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)
Bobby Bradford, Francis Wong & William Roper with poet Genny Lim celebrate “The Zen of Glenn.”
Three master musicians and an esteemed poet join together in honor of their late colleague and friend Glenn Horiuchi, born February 27, 1955. Horiuchi, who passed on June 3, 2000, was a key figure in the Asian American arts movements & companies that flowered in the San Francisco Bay Area and up and down the West Coast in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.
Find the live stream on Bird & Beckett’s YouTube channel or Facebook page, and donate if you possibly can to support the musicians, the music and the venue!
Saxophonist Francis Wong, co-founder and creative director of Asian Improv aRts (AIR), notes that Horiuchi
“was a prime mover for Asian Improv aRts from our pre-history in the Asian American Movement until his transition. A role model and mentor for me and so many others, he played such roles as a musician, teacher, community organizer — most notably the redress movement but also in the El Salvador support movement, and of course Jesse Jackson for President — and Zen Buddhist practitioner, all the while being a devoted family man. He continues to inspire us with his life example, artistic work, and abiding spirit.”
Join the Live-streamed Festival via Zoom or on the Bay Area Poetry Festival Facebook page on Saturday, January 22, from 3:00pm-4:00pm, for poetry and dance with dNaga Dance Company, featuring recorded poetry readings by Genny.
With special thanks to Claudine Naganuma, Artistic Director of dNaga Dance Company — a unique ensemble made up of multi-generational dancers including young artists, professionals, and elders. Through workshops, classes, choreography and productions, the dance company explores the nature of our human condition and its relationship to our greater community.
Lifetime Achievement Award and Reading
On Sunday, January 23, from 3:00pm-4:00pm, enjoy readings by poets Maw Shein Win and Minal Hajratwala, and the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Genny by City of Berkeley Councilperson Terry Taplin.
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.”
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.
“All warfare is based on deception.” Sun Tzu, 6th c. B.C.
Politics is gentlemen’s warfare. But when words fail, bombs fall. WHERE IS TIBET?, a performance piece by Genny Lim presented by Asian Improve aRts, invites you to consider the ancient history of China and Tibet before Tibet’s occupation. It is a meditation on our human capacity to understand the nature of good and evil that exists within each of us.
Featuring Genny Lim, Tsering Dorjee Bawa, Lenora Lee, and Francis Wong. Photos by Andy Nozaka.