saxophonist George Brooks.

McClure has given hundreds of reading in venues as varied as the Fillmore Ballroom, Yale University, Stanford, The National Biodiversity Conference at the Smithsonian, and the Library of Congress. He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Obie Award for Best Play, an NEA grant, the Alfred Jarry Award, and a Rockefeller grant for playwriting. His play, The Beard, has played a role in U.S. censorship and free speech battles since 1966 when it won the first lawsuit.

McClure has made two television documentaries — The Maze and September Blackberries. His many books of poetry include his most recent collections, Mysteriosos and other Poems (New Directions) and Of Indigo and Saffron: Selected and New Poems (University of California Press).

McClure’s songs include “Mercedes Benz,” popularized by Janis Joplin.

George Brooks, saxophonist and composer, has been hailed as the “leading American voice in Indian jazz fusion”. He has performed and recorded with such notable musicians as Terry Riley, John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, Larry Coryell, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Kronos Quartet; with blues greats Etta James, Albert Collins, Roy Rogers, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown; R+B legends the Temptations, Mary Wilson, the Shirelles, and Doors pianist Ray Manzarek.

Brooks has received commissions from the American Composers Forum, Opera Piccola, the Berkeley Jazz School and The SFMOMA. His compositions have been performed by Yo-Yo Ma, The Liverpool Philharmonic and have appeared in films by Merchant/Ivory Productions.

Devorah Major was San Francisco’s third Poet Laureate, and is an award winning poet and fiction writer, creative non-fiction writer, performer, editor, and part-time senior adjunct professor at California College of the Arts as well as the poet-in-residence of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Her first novel, An Open Weave, was awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She is the recipient of a 2002 California Arts Council Spoken Word Literary Arts Fellowship. For over twenty years she has been a part of poetry performance group, Daughters of Yam.

Destiny Muhammad is Governor Emeritus and Educational Chair Emeritus of the Recording Academy, San Francisco Chapter. Her genre ‘Celtic to Coltrane’ is cool and eclectic with a feel of Jazz & storytelling to round out the sonic experience.

Genny Lim is an American poet, playwright, and performer. She is a recipient of the Bay Guardian Goldie and received the James Wong Howe Award for her play, Paper Angels, which premiered at the UC Zellerbach Playhouse. For over twenty years she has been a part of the poetry performance group, Daughters of Yam.  Her books of poetry include Winter Place, Child of War, Paper Gods and Rebels. Her work is included in the Oxford Book of Women’s Writing.

Francis Wong, considered one of “the great saxophonists of his generation”, is a prolific recording artist featured on more than forty titles. He has performed his innovative brand of jazz and creative music for audiences worldwide. Wong’s imaginative career straddles roles as varied as performing artist, youth mentor, composer, artistic director, community activist, music producer. Wong was a California Arts Council Artist in Residence and a Rockefeller Next Generation Leadership Fellow. He has also taught at SF State University and at UC Santa.

Program hosted by poet, Kirk Lumpkin. Kirk’s recent projects include: Positive Voodoo by the Wild Buds (West Coast Mardi Gras Music); Sound Poems, by The Word-Music Continuum Kirk’s unique performance ensemble uniting music and spoken word; his original rock songs CD, Moondog Sessions and the latest collection of his poetry, In Deep.


April 9, 2016
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm UTC+0
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Berkeley Public Library
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Central Library, Berkeley Public Library
2090 Kittredge St
Berkeley, CA 94704 United States
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