southern roots collective
(l-r) Sunni Patterson, Carlton Turner, Maurice Turner, Saddi Khali, Courtney Bryan (not pictured)
The Southern ROOTS collective was born out of a mutual respect and friendship among artists living in the deep south representing original jazz, hip hop, and spoken word. This collection of artists includes M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction) from Raymond, Mississippi; Sunni Patterson, Courtney Bryan, and Saddi Khali, all from New Orleans, Louisiana. This group represents a new generation of nationally recognized artists collaborating to use their art for positive social change.
Since 2000 M.U.G.A.B.E.E. has been working in communities across the South in the form of residencies, workshops, performances and lectures. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. works with youth groups, adult learners, community centers, churches and schools. Their work has taken them to the metro areas of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and to the small towns of Thomasville, Natchez, Pine Lake, Putney and Lexington. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is a continuation of the rhythms and sounds that are the foundation of the ancestral spirit of communication. When you hear the music, you hear the fire and soul of evolution. They will be performing selections from Earth Tones (2002) and World Domination (2007)
Courtney Bryan was featured along with Jason Marsalis and Irvin Mayfield in Geoffrey Poister's documentary Jazz Dreams. Courtney Bryan has performed in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2000-2002, in the Detroit Ford International Jazz Festival 2003 and 2004, in the Lansing Jazz Festival 2004, and in the Detroit Taste Fest 2005. She has also performed at the Cleveland Bop Stop and Nighttown of Cleveland, Ohio; the Serengeti Gallery of Detroit, Michigan, among other venues. In 2002, Bryan was selected as a NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts) All-Star along with such musicians as Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Adonis Rose, and Clyde Kerr, Jr. Courtney will be playing selections from her album Quest for Freedom.
Sunni Patterson is more than a poet, more than a singer, more than an emcee -- it's not just what she says, it's how she says it. Sunni has been featured at many of the nation's premier spoken word venues, including HBO's Def Poetry Jam. She has worked with artists and performers including Hannibal Lokumbe, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Sonia Sanchez, Wanda Coleman, Amiri Baraka and many more. In every word/sound she utters, you hear the grit and grime, hope and love, problem and solution, optimism and faith. Sunni will perform pieces from her album Porch Prophesies.
Saddi Khali, another HBO Def Poet alumni, will also be featured on this spectacular bill. Saddi is a poet, singer/songwriter, photographer and performing artist. He spends his time concentrating on teaching and exploring new avenues of creating new multidisciplinary works. He is currently working on a one-man show about fatherless sons.
The Southern ROOTS Collective, is an experiment, a collaboration amongst artists that share a vision of a different world in which music and words shape the path our communities travel. Come share with this collective as they embark on this journey.