June 16: Words and Music: Session 1: Bonafide Rojas & Lexiglass

What is the Words and Music series?

Words and Music is a new series that facilitates intentional collaborations between writers and musicians. Six such pairings—curated by Word Up Community Bookshop, and funded by the Creative Engagement grant administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council—will result in six separate public performances throughout the year.

Word Up Community Bookshop was founded on, and exists through, collaborations; that we have existed as a 100%-volunteer-run bookstore for more than 5 years in one of the most heavily populated neighborhoods in New York City is a testament to our reliance on partnerships, and on every participants’ willingness to keep the space alive by sharing and exchanging (time, money, space, dialogue, ideas) with each other. As an open space that has hosted hundreds of events and thousands of performers over our past 5 years of existence, we have been happy to see many collaborations take place. Some are accidental and take place in the moment—during, for instance, an open mic performance where a musician might spontaneously add a musical element to a poet’s words. Some are the result of people meeting frequently in the space to experience our nearly daily events, then meeting beyond to continue working with the people they meet.

While many performers having graced our stage, sometimes there are people who we wish could finally meet, because we think they would work well together—but they just haven’t crossed paths yet. . . .

Words and Music: Session 1:

Bronx-based writer and performer Bonafide Rojas has published four books of poetry, and has appeared on Def Poetry Jam and Spitting Ink, and in numerous publications. He leads the experimental rock and roll band the Mona Passage and is founder of Grand Concourse Press. Tonight he will read, in part, from his just-released book Notes on the Return to the Island.

Uptown-based live hip hop band Lexiglass features keyboardist Alexis Marcelo (Malcolm Mooney, Yusef Lateef) and drummer Will Glass (Lonnie Holley, Dirty Projectors). In previous shows at Word Up, they have backed up Bronx legend T La Rock, free jazz icon Daniel Carter, and many of uptown’s greatest hip hop artists like The Machine, Tellie Floydd, and Circa 95. Their Cubetazo Tape series on Alighting Records features analog renditions of classics by A Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, Nas and more.

Words and Music is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

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