Covid-19 increases have changed our planned programming, but not our commitment to sharing and honoring 'Race and Color'
-A Presentation of Black
We want to hear from you! -And share with you! If you have missed our project sessions, this is a great opportunity to sample, survey, and get to share your own story & experiences 'live' on 'Race and Color'
"Drop-in" and catch up with some of our featured artists and performers recording segments that continue to explore our race and color narratives
During the past 36 years, Nat Reeves has been one of the top bassists in jazz. His supportive and stimulating playing has uplifted a countless number of sessions and recording dates (most notably with the great altoists Jackie McLean and Kenny Garrett) and he has led his own CD State of Emergency. Both as a performer and an educator, he has made a strong impact on the jazz world.
Nat Reeves was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. “My grandfather played the banjo, mandolin, and guitar. One day I picked up his guitar and started playing the bass part. He noticed and, for my 16th birthday, he bought me an electric bass.” Nat had grown up hearing bluegrass, rock, and soul records but did not get an opportunity to listen to jazz until he was already a bassist. “As a teenager, I listened closely to the radio, learning everything by ear. Originally I gravitated towards soul artists such as Marvin Gaye and the music of the time. In high school, I worked for a time with a band called the Dynatones. We learned all of the top 40 songs as soon as they came out. Whenever a new hit record was released, we would purchase the recording, go in the basement, put it on the turntable, and learn the song. Quite often the same day we would play the song for dances.”
Greetings! My name is Maurice D. Robertson jazz music aficionado and beyond. I have been serving the music community here in Hartford, CT as a volunteer, jazz announcer from 1976-present, with a weekly show, Accent on Creative Music, airing from 9-12, Wednesday night's, at WWUH.org, 91.3fm. A cornucopia of sounds from the standard bearers of the art form to the present new contributors. My show includes a comprehensive jazz calendar, interviews and birthday acknowledgements. I am also a board member with the Hartford Jazz Society, based in CT. America's oldest ongoing jazz society, established in 1960 to assist in the flourishing of this music, through concert presentations, educational workshops, a jazz cruise and assisting in the promotion of the CT Jazz scene. With my camera in hand, for the past four decades, I have been chronicling jazz and other music genres. I am attempting to convey to the viewer, both the flowing dynamism and intimate, meditative qualities of musicians intensely at play. Through strict portraiture and camera speed and lighting experimentation, an attempt to instill rapport and intimacy with the vitality of music making. I have been on the set, bearing witness since the seventies, with no formal art training, a student of the school of trial and error. Just an avid listener, who grew up in a household where all types of music, notably jazz, calypso, reggae, rnb and movie soundtracks and more were appreciated. The camera connection came from watching my father document all, family gatherings and a few select vacation sites. Since then, I have been guided by my own research of the masters of jazz photography, such as Herman Leonard, Roy De Carava, James Marshall, William Gottlieb, Charles Stewart and Gordon Parks Sr. to name, but a few and sessions with area mentors and workshops in digital photography and printing. My ongoing photo work is a love affair with jazz and its offshoots and is simply a quest for displaying the energy of performance and connecting the audience to some of the past and present contributors to America’s greatest cultural, contribution to the world.
Andres Chaparro is a mixed media painter and collagist whose bold and expressive art is a visual representation of jazz music. Chaparro’s work most recently in 2017 has been published in the book “Making The Cut, Volume 1, The Worlds Best Collage Artists” by Crooks Press in Australia. As his work continues to rise in recognition and garnered by art and music enthusiast around the globe, Andres continues to refine his own visual vocabulary through his focus on the intersection between art and music.
As early as he can remember, music and art have been an important part of his life. At the age of 13, Andres was introduced to jazz music which he made an instant spiritual connection. This was a defining moment in his life as an artist. While in high school he would make frequent visits to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, which opened up the world of visual art for him. He always had an affinity for drawing, but it was the museum visits that made him fall in love with art.
In the late 1980’s Andres began painting on canvas while completing his studies in New York City. He explored jazz as an enthusiast and visited SoHo art galleries and other major museums during this time. Chaparro's early paintings explored different mediums and subject matters, but he was always drawn back to Jazz inspired work.
