Sat., October 15, 2022
Noon to 4:30 p.m. • Free
Festival Main Stage • Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park • Berkeley
Genny Lim read poems about Water, Wildfires and War and sang Jim Pepper’s “Witchi-Tai-To” and “Besame Mucho,” accompanied by the Barry Finnerty Trio, featuring Finnerty, Akira Tana on drums, with bassist Peter Borshay, on the Festival Main Stage at Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, California.
Barry Finnerty, Genny Lim and Akira Tana at the 2022 Watershed Poetry Festival
Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival is a collaboration of Robert Hass, Poetry Flash, Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market, and Ecocity Builders. The Watershed Festival emerged from Robert Hass’s national Watershed initiative during his tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate, 1995-97, which explored connections between environmental awareness and the American literary imagination. The first two Watersheds were held at the Bandshell at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
Friday, September 30, 2022
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
St. Mary’s College
Cornelius Art Center: Patio, 1928 St. Marys Road, Moraga, CA 94575
On Critical Mass, Lewis Jordan (alto, baritone and poetry), Sandi Poindexter (violin), Bruce Ackley (soprano and tenor), Ollen Erich Hunt (bass), and Jimmy Biala (drums/percussion) use improvisation and poetry to access a space of sincerity, engagement, and free expression. They are joined by Genny Lim on the title track.
With a unique interdisciplinary approach to poetry and music, this Bay Area musical ensemble brings an open spirit of improvisation to their original compositions. Performances highlight solo instrumental voices (saxophone, violin, bass, and percussion) as well as collective interplay. This year, the group released its fourth CD, Critical Mass (Innova 073).
Thursday, May 12 – 7:30pm
Bird & Beckett Books & Records
653 Chenery Street, San Francisco, CA 94131
With B’kongofonic blood at the saxophonic root, well below surface engraving, resonating within its alloy, sounds are gathering to invoke a heroic people: kongo as “gathering”, a Central African people’s homeland; fon as “sound”, a West African people’s language; B’ referring to all “peoples” along the resistance continuum. Hear ye, the animating force of a strange horn sanctified!
Genny Lim – poetry, invocation
Hafez Modirzadeh – kongofon, assorted winds
Francis Wong – kongofon, assorted winds
John-Carlos Perea – electric bass, cedar flute, vocals
Keshav Batish – drums, tabla
Genny Lim and the ensemble perform Modirzadeh’s epic poem, Ode B’kongofon.
$25 cash cover charge; byob and a mask (optional if vaccinated)
Thursday, April 5th – Sunday, April 8, 2018, Joe Henderson Lab
Curated by SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Genny Lim, the 2018 Wordology Festival featured “the greatest poets of the Bay Area and beyond, centered on the concept of ‘wordology.’”
Genny Lim and Francis Wong at SFJazz Poetry Festival 2018
“I want poets to… let go of their concept of how the poem is supposed to be, to surrender to the spirit of improvisation, so the poem can breathe and become a whole new poem.”GENNY LIM
This year’s festival is bookended by two illustrious poets: on opening night, former California poet laureate Al Young, whom Lim calls “the Duke Ellington of letters,” and who is the much-honored author of 22 books of various genres; and, playing piano at the closing matinee, Ishmael Reed (“just a lion—a political satirist, a playwright, an essayist,” says Lim).
In between is a multicultural and multigenerational lineup of poets, rappers, spoken-word artists and jazz musicians, many among them part of San Francisco’s underground arts scene, many of them social activists as well: Arlene Biala with musician Brittany Biala; Royal Kent with Copus Multimedia (his duo with composer/pianist Wendy Loomis); also Paul Flores, Tongo Eisen-Martin, QR Hand, novelist and hip-hop artist Aya De Leon, Tony Robles, rapper Equipto, the musical ensemble the Broun Fellinis, “drum strategist” Marshall Trammel and saxophonist Francis Wong. The festival includes a tribute to Charles Mingus and Native American sax player Jim Pepper.Poetry and Jazz Make a Harmonic Hybrid by JEAN SCHIFFMAN, sfarts.org