SFJAZZ Poetry Festival—Asian American Night
Friday, April 4, 8:30 p.m. at SF JAZZ Center, Joe Henderson Lab
201 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California 94102
Following last year’s thought-provoking inauguration of the Poetry Festival, SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Ishmael Reed curates the second happening, made powerful by the collective improvisation between words and music. Prominent Bay Area poets of Asian-American heritage have been invited to showcase their work Friday evening, hosted by acclaimed poet and educator Genny Lim. Poets include Aimee Suzara,Pireeni Sundaralingam and Sean Manzano.
Genny Lim: Genny is a native San Franciscan. She performed as a feature poet at the SF Jazz Poetry Festival curated by Ishmael Reed at the SF Jazz Center in June 2013. She has performed with such luminaries as Jon Jang, Francis Wong, John Santos and the late Max Roach and Herbie Lewis, and has appeared at World Poetry Festivals in Venezuela, Sarajevo and Naples. She is author of three poetry collections, Winter Place, Child of War, Paper Gods and Rebels and co-author of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island. Genny was featured in the PBS video documentary, The Voice: Genny Lim, in the five-part PBS series, The United States of Poetry and on KQED-TV’s, San Francisco Chinatown. Her award winning play, Paper Angels, was broadcast on American Playhouse in 1985. Lim can be heard on Jon Jang’s 1997 CD Soulnote release, Immigrant Suite and on AsianImprov’s CD, Devotee, with Francis Wong and the late Glenn Horiuchi.
Aimee Suzara: Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American playwright, poet and educator based in Oakland, CA. Her poetry has been published widely including two chapbooks and appearances in numerous journals and anthologies including Kartika Review, Lantern Review, and Walang Hiya (Without Shame): literature taking risks towards liberatory practice. Her debut book, SOUVENIR, was recently published. Her theater work has been awarded grants and commissions from the Zellerbach Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts among others; she is a part of the PlayGround at Berkeley Repertory Theater Writer’s Pool, an ATLAS fellow and Hedgebrook alumna and working on her current play, A HISTORY OF THE BODY. Suzara has performed her poetry at festivals and schools around the country and teaches Creative Writing and Social Action at CA State University at Monterey Bay.
Ron Gabriel Quesada: Ron Quesada is a musician on a mission to make the “kulintang” a household name. By fusing this ancient Filipino gong instrument with modern electronic dance music, Ron has created a sound all his own that he calls “Kulintronica”. With his tracks “Calling My Name” and “River Clouds” now on iTunes he is preparing to tour and release his debut album in 2014. More info at kulintronica.com.
Performance sample video: http://youtu.be/
Audio Sample: http://soundcloud.com/
Pireeni Sundaralingam : Working with composer-violinist Colm O’Riain, Pireeni co-produced the album “Bridge Across the Blue”: winner of the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, the album interweaves music and poetry from a host of ethnic communities to tell the immigration stories of America, with influences ranging from Gypsy jazz to flamenco and Indian raag. Described as “a fascinating, at times unspeakably beautiful” recording by Bob Callahan (founder of the Before Columbus Foundation) and “a triumph of transformative collaboration and a blueprint for cultural sanity” by Tea Party Magazine, the album has been broadcast on radio stations across the United States, Sweden, Ireland and UK. It was chosen as one of the ten best recordings of poetry -and-music by the editors of About.Com. Pireeni’s poetry has appeared in journals such as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Progressive (USA), and others as well as poetry anthologies by W.W. Norton, McMillan and Prentice-Hall, and been translated into 5 languages. Her poetry awards include fellowships from the Berlin Academy of the Arts and PEN USA, a SF Arts Commission Cultural Equity IAC grant, and residencies at the de Young Fine Arts Museum & Headlands Center for the Arts.
Colm O’Riain: Irish-Jazz violinist & composer
Sean Labrador y Manzano: Sean Labrador y Manzano lives on the island off the coast of Oakland and imagines snorkeling or canoeing every day in his birthplace of Hawai’i. He edits the print journal, Conversations at the Wartime Café; is founder of Mixer 2.0, an MFA reading series held every third Thursday of the month at the Cat Club in San Francisco; is curator of WODV reading series of the Asian American Avant-Garde, and will be moderating the symposium, “Trauma and Catharsis in the Asian American Avant-Garde.”
Dillon Westbrook: Dillon Westbrook is a sometimes poet, sometimes drummer and all the time Dad, husband and stone mason. He lives in Oakland and grew up in Marin County. As a teenager, he had the great privilege of knowing and learning from some of the Bay Area’s finest musicians: drummers Chuck Brown, George Marsh, Donald Bailey, Eddie Marshall and Harold Jones as well as pianist/composer Matthew Goodheart. At Mills College he had the privilege of reading and thinking about poetry under the guidance of Juliana Spahr, Walter K. Lew, Stephen Ratcliffe and others. He has played in local bands OUTHEAD and The Gomorran Social Aid and Pleasure Club, and his poetry has appeared in OCHO #18 and Boog City- The Baseball Issue.
Sean Labrador y Manzano and Dillon Westbrook will be performing ” “Das Kapital, Volume 4, Elimination of the Industrial phase, or the Noncapitalist Production and Accumulation of Debt” authored by Jose Rizal and Karl Marx.”