Andres’ paints out of his Windsor, CT studio, his mix media paintings incorporate collage, oil pastels, marker, crayon, pencil, acrylic, spray paint, and found objects. His artwork is fluid and free, and the paintings reflect more concern for spontaneous emotion rather than traditional conventions, strong color contrast, and distorted subject matter. His paintings can be found in a myriad of permanent public and private art collections nationally and internationally.
Nita Zarif, one of Hartford's best and most loved singers since making her debut in her early 20s at Hartford's now-legendary 880 Club — the South End jazz bastion presided over by Al Casasanta, Hartford's "Godfather of Jazz" — Zarif has set a high standard for jazz singing while displaying her eminently likable stage-presence.
The Hartford native has sung at city clubs and restaurants (including many that have long since folded) and at private parties, often for local African-American organizations. She's performed at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art on Main Street to the Hartford Jazz Society's annual cruise on the Connecticut River. Alvin Carter, Jr states "… Nita can really sing, and, two, she draws the audience in”. ‘She's the real thing."
She won a scholarship as a sophomore at Weaver High School to take vocal lessons at The Hartt School, an inspiring prelude for her four years at Livingstone College, Salisbury, N.C., where she earned her bachelor's degree in classical vocal performance.
Music was always a core part of her life both at home and at church where she sang in the youth choir at Metropolitan AME Zion Church.
"I grew up in a household where music reigned supreme. Music was everything. We'd be doing the cleaning on Saturday morning with blues playing in the background. All of us kids took piano lessons and sang in the church choir. My mother had the voice, but my father couldn't carry a tune. But they both loved music very much and loved to dance," Zarif recalls in a phone interview from her home in East Hartford.
At Livingstone College, classical was the word until a teacher introduced her to two jazz vocalists. "That was the first time I ever heard Betty Carter and Jean Carne, and right away I thought, 'Oh, my God! I'll study all this classical music and get trained technically, but I know I want to sing jazz!" she says.
Leslie Manselle is a performing and teaching artist who specializes in voice, drama and movement, and brings her art to the people. She serves the community in Hartford through local municipal entities, community organizations, churches, schools, non-profits, social services agencies, and others.
Ms. Manselle’s artistic and singing experience spans far and wide. For decades, Ms. Manselle has been a spiritual singer. She’s worked with the Judy Dworin Performance Project as an actress and singer. Ms. Manselle has been singing with the Women of the Cross, a women’s acapella vocal group for nearly 30 years. She is a writer, administrator and facilitator for several grant-funded programs throughout the Hartford Area.
Tang Sauce was born and raised in Hartford, CT. He is the son of noted cartoonist, author, and filmmaker Joe Young and Leslie Manselle. He has two brothers and one sister. He learned to play the cornet at the age of eleven and eventually picked up the guitar and piano in high school. He attended the Artist Collective in Hartford to study Jazz and tap dance, becoming a member of the Youth Jazz Ensemble, and attended and graduated from Manchester High School, where he also was a member of the schools' Jazz ensemble. While a student at Capital Community College, he continued to build on his talents in dancing, rapping, and acting, citing as his inspiration Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Will Smith and Nick Cannon for his early hip-hop influences, as well as Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, Kid David, Meghus, and Sidney Poitier for performance. A chance viewing of the dance film You Got Served compelled him to take dancing seriously, which he immersed himself in the fundamentals of breakdancing, eventually getting cast as a dancer in a production of The Wiz.
Further appearances in Hartford Stage and Neighborhood Studios collaborations of A Midsummer Night's Dream and A Raisin In the Sun helped fuel his confidence, but he preferred to pursue hip-hop, first touring around Hartford performing his blend of old-school, positive hip-hop, often cited as a throwback to early rap artists KRS-One and Wu-Tang Clan, where he would eventually acquire his moniker. He made appearances at the annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, eventually hosting the event, the Springfield Jazz Roots Festival, and the Shrine World Music Venue. After a brief appearance in a Jidenna music video "Knickers" as a trumpeter, Tang Sauce went into the studio to record what would be his debut mixtape Maturity. Released February 27, 2016, it received positive reviews and spawned the singles and music videos "One Time For Your Mind", "Good Ol' Days", and "Ego-Trippin". Following those releases, Tang Sauce kicked off the New England leg of his MaTourity and appeared in AfroPunk 2017 as part of the battle of the bands, and will appear on August 11, 2017, as a Top 4 finalist. In 2018, Tang Sauce released his next project "Seniority", which was accompanied by a one-act play starring Tang Sauces' title character.
