Join us at Poetry Electric for a journey of words, poems, songs and jazz! Live poetry, stories, words and songs that express the Fight for Our Civil Rights in Amerikkka. With a testimony to some of the Musicians and Singers who helped fight to pave the way, THE DUKE…BILLY…NAT… EARTHA…NINA
Featuring Verna Hampton
And a Collective of Stellar guest performers, musicians, and artists including:
LeVern “The Entertainer” Williams
Gary Schreiner: Piano, Chromatic Harmonica, Accordion
Jim Mussen: Drums and Percussion
G. Anthony Williams: Creative Consultant
Annette McCarty: Fine Artist
Akinyele Staples: Pre and Post Show Soundscape
June McCoy-Reid: Stylist for Ms Hampton
Randy “Wolf” Simon: Stage Manager
Verna Hampton is a Poetry Electric veteran. She cut her theatre teeth, started her career and is still affiliated with the award winning “Family Repertory Theatre Company” that was helmed by, the late, Marvin Felix “Pancho” Camillo. Throughout her career, Verna has performed on New York City, regional and international stages including: Lincoln Center, Town Hall, The Public Theatre, Symphony Space, HERE, Theatre for the New City, Abrons Art Center, New Federal Theatre, La MaMa, Syracuse Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville,and Studio Arena Stage. Verna is a Master Teaching Artist who was awarded the, prestigious, Anne Frank Spirit Award for Education. Her poem “Michelle’s Arms” will be published in the anthology “Michelle Obama and Her Impact on Black Women and Girls”by Palgrave Macmillan this spring 2018.
June McCoy-Reid was born and raised in Neptune, New Jersey. June career in Human Services spanned over thirty (30) years. June retired from Human Services in 2015 and moved to Boston Massachusetts to pursue and continue a lifelong passion in Fashion Stylist and Culinary Artist. June is the founder of JMR Fashion, a unique house specializing in Eco-Style, Hand-crafted Artisan Jewelry. Famous for her Amazon Fringe Body Chains and other unique accessories, she launched the “Sip, Serve, and Shop” model of home fashion shows and party events. She’s scheduled appearances in several New York Fashion Week shows as an accompanist whose brand is becoming the must have element for successful haute couture. From Afro Pop and Afro Punk, precious stones and metal, leather, and bone to eco-friendly hemp and hemp silk, JMR Fashion is as varied as the mosaic of humanity.
Jim Mussen is known for international performances as a drummer and percussionist with a wide variety of artists and performers. He has done performances and drum programming on many records, commercial jingles, and film soundtracks. He has done sound design and sample library development for musicians and producers and extensive work with multi-media performers, theater groups, and dancers. Mussen has engineered and co-produced on a variety of albums, singles, soundtracks, and recording projects.
Gary Schreiner is an Emmy Award winning composer, producer and arranger. He has written and produced music for numerous television shows, commercials, feature films and for theatre. As a performer, his work on keyboards, accordion and chromatic harmonica can be heard on many recordings, television shows, and films. He has worked with diverse artists such as Elton John, Rosanne Cash, Joan Osborne, Patti LaBelle, Pedrito Martinez, Yoko Ono, Dave Chappelle, and Kermit the Frog. Gary recently produced and arranged Aztec Two Step’s recent album, Naked” as well as Rick Moranis’ album “My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs”.
Levern Williams, known as Levern “the Entertainer” Williams, is a versatile performing artist/Jazz stylist who has been compared to Nat King Cole. Singer-Songwriter-Actor, born in Florence, South Carolina, he moved to New York at an early age where his interest for music began to take shape. Levern flaunts a unique, exuberant style that is undoubtedly his own which energizes and captures his audience As a humanitarian, Levern finds time to develop and instruct creative arts programs to New York City seniors and youth by using creative arts as alternative education. Levern continues to dedicate time, towards his first love, performing songs by the great balladers of Jazz. Levern’s performance repertoire includes: appearances at Symphony Space, Thalia Theater NYC, Jazz at the Crypt Church of the Intercession NYC, Cleopatra’s Needle-NYC, St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church (Wednesday noon time Jazz & the Word), Londel’s Restaurant and super Club-NYC and La MaMa; and, toured internationally with stops in Western Africa (inter- continental Hotels); Paris, France (Inter-continental Hotels); South America, México, Panamá and Brazil.
The Poetry Electric fuses music, movement, sound, and dance with the spoken word and presents artists working in a wide range of styles including beatboxing, jazz and hip-hop theatre. This series has presented over 200 emerging poets from diverse cultural backgrounds.