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2008 Events

Outdoor Jazz Concert in Yerba Buena Gardens | Visual Arts Programming: Resilience: My Culture, My People, Me! | Gala Concert at Yoshi's San Francisco and Awards Ceremony | Black Voices Series | UNITED IN HEALTH 3: Artists, Healthcare Workers and Community | 
AfroSolo Arts Festival 15
Black Voices Series
Thursday August 21-Saturday August 23, 8pm; Sunday August 24, 3pm
The Marsh, 1062 Valencia Street, near 22nd and Mission, SF   map
$25 General Admission. In addition to general admission tickets ($25), a limited number of Special Festival Passes ($100) are available that include priority seating at all festival events, admission to a Black Voices performance and admission the Yoshi's Gala Concert and Reception.

In collaboration with The Marsh, AfroSolo presents its seminal Black Voices Series. Idris Ackamoor, Angela Dean-Baham, Laura Elaine Ellis, and Marvin K. White will perform original solo stage works inspired by our theme of resilience.

Idris Ackamoor
Photo Pat Mazerra
Idris Ackamoor - Music for One Hand Clapping
What motivates someone to surmount what seems like insurmountable odds? Music for One Hand Clapping is an interdisciplinary performance utilizing music, theater, tap dance and video. It is a poetic essay on loss, resilience, and triumph inside a life of music. Using memory as ritual, Idris will tell his story, and reflect on the stories of other artists, such as Peg Leg Bates and Django Reinhardt, who have overcome incredible physical challenges to continue to create, innovate, inform, and garner worldwide acclaim. Music for One Hand Clapping is performed by Idris Ackamoor with additional musical accompaniment by pianist/drummer Fred Harris. Mr. Ackamoor received an Individual Artist Commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission to create and perform the production. In addition, support was provided by the AATAIN New Works Development Program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Directed by Rhodessa Jones

IDRIS ACKAMOOR is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, actor, tap dancer, director, and producer. He is the Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. Under his leadership the company has become internationally recognized for artistic excellence. Idris' primary instrument is the alto saxophone. An accomplished tap dancer, Idris' signature performance is his uncanny ability to combine tap dancing with playing his saxophone simultaneously. Mr. Ackamoor is the recipient of a 2007 Center for Cultural Innovation Award to support his work, and a 2006 Individual Artists Commission awarded by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

To see a video of Peg Leg Bates visit:

Angela Dean-Baham
Angela Dean-Baham - Unsung Diva: The Life and Times of Sissieretta Jones, aka Black Patti
Ms. Dean-Baham will perform Unsung Diva: The Life and Times of Sissieretta Jones, aka Black Patti. Dubbed the "Black Patti", after the renowned Metropolitan Opera singer Adelina Patti, Sissieretta Jones was the most accomplished Black singer of her time.

Angela Dean-Baham began her performing career in Cincinnati where as a graduate student, she appeared with the Cincinnati Opera Young Artist Program in the classical operetta Ruddigore. Since relocating to the Bay area, she has become a much sought-after performer and has been recognized for her "exuberant portrayal" and her "distinctive "silvery soprano" voice. She has appeared with Festival Opera of Walnut Creek, Berkeley Opera, Pocket Opera, Oakland Lyric Opera and Oakland Opera Theatre.

Directed by Rhodessa Jones

Laura Elaine Ellis
Photo by Andy Mogg
Laura Elaine Ellis - i that is we
Ms. Ellis will perform the World Premiere of i that is we, an original dance performance inspired by Nina Simone's song Four Women. The work was created in collaboration with poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph, composer Ajayi Lumumba, and photographer Kimara Dixon.

Ms. Ellis is principal dancer with two award winning dance companies, Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers (since 1990) and Dimensions Dance Theater (since 1986). She has presented solo and ensemble work in the Bay Area Dance Series; SUMMERFEST/DANCE 1995 Gala and SUMMERFEST/DANCE Series 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003. She is a founding member and executive director of The African & African American Performing Arts Coalition that currently presents the Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now. She recently choreographed works for the Living Word Festival and Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble.

Marvin K. White
Photo by Duane Cramer
Marvin K. White Our Name Be Witness
Mr. White reads stories to, from and about the women he came from, mostly gone now but whose spirited voices challenged, begged, egged and demanded that they have their say. Part mother-tongue and part fortune-tale Marvin speaks the truth of these women and all things spirit, legacy, memory, men, failings, successes, discovery and love that they were. This work is a cup to the wall of their secrets that were held and let go of in dreams, in wake, in life and in after life.

AfroSolo Theatre Company ·  762 Fulton Street, Suite 307 ·  San Francisco, CA 94102
EMAIL: afrosolo@afrosolo.org  ·  PHONE: 415-771-2376  ·  FAX: 415-771-2312
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