Jazz Poetry: Stephan Crump/ Ingrid Laubrock / Cory Smythe & Poet Rajiv MohabirThursday, September 20, 2018 @ 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Join us for an evening of jazz with Stephan Crump, Ingrid Laubrock and Cory Smythe. Between jazz sets, he will also collaborate with Ava C. Cipri, Vanessa German, Sheryl St. Germain and Rajiv Mohabir for a jazz and poetry interlude.
Stephan Crump (bass)
Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone)
Cory Smythe (piano)
Stephan Crump, Ingrid Laubrock and Cory Smythe—this trio consists of three highly innovative improvisers.
Memphis-bred, Grammy-nominated bassist Stephan Crump is emerging as a singular voice as a composer, with groups like Rhombal and his Rosetta Trio, and is a longtime collaborator with adventurous jazz composers, including Vijay Iyer.
Originally from Germany, saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock is now a staple of the Brooklyn scene, both as a composer/leader with groups like Anti-House and Sleepthief and a collaborator with such musicians as Anthony Braxton.
Pianist Cory Smythe works actively in new, classical, and improvised music and is celebrated across genre lines, as a core member of the International Contemporary Ensemble and a Grammy-award-winner for his work with violinist Hillary Hahn.
The trio released its acclaimed album Planktonic Finales on Intakt in 2017, a series of recordings that demonstrate the trio’s finesse and sensitivity in collective playing. As Christoph Wagner wrote in the liner notes: “Over long periods, the music seemed to play itself…When listening back to the recordings, at times even the musicians were no longer sure if what they were hearing came from sax or from bowed bass.”
Rajiv Mohabir is an Indo-Caribbean American author of two acclaimed poetry collections — The Taxidermist’s Cut and Cowherd’s Son — and four chapbooks. He is winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize, a 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, a finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry, and has received fellowships from Voices of Our Nationʻs Artist foundation, Kundiman, The Home School, and the American Institute of Indian Studies language program. He received his MFA in Poetry and Translation from Queens College, CUNY and his PhD in English from the University of Hawai`i. Rajiv is current on staff at Auburn University in Alabama, GA.
Formerly an editor for Salt Hill, Ava C. Cipri is a poetry editor for The Deaf Poets Society: An Online Journal of DisabilityLiterature & Art. Her poetry and nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in 2River View, Cimarron Review, decomP, Drunken Boat, Rust + Moth, WHR, Whiskey Island Review, and PROSODY: NPR-affliate WESA’s weekly show featuring the work of national writers. Her award-winning tanka sequence “From the Barre” is featured in AHA Books’ Twenty Years Tanka Splendor.She is anthologized in Red Moon Press’ Contemporary Haibun Anthology and SUNY’s Unruly Catholic Women Writers II. Ava is in the process of circulating a handful of chapbooks and stitching together her full-length manuscript. A product of geographical cures, she currently resides in Pittsburgh and teaches writing at Duquesne University. Beyond academia’s corridors she is in the throes of crafting a gluten-free cookbook that’s part memoir with her partner due to their shared allergies, as well as recognizing the world’s need for one more cookbook.
Poet, performer, photographer, and sculptor Vanessa German creates works that explore the power of transformation and healing. She scours her Pittsburgh neighborhood searching for objects to incorporate into her art. “I surrender myself to the objects that call up to me,” she has said. Her intricate mixed-media sculptures combine doll parts, antique tins, cowrie shells, household objects, and African beads. With these three-dimensional collages German reclaims objects and words that symbolize the oppression of African Americans for generations, creating serene, if surreal, figures that call to mind religious icons, Congolese minkisi sculpture, folk art traditions, and the work of Betye Saar and Fred Wilson.
A native of New Orleans, Sheryl St. Germain has taught creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Knox College, and Iowa State University. Her work has received several awards, including two NEA Fellowships, an NEH Fellowship, the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, the Ki Davis Award from the Aspen Writers Foundation, and the William Faulkner Award for the personal essay. St. Germain’s books of poetry include Going Home (1989), The Mask of Medusa (1987), How Heavy the Breath of God (1994), Making Bread at Midnight (1995), The Journals of Scheherazade (1996), and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems (2007). She has also published a chapbook of translations of the Cajun poet Jean Arceneaux, Je Suis Cadien (1994). She is also the author of a memoir about growing up in Louisiana, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman (2003), and she co-edited, with Margaret Whitford, Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century (2011).
St. Germain’s most recent book is Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair (2012). She currently directs the MFA program in creative writing at Chatham University.