Darius James and Val Jeanty, in performance at The Lab

Friday, April 19, 2019, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Black and white photos of Darius James and Val Jeanty
Writer, lecturer and spoken-word performance artist Darius James joins Haitian electronic music composer, percussionist and turntablist Val "Val-Inc" Jeanty for the West Coast premiere of their collaborative performance project, based in an authentic expression of voodoo. This event is part of The Poetry Center's In Common Writers Series. Supported by the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. Free.
The Lab, 2948 16th Street, San Francisco
The Poetry Center
The Lab
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Darius James

Darius James is a writer, lecturer and spoken-word performance artist. His five books include Negrophobia: An Urban Parable (New York Review of Books Classics, 2019 reissue), That’s Blaxploitation! Roots of the Baadasssss ’Tude (Rated X by an All-Whyte Jury) and Fever Water (limited edition, with illustrations by Tân Khánh Cao).

After two decades as a freelance writer in New York City, in 1998 James left the U.S. for Berlin, where he worked as a writer, radio host and theatre director and appeared on television and in film.

The documentary The United States of Hoodoo (2012) features James as co-writer and on-screen narrator, following the traces of New World African religion across the U.S. James has written for the Village Voice, Vibe and Spin; penned liner notes for Richard Pryor’s LPs and covered Sun Ra’s anthemic Nuclear War in German. He interviewed artist Kara Walker (I Hate Being Lion Fodder) as well as record label founder-producer Ahmet Ertegun, for What I Say: The History of Atlantic Records.

Val Jeanty

Val Jeanty, a.k.a. Val-Inc is a Haitian SoundChemist, VodouElectro composer and educator who lives and works in New York City. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the great-grand niece of 19th-century Haitian composer Occide Jeanty and granddaughter of a Mambo (Vodou) priestess, Jeanty incorporates her musical and spiritual traditions into a fusion of electronics and African Vodou rhythms.

She has worked with an array of artists: as turntablist/composer/sound sampler with Steve Coleman and Yosvany Terry, as percussionist with Tracie D. Morris and Douglas Kearney and as recording engineer with Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill and the late Gerri Allen. Her Afro-electronica performance-installations have been showcased at the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Village Vanguard, SaalFelden Music Festival in Austria, Stanser Musiktage in Switzerland, Jazz à la Villette in France and the Biennale Di Venezia Museum in Italy.

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