Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Okai’s Drumming Exchange and Wellness workshop in Canarsie | Lakou NOU Recap

11.21.16

Okai is a percussionist and vocalist in several bands that are based in Brooklyn, all representing the music of the African Diaspora. As a lead vocalist and percussionist of Brown Rice Family, StringsNSkins and Underground Horns Okai is often on the road travelling to perform gigs all over the country and internationally.

As a Lakou Nou Artist in Residency in Canarsie, Okai created a workshop that incorporated his passion for drumming and his conscious eating lifestyle. This session took place on Saturday, November 5th  at the Brooklyn Theater Arts, South Shore High School.

the-workshop

In 2012 Okai started to adopt a more conscious diet.  He explained that making changes such as eating less meat, consuming less dairy, becoming more conscious of his sugar intake made a huge difference. He also began studying product labels more often and stayed away from ingredients he was unsure of or that were obviously detrimental when consumed.  Reading labels and doing research on ingredients also helped him to be a more conscious consumer because he started paying more attention to the companies he was supporting, he began to invest more in companies with a shared mission.

Okai has noticed a transformation in his wellbeing since making these changes “ I started noticing that I had more energy, more awareness, I dreamt better and I had better thoughts” he stated. Inspired by the positive results he achieved by making this change, he now aims to share this message with other musicians. Accordingly as an artist in residence, in our Lakou Nou Artist Residency program in Canarsie, he incorporated a health segment in his workshop. He invited Anthony a drummer and health specialist practicing in Queens, NY. During his segment, Anthony reiterated a lot of what Okai himself had learned on his health conscious journey including cutting out a lot of pasta, processed foods and items that used a lot of white flour.

young-drum-circle

Another unique aspect of this workshop is that it brought together both beginners and professional drummers. Okai’s Rhythm Exchange workshop featured three master drummers of Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Haitian background, which allowed for drummers of all levels to learn a new rhythm. Attendees learned Afro-Columbian drumming from Cumbia rhythms originated from the days of slavery in the late 17th century. We learned of the bass drum (tambora) a double -sided drum used to produce the deep bass rhythms; the Tambor Alegre a secondary mid-drum known used for backup rhythm and the small drum (lamador), which also provides the back beat. Afterwards Will Tucker presented Puerto Rican Bumba rhythm featuring the drumming style Leró used as accompaniment for dancers. Finally Jean May Brignol gave us a snippet of Ibo, Nago and Yanvalou rhythms from Afro Haitian drumming.

Okai’s workshop gave participants an opportunity to hear and experience how similar and connected Afro-Caribbean culture is, while also hearing the different tones that make the expression from each country unique and distinctive.

See photos of the event HERE!

Posted in Archive, Arts, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Music, Weekend | No Comments »

Pwezi ak Mizik Anba Tonèl 2016

10.03.16

pwezi-ank-mizik-anba-tonel
For the 6th edition of our annual literary event “Pwezi ak Mizik Anba Tonèl” we were pleased to host the legendary musician Boulo Valcourt and poets Jeanie Bogart and James Noël. Boulo Valcourt holds an important place in the Haitian music scene and culture. He participated in various music bands, including Ibo Combo and Caribbean Sextet, and is well known for his contribution to Haiti’s “twoubadou” music genre. Jeanie Bogart grew up in the Southern Haitian city of Les Cayes before moving to New York. As a Creole and French court interpreter, Bogart witnesses difficult court trials, yet her poetry is full of passion and love. James Noël, who joined us from Port-au-Prince, is a prolific poet whose career is widely celebrated. He is very active in the literary scene of Haiti and often participates in international literary events.

The evening started with an open-mic for poets in the audience, which was a fitting tone for this evening filled with impromptu performances, street dancing, and community residents from our Crown Heights neighborhood. They were followed by Boulo Valcourt whose lovely guitar set the mood for James Noël and Jeanie Bogart. Noël’s touching tribute to the late Haitian drummer Léonord Fortuné ‘Azor’ and Bogart’s passionate love lyrics motivated our guests to rush and buy copies of their anthologies after the show. It felt like the perfect end-of-summer event. In the final moments, Boulo Valcourt’s nostalgic sounds for the famous song “La Pèsonn O” had the crowd chanting together with the musician as they wished farewell to the warm season.

