I finished up poetry month by giving a poetry reading/musical preview. The poems were from High Notes which forms the basis of our jazz opera, The Ballad of Downtown Jake.
This project has been one which makes me feel--quite simply--joyful!
At the event on Wednesday, April 27th, I read poetry from High Notes which was interspersed with music created by my composer friend Christopher Scinto. Many of the compositions take my poems as direct lyrics. I am currently writing the libretto for the jazz opera.
Our event featured amazing singers and musicians performing as well: Daniel Kurek (tenor), Alicann Lunceford (soprano), Keith Kelly (saxophone/clarinet)l Andrew Schiller (bass), Brett Reed (percussion) and, of course, Christopher Scinto (piano). I would encourage you to go to the jazz opera's facebook page and hear the music.
Below are some photos taken at the event which was held in the Tempe Center for the Arts (Tempe, Arizona) as part of the Tempe Poetry in April series. We had a great crowd--I would say between 40 and 55 people. Perhaps there were more who did attend--I'm not certain-- it did seemed that, as the evening wore on, more and more people came into the room.
The first photo shows me (right) with the founder and moderator of Tempe Poetry in April series, poet and visual artist Catherine Hammond. The room at the Tempe Center for the Arts that we performed in is about 3/4 glass, overlooks a negative edge pool which overlooks Tempe Lake. The evening sun was setting as we began and when we finished the stars were shining.
The second photos shows me (middle) with Christopher Scinto (far left) and Catherine Hammond (far right). Catherine always ends these events with a in-depth interview. Her questions illuminate the work. And even though our event took double the amount of time of the usual poetry readings, much of our audience seemed to hang in for this portion of the evening. There were even those who stayed and asked questions after our interview was concluded.
The last photo shows me just after our event ended. I am standing outside of the Tempe Center for the Arts, facing lakeside.
(thanks to my husband for taking these photos)