Celebrating Amiri Baraka’s “Blues People” at 50

In tribute to the 50th anniversary of Amiri Baraka’s Blues People: Negro Music in White America, the concert features the world premiere of Keep Your Razor Sharp, a full-length original musical composition by Craig Harris, tracing the impact of jazz and blues on our culture.  Performed by Craig Harris and Nation of Imagination (Carla Cook and Helga Davis, vocals; Kelvyn Bell, guitar; Adam Klipple, keyboards; Calvin Jones, bass; Tony Lewis, drums; Khalil Bell, percussion), the work parallels the main theme of Baraka’s pioneering book about African American music: the blues continuum and the people who created it. Exploring a rich musical language that evolved and traveled from the Malian and Mississippi deltas to rural plantations and urban projects, the text of Keep Your Razor Sharp incorporates prose from Baraka’s poetic Wise, Why’s, Y’s: The Griot’s Song Djeli Ya.  Amiri Baraka will provide the introduction to this thought-provoking musical journey, commissioned by NJPAC as part of its TD James Moody Democracy Jazz Festival.  November 10th @ 7pm, Newark Museum ~ 49 Washington Street. FREE