Mutabaruka visits Ashkenaz for an intimate spoken word poetry reading and book signing, Sunday, October 1. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and reading starts at 8:00 p.m., followed by live music with Vegitation at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Mutabaruka, $10 for Vegitation, or $20 for both events. All ages always welcome.
One of the first, most outspoken and popular of Jamaica’s “dub poets” of the ‘70s, Mutabaruka presents his mind-expanding poetry without music, beats or sound in this solo, uninterrupted 60-minute set. The power and majesty of Mutabaruka’s true spirit and vision are captivated in his live performance. The rhythm and flow of words, which borrow much from Reggae lyricism and Rastafarian doctrine, come alive as he moves with them on stage. His poetry is intellectual while still being very real, carrying on a discussion of truth and human rights. He is a relentless champion of the oppressed, with a visionary and prophetic view of the future. Although it is the political poetry that he is most known for, his work extends beyond the political to investigate other aspects of life, including dreams, love and spirituality.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mutabaruka discovered Rastafarianism and was drawn to the teachings that are now a main source of inspiration in his work. He began to express his belief system in poetry, papers began to publish it, and Allen Hope found his calling. He adopted the name of the Rwanda poet, Mutabaruka, which means “one who is always victorious.” Soon he took his words to the stage, backed by Reggae dub recordings.
In an evening presenting the power of two generations of reggae artists, San Diego band Vegitation follows Mutabaruka’s spoken-word performance with uplifting, conscious reggae that updates the roots of its forefathers. The sextet has built a following for its hard-driving music and message on three recordings: “From the Garden,” “Surrounded” and the forthcoming “Family Strong.” “Reggae has always carried a message,” Vegitation singer Dandelion told the San Diego Reader, “and that’s why we have chosen to play reggae. Our music is our way of making people aware of what’s going on. Reggae is the sound of nature, the sound of elements, the wind and oceans and birds in the canopy. We have more tribal roots sounds. Our music is a voice for the environment. We have a respect for all life, not just human life.”
Mutabaruka and Vegitation perform Sunday at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave at Gilman in Berkeley. Ashkenaz is always all ages and is wheelchair accessible. Doors at 7:30 p.m.; Poetry reading at 8:00; concert at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Mutabaruka, $10 for Vegitation, or $20 for both and are available from Ashkenaz: (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com, or from www.Ticketweb.com.
More info: http://www.mutabaruka.com, http://www.vegitationmusic.com