Jazzonia Pt. 1

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 7:00pm

Online
New York, NY 10001

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP has additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus.

Jazzonia: the Marriage of Poetry and Jazz

Historian John Reddick discusses the evolution of jazz poetry with Shanelle Gabriel, Samora Pinderhughes and Laura Pegram.

John Reddick currently serves as a curator and discussion leader for the Harlem Focus series at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt Design Center. Reddick has applied his knowledge of Harlem’s culture and architecture towards work he has done with the Heritage Health & Housing: Heritage Heights Village Business Improvement, the Apollo Theater and the Harlem One Stop. He has worked on public art & space projects at a number of Harlem-based organizations including Abyssinian Development Corporation, the Ralph Ellison Memorial Committee, Harriet Tubman Square and Frederick Douglass Circle, among others. Reddick also served as President of Cityscape Institute and held leadership positions at the Central Park Conservancy. Reddick received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.

Shanelle Gabriel is a poet, singer, and educator from Brooklyn, NY who has performed internationally including Africa and Europe. Widely known for featuring on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, she has shared the stage with artists such as Jill Scott, Nas, Dave Chapelle and more. She was listed as one of Blavity.com’s “Artist Activists You Should Know” and one of “8 Millennial Feminist Poets That Deserve Recognition” by BET.com. Shanelle is also a health activist who has spoken alongside the President of the National Institute of Health, on Capitol Hill, and has featured on the Lifetime Network, in Women’s Health magazine, and more about her continued battle with lupus. Presently, she is working on her third album, pursuing her Master’s in Education at Columbia University Teachers College while serving as the Interim Executive Director at Urban Word NYC, a youth organization that uses poetry & hip-hop to promote literacy and youth voice.

Laura Pegram is a multidisciplinary artist who is influencing a new generation of aspiring writers. Author, educator, and a jazz vocalist whose cabaret performance teamed her with jazz pianist, Donald Smith, Ms. Pegram is also a painter. Her richly hued vibrant murals are part of several private collections. She has worked as a Development Associate at Scholastic Productions, Inc., as an Instructor at the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center and as an Acting Director / Instructor at the John Oliver Killens Young Writers Program.

Samora was born a mixed-race kid in the Bay Area, a hotbed of revolutionary organizing and incredible music and art that immediately seeped into his soul. He started playing music at 2 yrs old; His father played him The Delfonics, Tupac, and Bob Marley, while his mother introduced him to Nina Simone, Fela Kuti, and Pete Seeger.

He became serious about making music his life after living in Cuba studying spiritual musical traditions. He moved to NYC to study at Juilliard under master teachers Kenny Barron and Kendall Briggs; It was during this time that he also met his artistic mentor, MacArthur-winning playwright Anna Deavere Smith. This started him down the path of writing lyrics and combining film/theatre with his music in radical new ways.

With the help of these mentors, Samora eventually began to create his very own unique style, a combination of striking intimacy and carefully crafted, radically honest lyrics with lush, immersive music, maximalist visual storytelling and high levels of concept.

Samora is currently pursuing a PHD in Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry under mentor Vijay Iyer at Harvard University.

Facebook Live

This event listing provided for the New York community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

More from AARP in New York

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in New York
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW