POETRY FESTIVAL: Juan Felipe Herrera & Alejandro Murguía
SFJAZZ Poetry Festival: Laureates
SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Ishmael Reed brings a diverse group of poets center stage, many riffing with improvising instrumentalists. Following each night’s final performance, young poets will have a chance to get onstage during an open-mic session and perform their work beginning around 10:30PM.
The first annual SFJAZZ Jazz Poetry Festival features a diverse cast of poets – among them the state’s current poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, the celebrated feminist poet Lorna Dee Cervantes, the elegant Beat writer Michael McClure and Reed himself – many performing with improvising instrumentalists. Those musicians include such gifted Bay Area players as woodwind master Melecio Magdaluyo, jamming with poet and performance artist Genny Lim on June 7. The following night, Reed mixes it up with pianist Mary Watkins, on a bill with the commanding Al Young, performing his poetry with bassist Dan Robbins.
“For SFJAZZ’s first annual Jazz Poetry Festival, we have assembled some of the most prominent Bay Area poets, some of whom will be accompanied by some of the finest local musicians,” says Reed, a prolific writer of poems, essays, novels and plays who taught for decades at UC Berkeley. “This may be the most exciting and diverse poetry festival held in San Francisco in recent years.”
Juan Felipe Herrera