Last Saturday, I attended a Jazz Caribeat Gala that included tributes to local Jazz greats Harold McKinney and Teddy Harris at the International Institute. The event also included a fundraiser for Haiti and a continuing education concert for Nigel John, a musician and artist who is returning to his home in Grenada. Nigel invited me to read poetry. I read a three part poem for Haiti. Unfortunately due to the short notice concerning the event, I wasn't able to post it. The event was a packed house success! It was great to see many of the jazz musicians, a steel drum concert, and praise dancing. Tasty Caribbean foods were curried chicken, curried goat, rice and beans.
It was nice to see Representative John Conyers and Art Tatum- pianist, at the event. After I read, I was asked to present my Haiti Poem at another Caribbean event on Saturday, Jan 30 at the West Indies Carribean Club on East 7 Mile in Detroit at 2 pm. I will only be there for a short time due to other responsibilities.
A note regarding great memories: Teddy Harris, pianist and Victoria "Yava" Alexander, saxophonist and I used to perform together for an alternative Saturday Evening Worship Service called Saturday Night Central at the Central United Methodist Church twelve years ago. It was wonderful to be able to perform with them and I really miss them ( both are now ancestors.
The poem that I wrote called "YURUGU" was written for Victoria as she was battling cancer. She played on the music track called "Yurugu" that was inspired by the work of scholar Marimba Ani. A link to her work and book "Yurugu" appears on this blog site. The poem and music appear as track 9 on the In The Tradition Jazz Band's new Cd "The Tradition Continues." Band concert clips from our cd release party in December can be found on YouTube.
So far my reading schedule is:
Jan 30 at West Indies Caribbean Club in Detroit
Feb 6 From Chaos to Community for the National Lawyers Guild, Black Lawyers Guild at the International Institute from 12-5pm. See blog # 1 Aurora's readings for details.
Feb 25 I will be a guest poet for Professor Lolita Hernandez's class at the University of MI Detroit extention campus on Woodward near Mack Ave