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Soundworks Gathering #6

Priscilla Page, Djola Branner, and Shakeel Sohail Gilbran CullisTell That

“I want to tell the American story from the kitchens where I learned it. Because there were so many hips, recipes, a multiplicity of languages…so many possibilities before you cracked the egg. I wanna tell that.”  -Laurie Carlos

Laurie Carlos was an innovator of theatrical form whose voice continues to shape the jazz aesthetic in performance today. She is an art mother to Priscilla Page and Djola Branner, as well as a generation of  contemporary creative spirits in theater. Blending poetry, music, and movement, the trio builds a storyscape intertwining the personal and the political. Featuring texts by Laurie Carlos, Djola Branner, and Priscilla Page alongside improvised music by bassist Shakeel Sohail Gilbran Cullis,Tell That is an exploration of individual voices weaving together a tapestry of global perspectives. 

Priscilla Page is a writer, performer, dramaturg, and educator who believes creative expression is a powerful tool for the transformation of self and society. Her performance credits include La Llorona in Quiero Volver by Diana Alvarez; ensemble member in Latinas con Pluma; and solo performance poetry/storytelling in When the Women Gather and Women Who Are Free. She regularly publishes essays, articles, and reviews on the intersections of race, culture, feminism, and theater. She is a contributing editor for Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light: A Play by Joy Harjo and A Circle of Responses, forthcoming from Wesleyan Press.

Djola Branner is an interdisciplinary artist/educator who combines movement, sound and light to create compelling portraits of American life for the stage. His original dramas give voice to individuals historically absent from the theater, and explore a diverse range of human experience. Co-founder of the award winning performance group Pomo Afro Homos, Branner toured nationally and internationally with their shows Fierce Love: Stories From Black Gay Life and Dark Fruit, performing in venues as varied as college cafeterias and the Lincoln Center. His work has been supported by Creative Capital, the Jerome, McKnight and Bush Foundations, and published in such anthologies as Colored Contradictions, Staging Gay Lives and Voices Rising: Celebrating 20 Years of Lesbian and Gay Black Writers. He is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild.

Shakeel Sohail Gibran Cullis is a South African bassist currently studying at Berklee College of Music’s Global Music Institute. He has performed with renowned musicians such as Nduduzo Makhathini, Bokani Dyer, Kyle Shepherd, and Louis Moholo-Moholo. He has also performed alongside Madosini, Mark Fransman, Claude Cozens, Jonno Sweetman, Keenan Ahrends, Andrew Lilley, and Linda Sikhakhane. He plays in a variety of ensembles ranging in style from straight ahead jazz to swing, South African jazz, Latin and Cuban music, contemporary South African jazz, free jazz, Nigerian ogu music, Nigerian jazz and traditional Xhosa Music ensembles. He recently performed at the Oslo Jazz Festival, Norway (Herr Nilsen & Sentralen) (2017); Grahamstown National Jazz Festival (2016); Joy of Jazz Festival; Cape Town International Jazz Festival (2016); Buyel'ekhaya Festival, East London (2016/2017); Infecting the City Festival, Cape Town (2017).   

Mike Bullock | Fossar/Geysir | Listening session

Fossar/Geysir is constructed from recordings made around the southwest of Iceland at various waterfalls (fossar) and at Geysir (the geyser after which all others are named). Edited only for beginnings and endings and stitched into a continuous journey by foot around and through Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, and a little-known waterfall, anonymous to me, featuring a salmon ladder.

Mike Bullock is a composer, improviser, visual artist, and writer based in Holyoke, MA. Bullock has been performing since the mid 90s at venues across the US and in Europe, including Fylkingen in Stockholm, Sweden; Instants Chavirés in Paris; Café OTO in London; Experimental Intermedia and ISSUE Project Room in New York City; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; and EMPAC in Troy, NY. In June 2015, Bullock received a Performance Grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Bullock is the Philadelphia Ambassador for The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland [KREV]and also serves as the KREV Minister of Fine Noise and Light.

Earlier Event: August 2
Soundworks Gathering #5
Later Event: October 4
Soundworks Gathering #7