THE JUST AND THE BLIND

Poignant and pressing, The Just and The Blind illuminates the un-and under-heard experiences of incarcerated youth and the realities their families face. Spoken word artist and arts activist Marc Bamuthi Joseph joins forces with long-time collaborator composer/violinist Daniel  Bernard  Roumain (DBR) to explore themes of racial profiling, sentencing and the prison-industrial complex from the perspective of fathers of Brown sons. 

In addition to spoken word, movement and music, The Just and The Blind includes powerful imagery of Hank Willis Thomas, an artist committed to reframing perspectives on difficult issues intrinsic to American history and the representation of race and the politics. 

Centered on the humanity of the historically marginalized, The Just and The Blind provides a framework for the unique voices of  the community, striving to humanize the Black and brown children  that are enmeshed in it.

This profoundly reflective and powerfully uplifting work explores the artists’ Haitian heritage, while delving into universal themes of cultural identity, tolerance and inclusion
— ArtsVista

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.

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.

ABOUT DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN

Daniel Bernard Roumain’s acclaimed work as a composer and performer spans more than two decades, and has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations traverse the worlds of Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover and Lady Gaga.

Known for his signature violin sounds infused with a myriad of electronic and urban music influences, DBR takes his genre-bending music beyond the proscenium. He has been nominated for an EMMY for Outstanding Musical Composition for his work with ESPN; featured as keynote performer at technology conferences; and written large scale, site-specific music for public parks.

DBR’s made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 with the American Composers Orchestra performing his Harlem Essay for Orchestra, a Whitaker commission. He went on to compose works for the Boston Pops Orchestra; Carnegie Hall; the Library of Congress; the Stuttgart Symphony, and myriad others.

DBR’s commitment to arts education has garnered long-term relationships with countless universities, orchestras, and performing arts centers.  DBR earned his doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan. He is currently Institute Professor of Practice at Arizona State University.

An avid arts industry leader, DBR serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Creative Capital, the advisory committee of the Sphinx Organization, and was co-chair of 2015 and 2016 APAP Conferences.

DBR recently premiered We Shall Not Be Moved, a chamber opera co-commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and Apollo Theater, with libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and direction by Bill T. Jones. New York Times called the work "The Best Classical Performance of 2017.