With April kicking off each Nationwide Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), and providing the wonder that’s spring, native group Phrases Beats and Life is presenting its annual pageant with six days of free programming that celebrates and uplifts the fantastic thing about music, poetry and spring.
“Nicely we’re actually excited to be persevering with our partnership with the DowntownDC Enterprise Enchancment District, and this 12 months we’re internet hosting an occasion with them referred to as Jazz and Blossoms,’ a part of our seventh annual pageant,” Mazi Mutafa, founding government director of Phrases Beats and Life, advised The Informer on WIN-TV.
With the primary occasion Tuesday and the final Sunday, the pageant contains 14 free actions together with the “Jazz and Blossoms” live performance. Held at Franklin Park on April 8, “Jazz and Blossoms” is a part of the Nationwide Cherry Blossom Pageant and in collaboration with the Downtown Enterprise Enchancment District (BID), that includes Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Bilal and Pete Rock and The Soul Brothers.
Different performers embody DJ John Murph, Ayo, Imani Grace and Her Massive Black Band, Daylight DC that includes DJ Divine and Massive Tone All Day.
And Saturday’s leisure goes past musical performances.
“In addition they have a number of meals vehicles. Holly Bass, who’s a tremendous curator right here in Washington, D.C., she’s engaged on a tweed-inspired style present, so we’re encouraging individuals who present up, to put on both floral impressed for the cherry blossoms,” he mentioned. “It’s only a actually thrilling, multi-element occasion. It’s going to have haiku poetry, youth poets performing, face portray of flowers and balloon flowers.”
In years previous, the Phrases Beats and Life pageant has fallen in November. Nonetheless, Mutafa mentioned the spring 2023 celebration, crammed with concert events, conferences, activations, displays, meals and extra, permits the group and occasion programming to really embrace the springtime surroundings.
“We’re actually tripling down on the flower theme for the cherry blossom pageant,” he mentioned.
Gerren Worth, president and CEO of the DowntownDC BID, mentioned Franklin Park is the proper place to “have fun cherry blossoms and the arrival of spring.”
“We’re honored to host this premier Nationwide Cherry Blossom Pageant occasion and sit up for bringing world-class musical artists like Bilal, and mesmerizing arts and tradition activations by way of our partnerships with Phrases Beats and Life,” Worth mentioned in an announcement. “These occasions assist convey vibrancy and power to the District’s downtown, and this one will show to be an expertise that’s not missed.”
Pageant Celebrates Music, Poetry and Artists
Starting the group 21 years in the past when he graduated from the College of Maryland, Mutafa mentioned the 2023 pageant is the most important occasion the group has ever accomplished.
With 14 occasions all through D.C. and the encompassing area, Phrases Beats and Life will likely be internet hosting occasions on the Kennedy Middle’s Millennium Stage, Eaton DC and MetroBar and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library for the group’s annual convention “Remixing the Artwork of Social Change.”
The week may even uplift game-changers in music and poetry.
“We’re going to be giving an award to Lupe Fiasco, because the inaugural Rap Laureate, which is a program we simply created,” Mutafa mentioned, earlier than additionally teasing the already sold-out occasion, “A Poet’s Mixtape,” that includes Ursula Rucker, Ayesha Jaco, Amir Sulaiman, Jessica (typically billed “jessica”) Care and extra.
Greater than Leisure
The group’s government director mentioned the mission of Phrases Beats and Life is to “rework particular person lives and complete communities by way of Hip Hop.”
“So that appears like a pageant, it appears to be like like a journal, it appears to be like like public artwork packages, it appears to be like like lessons in 13 completely different inventive components, as a result of we wish to make the form of investments that we all know are transformational. We’re doing that now in D.C. Public Colleges through the day. We’re doing that after faculty in library, everywhere in the metropolis,” Mutafa mentioned. “We’re doing that by creating youth poet laureate packages. In some ways, we exist to be the issues that we want existed earlier than we created them, as a result of we all know the distinction that it could possibly make in our metropolis, within the lives of our younger individuals… within the lives of our communities.”
With he and his workforce’s intentional work about bettering the group by way of their initiatives, Mutafa mentioned the group not solely trains among the space, area, nation and world’s favourite DJs, by way of its programming, there’s a lesson.
“Rap music and hip-hop isn’t just what lives on the radio. It’s what lives in our communities. It’s the values and the ideas that information our pondering and determination making.”