BLACKBIRD, FLY

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BLACKBIRD,  FLY  weaves  together  an  enduring  tapestry  of  movement,  narrative,  music  and  Haitian  folklore  to  engage  audiences  in  dialog  about  critical  questions  of  our  time.  Steeped  in  hip-hop  aesthetic,  this  intimate  duet  between  two  preeminent  sons  of  Haitian  immigrants  —  composer/violinist  DBR  and  arts  activist/spoken  word  artist  BAMUTHI  —  unveils  their  life  stories  in  search  of  their  identity  and  role  models,  and  explores  universal  themes  of  tolerance  and  inclusion.

This  work  is  a  culmination  of  DBR  and  BAMUTHI’s  recent  collaborations  with  Atlanta  Ballet,  Boston  Children’s  Chorus,  University  of  Houston,  SF  Yerba  Buena  Center  for  the  Arts,  and  Opera  Philadelphia.  In  each  of  these  communities,  they  have  created  and  premiered  new  works  offering  myriad  experiential  arts  education  opportunities.  Introspective  yet  uplifting,  BLACKBIRD,  FLY  heightens  our  collective  consciousness  and  sheds  a  new  light  on  arts  as  a  powerful  tool  for  social  engagement.


ABOUT MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH 

BAMUTHI (Marc Bamuthi Joseph) is a curator of words, ideas and protagonists. His bold poetically-driven work investigates social issues and cultural identity. He is a steadfast believer in empathy as the most valuable currency in building community, and seeks to spark curiosity and dialogue about freedom, compassion, and fearlessness through pioneering arts stewardship and education.  A 2017 TEDGlobal Fellow, Bamuthi graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine as one of America’s Top Young lnnovators in the Arts and Sciences; artistically directed HBO’s “Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices” and is an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s greatest living artists. Dance Magazine named him a Top Influencer in 2017.

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BAMUTHI’s evening length work red black and GREEN: a blues was nominated for a 2013 Bessie Award for “Outstanding Production (of a work stretching the boundaries of a traditional form)” and he has won numerous grants including from the National Endowment for the Arts and Creative Capital Foundation. His latest touring work /peh-LO-tah/ is inspired by soccer and Bamuthi's first generation American experience, intersecting global economics, cross border fan culture, and the politics of joy.  Recent commissions include the libretto for Home in 7 for the Atlanta Ballet and theater work for South Coast Repertory Theater. He recently collaborated with composer Daniel Bernard Roumain on a new opera co-commissioned and produced by Opera Philadelphia, New York’s Apollo Theater and London’s Hackney Empire, which premiered under the direction of Bill T. Jones in October 2017.

BAMUTHI is the founding Program Director of the exemplary non-profit Youth Speaks, and is a co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day festivals which activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life.  His essays have been published in Harvard Education Press; he has lectured at more than 200 colleges, has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford and Lehigh, among others, and currently serves as Chief of Program and Pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

For more information about Marc Bamuthi Joseph, click here.