The Just and the Blind
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The Just and the Blind
SFJAZZ Poetry Showcase

The Just and the Blind

Ft. Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Lalin St. Juste, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and Drew Dollaz

Jan 18, 2020
Miner Auditorium
SatJan 18
7:30 PM

$25 | $35 | $45

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Longtime collaborators composer-violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph are joined by street dance pioneer Drew Dollaz and electrifying vocalist Lalin St. Juste in The Just and the Blind, commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

Framed by visually striking photography and animation projections, the multimedia work explores racial profiling and the prison-industrial complex in a series of short vignettes that include music, dance, and spoken word.

Conceived and written by Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Original musical score by Daniel Bernard Roumain
Directed by Michael John Garcés

Artists:
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Spoken Word
Daniel Bernard Roumain, Violin/Piano/Electronics
Drew Dollaz, Choreographer/Dancer
Lalin St. Juste, Vocalist

David Szlasa, Projection Designer
Xia Gordon, Animator
Brittsense, Photographer
Lisa Armstrong, Journalist

Rika Iino, Producer
Melissa Higgins, Producer

The Just and the Blind was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and presented as part of the 2019 Create Justice Forum.

The Just and the Blind was produced by Sozo Artists, Inc., in partnership with the Sozo Impact Fund and its fiscal sponsor, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, with support from Ford Foundation. Special thanks to Miami Light Project.

Credits

A concert of voice, body, and musical and visual scores that collectively draw a map of black parenthood and American justice.

New York Times Review

Driven by Mr. Joseph’s stinging, brilliant words ... Mr. Joseph voices the thoughts of a black father who admits to being afraid.

The New York Times

In the Artist's Own Words

The Just and the Blind is a concert of voice, body, and musical and visual scores; dispatches from the prime suspect years; and documents of the beauty of forgotten blocks. It is Groundhog Day, and we are black again. We are weighing the scale of a teenager’s mistakes against the gravity of a father’s memory, hoping to get out of jail/free…

Each frame within the work is a moment that meditates on the contradiction of man-child citizenship. How does a black boy become an American? How does he learn his role to play? And what if that role, in part, is to stand in his country’s closet, waiting for someone to imagine him as a monster in the dark?

Each frame performs a different side of this contradiction come alive, and sings from a father’s perspective as he helps his son navigate American justice. Each creative element in the work responds to this broad prompt and direction. Sometimes this responsibility is carried fully by the music, and sometimes it is carried by the moving; the body. Most often it is carried by a combination of voices—visual, narrative, musical, and movement-based—that collectively draw a map of black parenthood and American justice.

—Marc Bamuthi Joseph
SFJAZZ Poet Laureate

 

Driven by Mr. Joseph’s stinging, brilliant words ... Mr. Joseph voices the thoughts of a black father who admits to being afraid.

The New York Times

In the Artist's Own Words

The Just and the Blind is a concert of voice, body, and musical and visual scores; dispatches from the prime suspect years; and documents of the beauty of forgotten blocks. It is Groundhog Day, and we are black again. We are weighing the scale of a teenager’s mistakes against the gravity of a father’s memory, hoping to get out of jail/free…

Each frame within the work is a moment that meditates on the contradiction of man-child citizenship. How does a black boy become an American? How does he learn his role to play? And what if that role, in part, is to stand in his country’s closet, waiting for someone to imagine him as a monster in the dark?

Each frame performs a different side of this contradiction come alive, and sings from a father’s perspective as he helps his son navigate American justice. Each creative element in the work responds to this broad prompt and direction. Sometimes this responsibility is carried fully by the music, and sometimes it is carried by the moving; the body. Most often it is carried by a combination of voices—visual, narrative, musical, and movement-based—that collectively draw a map of black parenthood and American justice.

—Marc Bamuthi Joseph
SFJAZZ Poet Laureate

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Drew Dollaz

Drew Dollaz is a pioneer of flexing, a Brooklyn-based genre of street dance also referred to as bone breaking, which is characterized by rhythmic contortionist movements. A self-taught dancer, Dollaz is known for blending flexing with other styles including ballet to create a transcendent hybrid of movement artistry.

Drew Dollaz

Drew Dollaz is a pioneer of flexing, a Brooklyn-based genre of street dance also referred to as bone breaking, which is characterized by rhythmic contortionist movements. A self-taught dancer, Dollaz is known for blending flexing with other styles including ballet to create a transcendent hybrid of movement artistry.

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