Please enjoy pictures of the performance below by Paul Corbanese:
https://www.facebook.com/paul.corbanese/media_set?set=a.1415123475182344.1073741829.100000541148602&type=3&pnref=story

Event covered by Adolf Azuphar on Rhythm Passport: http://www.rhythmpassport.com/articles-and-reviews/event-review/review-boulo-valcourt-five-myles-gallery-brooklyn-27th-august-2016/

Event covered by Tequila Minsky on Caribbean Life: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2016/9/2016-09-02-tm-haitian-sidewalk-soiree-cl.html?utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=misclinks&utm_source=newsbar&utm_content=intra

James Noël’s books :
Anthologie de la Poésie Haïtienne
Intranqu’îllités
Le Pyromane Adolescent
Un jour… tes pantoufles

Jeanie Bogart’s books :
Sa m pral kite dèyè
Dènye rèl- DVD

Posted in An n' Pale, Archive, Arts, Dance, Events, HCX Programs, Music, Poetry, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Selebrasyon! | An n’ Pale Café Conversation : Sunday, June 26th

05.18.16

Bowery Poetry Club w- Danielle

Join HCX for our classic An n’ Pale | Café Conversation at the Bowery Poetry Club with Danielle Legros Georges.

Danielle Legros Georges

Danielle Legros GeorgesDanielle is the current Poet Laureate of the City of Boston and a professor in the Creative Arts in Learning Division of Lesley University. She also teaches in the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences summer Writer’s Workshop, University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her poems have been widely anthologized, and recent essays of hers have appeared in Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences and Writing in America (ed. Abayomi Animashaun) and Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (eds. Kendal Radcliffe and Jennifer Scott). She is the author of two volumes of poems, Maroon (Curbstone Press, 2001) and The Dear Remote Nearness of You (Barrow Street Press, 2016).

Click here to view the Selebrasyon! 2016 calendar of events!

DATE/TIME: Sunday, June 26th | 3:30pm
LOCATION: Bowery Poetry Club | MAP
308 Bowery | New York, NY 10012
ADMISSION: $10 Suggested Donation

Posted in An n' Pale, Arts, Events, HCX Programs, Literature, Poetry, Selebrasyon!, Uncategorized, Weekend | No Comments »

Selebrasyon! | Lakou NOU + Mizik Ayiti : Thursday, June 23rd

05.14.16

Mizik Ayiti at Pioneer Works

Meet the artists of Lakou NOU at Mizik Ayiti! an evening of Haitian music and dance in Red Hook’s premiere arts space. Presented in collaboration with Pioneer Works, Clocktower Radio, & Radyo Shak.

On the night of Mizik Ayiti, Clocktower Radio releases a cassette mixtape of archived Radyo Shak recordings from their pirate radio station during the Ghetto Biennale of Port-au-Prince. The recordings are in both English and Kreyol, and include snippets of slam poetry, traditional Haitian recipes, historical tales, interviews with biennale artists, Rara street festivals, twoubadou crooners, and all vinyl DJ sets.

In rural Haiti, the Lakou communal living system embodies the intersection of land, family, and spirituality. Lakou members develop reciprocal patterns of resource sharing and jointly work the land. Lakou NOU (“Our Yard: in Haitian Creole), HCX’s newest program, will provide four artists of Haitian descent with the opportunity to create and present new work by connecting their skills and talents to four traditionally under-served Brooklyn neighborhoods, home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans: Crown Heights, Canarsie, East Flatbush, and Flatbush.

After receiving over 25 applications, the Selebrasyon! Advisory Committee chose the following four Lakou NOU Residents based on their demonstrated commitment to the Haitian community and their proven artistic excellence:

Lakou Nou bio picClick here to view the Selebrasyon! 2016 calendar of events!

DATE/TIME: Thursday, June 23rd | 7-10pm
LOCATION: Pioneer Works | MAP
159 Pioneer Street | Brooklyn, NY 11231
ADMISSION: $10 Suggested Donation

Posted in Arts, Crafts, Dance, Events, HCX Collaborations, HCX Programs, Literature, Mizik Ayiti, Music, Photography, Poetry, Public Forums, Selebrasyon!, Visual Art | No Comments »

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