Full program: Janice Lowe with Yohann Potico and Kevin Carnes: April 20, 2017
Video clips: "We Wear the Mask" | "Sign"
A special evening of poetry and song in The Poetry Center, featuring New York-based poet, musician, and Dark Room Collective co-founder Janice A. Lowe (text, voice, and keyboard) performing works from her debut book, Leaving Cle: Poems of Nomadic Dispersal (Miami University Press, 2016), with Yohann Potico (bass) and Kevin Carnes (drums).
Fred Moten writes: "Leaving Cle is a beautiful document of eccentric return. A collection of unforecast surprise, it keeps giving home away, disbursing and dispersing hard, pleasurable weather like a new kind of lake effect. Cleveland is Brooklyn is Chicago and elsewhere, everywhere in a set of absolute specificities, upSouth, back east, out and out. There's a black cosmology of 'difference without separation' of which Denise Ferreira da Silva, sociologist, speaks. Janice A. Lowe, poet, sings it so hard, makes her air such an irreducible element of the general air, that you couldn't get away from it if you tried, which is fine, because that's the last thing you'll want. Her sound, her time, is everything you do."
Janice A. Lowe is a composer and poet. She is the author of Leaving Cle: poems of nomadic dispersal (Miami University Press) and the chapbook SWAM (Belladonna Series.) Her poems have been published in Callaloo, Best American Experimental Writing 2016, The Poetry Project Online, Pre) Conceivable Bridges, American Poetry Review, Radiant Re-Sisters, The Hat and on a digital album with Drew Gardner’s Poetics Orchestra. She composed the musicals Lil Budda, (Text by Stephanie L. Jones,) Sit-In at the Five & Dime, (Words by Marjorie Duffield) and Somewhere in Texas, (Book and Lyrics by Charles E. Drew, Jr.). Her works for musical theater have been performed extensively in New York City and regionally and have received developmental residencies from the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theater Conference and the National Alliance for Musical Theater. She has composed for the plays 12th and Clairmont by Jenni Lamb, The Super Starlet Shero Show by The Jones Twins, and Door of No Return by Nehassaiu deGannes. She is the composer of Make Some Learned Noise, text by Randall Horton, an interactive poem with music, performed with the incoming freshman class, University of New Haven, 2015. Recently, she was commissioned to compose a song cycle based on the “Millie-Christine” poems, from the collection OLIO, by Tyehimba Jess. She is a co-founder of The Dark Room Collective and a founding member of absolute theater co. She has performed with the experimental bands w/o a net, HAGL, and Digital Diaspora. She teaches songwriting workshops at White Bird Productions and has taught Poetry and Performance at Purchase College and at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics She holds an MFA in Musical Theater Writing from New York University-Tisch School of the Arts. More at janicelowe.com Photo: Eric Perl.
Yohann Potico grew up in a West Indian family in France. He brings a distinctive perspective to his bass playing, producing and composing by blending an eclectic mix of influences—ranging from soul and jazz to funk and trip hop—with a unique melodic approach. He performed and recorded with Brooklyn-based independent rock trio California King from 2007 to 2014. With California King, he recorded and co-wrote tracks on three albums—Adoration of the Boogie Bear, 2008, La Belle Epoque 2010, and Sankofa, 2015. He has performed and recorded as a session musician with numerous bands including Sierra Leone-based hip-hop group Dry Eye, soul vocalist Annakei house/techno producer Michele Papa. For three years, Yohann has been in residence as bass player for the Eastern European and North African influenced group Balkan Stomp. As a producer and sound engineer, Yohann has worked with a wide range of artist including folk songwriter and performer Megan Palmer, jazz pianist and composer Jesse Elder, jazz vocalist Zack Foley and singer/artist Sabrina Iyadede.