We're helping bring renowned poet, playwright, musician, jazz critic and novelist, Amiri Baraka to The Southern Theatre in Minneapolis on October 15 to participate in E.G. Bailey's adaptation of Baraka's book "Wise Why's Y's: The Griot's Song Djeli Ya". Tru Ruts' Freestyle Theatre is producing this evening of provocative spoken word, jazz and dance. Tickets are $7 in advance at amiribaraka.eventbrite.com. This highly experimental evening is a work-in-progress that Bailey has envisioned with plans to develop it into a multi-layered spoken word theater work. The project carries influences of the Langston Hughes Project's Ask Your Mama, Sekou Sundiata's 51st (dream) state, Alvin Ailey's Revelations, and Bill T. Jones' Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin.
"To appreciate 'Wise', you've got to know some history or else the references will be too arcane to figure out....Baraka is in his Monk mode playing all he knows by playing less."
-Kalamu Ya Salaam
"When you look at the scope of his work, what is apparent is the constant moving, the constant evolution of thought and technique. He has crafted masterful works, creating as fluidly within the foundations of the Beat movement and the fires of the Black Arts Movement, as he does now within this synthesis of jazz and poetry."
"The reason that we are celebrating Baraka in the new millennium is that he is a poet who not only knows how to hunt, who shoots straight to the heart, but who also understands that the poems he gives us are only glimpses of something that has already happened…That when reading Baraka's work, we must take perhaps the most potent play of language he's given us to heart. Imamu suggests, "I'm am You"--Imamu--"I'm am You." Whether we are white, black, brown, red, or yellow, we must read his work as if we wrote it, say it like we mean it, and sing it like we think it should be sung."