Healdsburg Jazz’s A Celebration of Maya Angelou, a live outdoors and distanced event, was held on Saturday, April 3, 2021, with Poet Laureate Enid Pickett, and poets Genny Lim and Michael Warr, accompanied by Marcus Shelby (bass) and Rob Sudduth (saxophones).
First Voice: Offerings to Mother Earth
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, First Voice proudly presented a series of artist videos, all made during shelter in place, from the First Voice family of artists and healers. With these offerings, we radiate healing energy, and resonate in new and ancient ways with Mother Earth, so we can remember how to love and care for Her and one another.
“I’ve known Brenda and Mark for 35 years. We’ve collaborating on many projects over the years from my 1987 performance piece, XX, about the oppression of women, which featured Brenda in the lead to my many poetry and music collaborations with Mark Izu in the early period of Asian American Jazz in the seventies till now. It gives me great pleasure to culminate our decades-old friendship as artists-in-arms to be a part of First Voice’s Offerings to the Earth.
My ode to water is a plea. If we continue to desecrate, pollute and waste this precious element, we will hasten the death of our planet for all living beings. Sea levels have risen to its highest annual level in just the past year and our coastlines are receding. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the catastrophic state of water justice. Twenty-one million Americans, that’s six percent of the population, get water from systems that violate health standards. The Navaho Nation has seen the highest rate of infections per capita in the U.S. and thirty to forty percent of its population have no running water or electricity. It’s time we reverse our course and heal our oceans, rivers and streams, starting with our melting glaciers.”
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
Genny Lim with Anthony Brown & the Asian American Orchestra: “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite”
Sunday, April 9, 8:00pm, Joe Henderson Lab
The SFJAZZ Poetry Festival 2017 was curated and hosted by Genny Lim, SFJAZZ Poet Laureate. The program on Sunday, April 9 featured poetry and music by poet devorah major, and then we became, with recording artist Destiny Muhammad, and “We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite,” with Genny Lim, composer and percussionist Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra. The evening was co-presented by Litquake in the Joe Henderson Lab at SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco.
Genny Lim, SF Jazz Poet Laureate, performs Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite at SF Jazz (2017)
Genny Lim with Anthony Brown and The Asian American Orchestra – Freedom Now Suite