TSE’s “Heroes Are Gang Leaders” | Howard University | Sunday April 12, 2015
Heroes Are Gang Leaders is a language-and sound-based literary-hip jazz transbluesy trio featuring Thomas Sayers Ellis (poet), James Brandon Lewis (saxophone), and Luke Stewart (bass). Part avant-garde, part standard traditional “in the tradition” trio, performances include instrumental mash-ups, strange brews ranging from Prokofiev to Sun Ra, canonical texts with original work by each member, the poetry of Thomas Sayers Ellis, as well as improvised collaborations. In 2014, the trio teamed with other poets and musicians to record “The Amiri Baraka Sessions.”
Photographer and poet Thomas Sayers Ellis cofounded The Dark Room Collective in 1988. He is the author of The Maverick Room and Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems (both from Graywolf Press). In 2014, he cofounded Heroes Are Gang Leaders, a group of poets and musicians, and recorded ‘The Amiri Baraka Sessions.” His recent work has appeared in PLUCK!, Best American Poetry 2015, Tin House, The Paris Review, The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop and Poetry. In 2015, he was the Richard Hugo Visiting Writer at the University of Montana and the Sterling A. Brown Professor of Humanities at Howard University.
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