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Olio Live

episodic • experimental • culture & heritage • fight-the-system • music • poetic
  • Audio Performance
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Olio Live - Audible | Thespie

In Olio Live - a very special one-night performance recorded live at the Minetta Lane Theater in February, 2019 - poet Tyehimba Jess introduces listeners to his 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, Olio. A stellar cast of actors, accompanied by pianist Jeremy Gill, performs a selection of poems from the collection, all of which reinterpret the lived experience of real historical figures. You’ll meet William "Blind" Boone, who testifies to Scott Joplin’s greatness at a time when "Alexander’s Ragtime Band" by Irving Berlin used uncredited sections of Joplin’s work; Sissieretta Jones, an operatic star who elevates what a "revue" show could be; and other African American musical stars of the early 20th century. Despite the Emancipation of African Americans and the rise of Tin Pan Alley, these gifted composers and musicians continued to experience appropriation of their work and, often, lack of remuneration. In this context, the word "olio" also means a hodgepodge, or a miscellaneous collection of literary or musical selections; taken as a whole, the triumphant performances of Olio Live ask listeners to consider the nature of identity, performance, and ever-present history. Tyehimba Jess and Yahdon Israel immortalize and embody a long tradition of African American "citizenship through musicianship" in this timeless live audio.

  • Duration
    1 hour 18 minutes

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