April 28, 2007

Malachi Smith and JaBez: Breathing Fire: Poetry as Weapon

Jamaican writersDowntown Brooklyn will again sway to the hypnotic strands of reggae music and electrifying poetry as the Caribbean Cultural Theatre hosts its monthly after-work jam session. Dubbed as "everything Caribbean and anything cultural," this month’s program salutes National Poetry Month, and takes place at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street on Wednesday, May 2 at 7pm.

Featuring two of the leading proponents of “dub poetry," Malachi and JaBez, Evening Time - Breathing Fire: Poetry as Weapon examines Caribbean poetry as a tool for social activism and change. Similar to America’s spoken word movement, “dub poetry," is written in native Jamaican language and is performed over the pulsating drum and bass sounds of Reggae. This program follows in the wake of the last Fall’s stellar session with Grammy Award nominee, Linton Kwesi Johnson. The event will be moderated by the head of the Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College, Dr. George Irish.

Malachi is an award-winning poet, critically acclaimed musician, and filmmaker who hails from the parish of Westmoreland in western Jamaica. A fellow at the Michener Caribbean Writers Institute at the University of Miami, he studied at the Jamaica School of Drama and the Florida International University. Beginning with “Kimbo to Kimbo” in 1979, his recorded work has included the singles “I’m A Victim," “Carl Stone,” and “Drop It”. His “Free the Kids” was released in 1995 by his own recording company, 4-M Label, along with “Tribute” and “Liad Mout” (1997), and “Miss My Jamaican” (1998). His critically acclaimed album Throw 2 Punch has dominated the reggae charts in the USA and Europe. Malachi’s latest album is Middle Passage. His newly released documentary, DUB POETRY: the life & work of Malachi Smith, chronicles his career and provides an exposĂ© into this uniquely Jamaican melding of spoken word and reggae music.

JaBez, a New York City based Jamaican artist and writer, represents a new generation of dub poets. His fresh brand of performance poetry is infused with reggae, ska, jazz, R&B and folk music. A recent headliner at the BAM Café series in downtown Brooklyn, his electric performance has captivated audiences throughout the United States and the Caribbean. His critically acclaimed poetry has been printed in such publications as A Rastafari View of Marcus Garvey by I. Jabulani Tafari, Reggae Roots and Kulcha, and Caribbean Voice.

The Caribbean Cultural Theatre is a Brooklyn, NY based performing arts company dedicated to using the arts as a tool for preserving artistic legacies and inspiring audiences, while being sensitive to the linguistic, social, political, and economic influences that give rise to Caribbean cultural traditions. Additional information can be viewed online at caribbeantheatre.org.

Held in the Downtown section of Brooklyn, the monthly theme-based sessions offer a potpourri of poetry, film, music, performance art, book signings, panel discussions and open mic sessions, and afford audiences opportunities to meet established and emerging Caribbean and Caribbean-American artists. And every program ends with the audience taking center stage in an open mic sessions!

Previous Evening Time programs have featured photojournalist Anthony Bonair, novelist and cultural scholar, Dr. Kamau Brathwaite, dub poet and playwrights Glenville Lovell and Trevor Rhone, Pan musical arranger, Arddin Herbert, and reggae musician, Shelly Thunder.

Via caribbeantheatre.org.

Evening Time - Breathing Fire: Poetry As Weapon

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 @ 7pm

Caribbean Cultural Theatre

138 So Oxford Street, Suite 4A

Brooklyn, NY 11217-1695

Information/Reservations: 718-783-8345


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