Hartford’s POET LAUREATE
Three Rivers Community College is excited to share that Associate Professor Frederick-Douglass Knowles II has been named Hartford’s First Poet Laureate. In this role, he will promote awareness and appreciation of poetry, spoken word, and writing in Hartford; and endeavor to instill pride in the community.
Knowles is an Associate Professor of English who has taught at Three Rivers for 11 years in the English and Communications Department. He also teaches classes at a local prison as part of the Three Rivers Community College Second Chance Pell Grant program. In addition to serving as the Three Rivers representative on CSCU’s Students First Consolidation Committee, he co-founded the Men Against Domestic Violence Artistic Expression annual event which consists of music, poetry readings, and performances, and a live artist painting. Knowles also chairs the TRCC Community Involvement Committee.
Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is a poet, educator, and activist involved in community education. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford.
Anne Gogh is a proud Hartford native committed to uplifting the community and herself through self-care, expression, and safe spaces. She is determined to fortify the importance of veracity and altruism.
She is a visual & performing artist who creates anything from upcycled garments to spoken word. Before she could even write her name, she was producing art.
Currently, Anne: is fully engulfed in working with the community. As an Employment Specialist, she aides in providing opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live lives of inclusion, choice, independence, and continuous growth. She is also a facilitator at Toivo and the Art in Residence for Kamora's Cultural Corner.
Olusanya Bey does not call himself a writer or poet instead he describes himself as a ‘heartist’, “someone who uses his gift with words to remind us of what it means to be human, what it means to be a living breathing work of art”.
Olusanya serves as a Teaching Artist, teaches Poetry as an introduction to ‘mindful writing’, which he describes as… a means to reconnect with the essence of the writing process, through which you can describe how the world touches you and how you touch the world).
He also facilitates workshops in Mindfulness and the art of BEing HUman. Olusanya has performed poetry and conducted workshops in both mindfulness and poetry across the East Coast, including The University of Connecticut, Watkinson School, Kingswood Oxford, Goodwin College, and Trinity College. He was a member of the first team from Hartford, CT to participate in the National Poetry Slams competition in Seattle, WA, in 2001 (along with Iyaba Ibo Mandingo and our new Poet Laureate Frederick Douglass Knowles). He is also the founder and Yin President of Hartford’s Iron Poet. Olu attended, St. John’s University, served as a Residential r Residential Diversity Counselor at The Discovery Center, and as a Public Ally at Public Allies Connecticut.
L’Merchie Frazier, a public fiber artist, historian, poet and holographer, with her “Art Out Loud” has served the artistic community for over twenty-five years nationally and internationally with visual and performance art residencies in Boston, Brazil, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Africa, France, and Cuba. A public lecturer and community workshop presenter, her spatial and social justice artistic work activates youth and adults in a co-design model that reflects the participants as creative actors and their occupancy in democratizing the socio-economic-political landscape.
L’Merchie is a quilting member of Women of Color Quilter’s Network. Her Quilted Chronicles Series fiber works and installations serve to document history and memory, utilizing innovative technology. She is a resident artist of the African American Master Artists in Residence Program (AAMARP) at Northeastern University and Southend Technology Center, MIT FabLabs in Boston. Residences include City of Boston’s AIR; the New England Foundation for the Arts Creative City individual artist grant and Visible Republic; the NEU NULaw Lab Stable Ground 1.0 and current 2.0; and the Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts, Teen Bridge Program. She is resident Artist/Historian for Castle of Our Skins. Currently, she is a Google commissioned artist. Her work is represented in several art publications and in the permanent collections of the Museum of Art and Design, the Smithsonian Institution and the White House.
L’Merchie is Director of Education and Interpretation for the Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket, interpreting/curating the Museum’s collection/exhibits, for place-based history education programs ad serves on the Massachusetts Council on History and Social Studies for public schools. She has served Board of CityLife/Vida Urbana, Board Advisory for Paige Academy and the Art Commons Boston AppLab. Currently, she is Director of Creative Engagement of Transformative Action Project/Violence Transformed for the Public Health Advocacy Institute initiative at Northeastern University.
