Event Calendar

Sekou Sundiata: Writer / Teacher / Artist / Activist
April 2, 2013

Sekou Sundiata: Writer / Teacher / Artist / Activist

at the The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center / Dialogue
Presented by The New School for Public Engagement and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

This opening event of the Blink Your Eyes Retrospective included a panel discussion that explored how Sekou Sundiata crossed social, civic, and educational boundaries to "create dangerously". The Panel was moderated by David Scobey (Executive Dean, The New School for Public Engagement). Commentary on the panel was offered by:
- Brian Lewis, Professor (Eugene Lang College) and former student of Sundiata
- Julie Ellison, Professor of American Culture, English, Art and Design (University of Michigan), and a close partner of Sundiata in the America Project
- Gladstone (Fluney) Hutchinson, Associate Professor of Economics at Lafayette College, and host of Sundiata at a year-long residency at Lafayette. 

The evening concluded with a poem share, a community sing led by Richard Harper and a celebratory reception and screening of a video compilation especially created for the Retrospective which featured interpretations of Sekou's poem Blink Your Eyes, by artists, peers, educators, colleagues, community members and family of the late poet.

The Black Rock Coalition Pushing Forward
April 8, 2013

The Black Rock Coalition Pushing Forward

at the Clark Studio Theater / Dialogue
Presented by Lincoln Center Institute for The Arts in Education

Sekou Sundiata, together with founders of The Black Rock Coalition (BRC), created modes of expression both radically new and grounded in cultural history, supporting each other in the development and exposure of Black alternative music. During this artist dialogue, moderated by Greg Tate (BRC co-founder), a group of genre-bending music artists - Kamara Thomas, Guillermo E. Brown, and Garland Jeffreys - and La Ronda Davis (BRC's current President), extended the dialogue that extended the New Black musical aesthetic, Sekou and the original BRC members first explored over thirty years ago. 
Blink Your Eyes: Poets to Music
April 8 - 12, 2013

Blink Your Eyes: Poets to Music

at the Clark Studio Theater / Performances
Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education

A music and spoken word program curated specifically students and held in 3 high schools and 2 colleges,  was led by music director JT Lewis and poetry director Tracie Morris with the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra. The production, dedicated to and performed in honor of Sekou Sundiata, explored the thin line between poetry and song lyrics, and engaged the high school and college students in both objective analysis of and personal reflection on Sundiata's words, sparking in-depth conversations about the role of the artist in addressing critical issues such as racism, identity, community struggle and social change.
blessing the boats: the remix
April 12 - 13, 2013

blessing the boats: the remix

at the Apollo Theater / Staged Reading
Presented by The Apollo Theater Salon Series and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Held at the Apollo Theater Studio Theater

The culmination of a week-long rehearsal workshop hosted by The Apollo Theater Salon Series, this stage reading was a preview of the production presented by LMCC during their River to River Festival in June. Under the direction of Rhodessa Jones (director of the original production), Sekou Sundiata's autobiographical play blessing the boats was reconceived with three acclaimed performers, all of whom new Sundiata: Will Power, Carl Hancock Rux and Mike Ladd.
Tongues of Fire Choir
April 27, 2013

Tongues of Fire Choir

at the Apollo Theater / Performance
Presented by The Apollo Theater.

An evening filled of music and poetry, the performance was a re-staging of a format created by Sekou Sundiata with long-time musical collaborator Craig Harris in the mid-1990s. The amazing line-up featured Amiri Baraka, Abiodun Oyewole (The Last Poets), Rakim, Liza Jessie Peterson, and musicians/vocalists Regina Carter, Vernon Reid, Bobbi Humphrey, Wunmi, LaTanya Hall, Helga Davis, and Carla Cook. Craig Harris led the performance together with his ensemble, Nation of Imagination. The artists performed an array of their own works, poems by Sundiata, and songs created especially for this singular event.
Sekou Sundiata: Citizen Poet
April 30, 2013

Sekou Sundiata: Citizen Poet

at the Poet's House / Dialogue and Book Signing
Presented by Poets House

Hosted as an intimate conversation, the evening celebrated the process and publication of the Blink Your Eyes Retrospective catalog, and traced the memories and reflections of its contributors. Catalog editor Malaika Adero and catalog contributors, Jane Lazarre, Greg Tate, Kimiko Hahn, Amiri Baraka, and Talvin Wilks jointly recalled on the breadth of Sundiata's accomplishments and his influence as an artist, activist and educator. The panel was followed by a dialogue exchange with the audience and a book-signing and reception.
Jayne Cortez & Sekou Sundiata: The Legacy Conversation Revisited
May 14, 2013

Jayne Cortez & Sekou Sundiata: The Legacy Conversation Revisited

at the Cave Canem / Dialogue and Reception
Presented by Cave Canem

This event revisited the 2002 "Legacy Conversation" at The New School between Sekou Sundiata and the late poet, activist, publisher and spoken word performer Jayne Cortez. Sharing substantial segments of the never-before heard audio recording-which included both poets reading their work and highlights of their spirited conversation-poets LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Cornelius Eady and Tracie Morris recalled an evening that stirred up the NYC poetry community, and reflected on the placement of these two poetic luminaries among overlapping artistic, academic and activist circles.
blessing the boats: the remix
June 27 - 30, 2013

blessing the boats: the remix

at the BMCC’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center / Performance
Co-commissioned by LMCC and BMCC, presented as part of the River To River Festival 2013

blessing the boats: the remix re-imagined Sekou Sundiata's acclaimed solo theater work, blessing the boats, a story of life-threatening illness and recovery, through the unique interplay of three poet/performers: Will Power, Carl Hancock Rux, and Rhodessa Jones, these compelling voices revised Sundiata's incisive writing, finding the universal in the particular and exploring the ritual and complexities of the play. The production featured the visual projections created for the original staging by Sage Marie Carter, and a new set created by designer Mimi Lien, costumes by Oana Botez, sound design by Garth MacAleavey and lighting design by Roderick Murray
longstoryshort: Remixed
July 3, 2013

longstoryshort: Remixed

at the SummerStage in Central Park / Performance
Presented by City Parks Foundation SummerStage in Central Park

Sekou Sundiata frequently collaborated with and was inspired by dynamic women throughout his career. SummerStage's longstoryshort: Remixed celebrated his idea of the influential female muse through the performances of three commanding female artists: Nona Hendryx, Sandra St. Victor, and Toshi Reagon, all known for their powerful voices as well as their socially relevant lyrics. These artists, their bands and special guests performed their own work as well as selections from Sun Sundiata’s last CD, longstoryshort (Righteous Babe Records, 2000). A video tribute from Ani DiFranco, who credits Sundiata as a mentor and who invited him to record on her label, completed the program.
Free: Amplified
July 18, 2013

Free: Amplified

at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / Performance
Presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Free: Amplified, curated and organized by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, invoked, remixed and deconstructed Sekou Sundiata’s FREE! (1977), his only published book of poetry. This multimedia concert featured a generation of New York and L.A. based poets and performing artists who came of age in the 1990s as well as a new generation of poets in their twenties inspired by both Sundiata and his heirs. Free: Amplified’s ensemble featured HPrizm (Anti-Pop Consortium), Tamar-kali, Douglas Kearney, Patrick Rosal, Kamala Sankaram, Jasiri Kafele, Val-Jeanty, Kassa Overall, Lisette Santiago, Juliette Jones, with video by Marilys Ernst
Co-commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for Target Free Thursdays and Poetry Society of America