My art in all mediums and genres is one life work: “Save Me From My Amnesia.”
Dr. Charles Price Biography
Charles Price is an associate professor in the department of anthropology at Temple Universirty, and formerly at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Price’s research, writing and activity focus on Black identity, life narrative genres, action research, community organizations and community organizing,
Dr. Charles Price Biography
Charles Price is an associate professor in the department of anthropology at Temple Universirty, and formerly at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Price’s research, writing and activity focus on Black identity, life narrative genres, action research, community organizations and community organizing, people-centered community development, and social movements, with a geographic concentration on the United States and Jamaica.Price authored the book, Becoming Rasta: The Origins of Rastafari Identity in Jamaica (2009, New York University Press [NYU]), co-authored the monograph, Community Collaborations: Promoting Community Organizing (2009), Ford Foundation, and many journal articles and book chapters. Price and a colleague recently completed a NSF-Funded pilot study of black men and resilience in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Hartford, Connecticut, and is completing a book to be published with NYU Press, Rasta: The Evolution of a People and Their Identity.
Lee Mixashawn Roszie – The Wave Artist
Lee Mixashawn Rozie has been a practicing multi-disciplinary and internationally acclaimed Jazz artist for the past three decades. Mr. Rozie holds a degree in History and Ethnomusicology from Trinity College and is equally at home in academic and cultural settings. Beginning from the point of Indigeno
Lee Mixashawn Roszie – The Wave Artist
Lee Mixashawn Rozie has been a practicing multi-disciplinary and internationally acclaimed Jazz artist for the past three decades. Mr. Rozie holds a degree in History and Ethnomusicology from Trinity College and is equally at home in academic and cultural settings. Beginning from the point of Indigenous artist, using ancient cultural principles, maritime arts and historical data, both written and oral, he has developed a system of "Hemispheric Principles" to inform and guide his artform, more directly referred to as "Wave Art" : sonic, aquatic percussive and harmonic. Mixashawn offers musical performance and educational workshops on Indigenous music traditional and contemporary, as well as original, workshops that utilize his extensive experience as performer, Indigenous artist and educator to inspire creativity and natural expression for all ages.
A 21 year veteran of the United States Air Force, Michelle Thomas recently earned her Masters in Art Education from Central CT State University. Her thesis project culminated with a showing at WORK_SPACE entitled Sankofa which focused on Race, Identity & Place. By looking back upon life, retracing historical events and examining individua
A 21 year veteran of the United States Air Force, Michelle Thomas recently earned her Masters in Art Education from Central CT State University. Her thesis project culminated with a showing at WORK_SPACE entitled Sankofa which focused on Race, Identity & Place. By looking back upon life, retracing historical events and examining individual experiences Michelle uses art as a tool to glean knowledge of self.
A native Connecticut resident born to immigrant parents who came to the United States as artists from the Caribbean island, Grenada. She graduated from UCONN with a degree in Media and Society Studies focusing her independent major on the influence media has on cultures and vice versa. She also earned an MBA degree in International Busi
A native Connecticut resident born to immigrant parents who came to the United States as artists from the Caribbean island, Grenada. She graduated from UCONN with a degree in Media and Society Studies focusing her independent major on the influence media has on cultures and vice versa. She also earned an MBA degree in International Business studying abroad in London at the European Business School of London.
Currently, she is a analytics professional in New York City, who creates performance analysis and strategic planning for major television networks such as Spike TV, NBC, Freeform and ABC for the tech company TiVo. As a data story creator and progressive tech enthusiast with years of experience in advertising and marketing, she has worked for major corporations such as Turner Broadcasting, ESPN and The Weather Channel.
She has conducted numerous workshops including "The Wakanda Workshop" to address racial inequalities using Marvel's "Black Panther's" film as a reference point and the Judy Chicago's inspired art piece for the workshop, "Pvssy Plate Painting Party" to address gender inequalities and the objectification of the female body. She is also a writer and artist, involved with many organizations including Support Creativity, the United Nations Association, Womanly, Black Women's BluePrint and others.