For only two nights at the the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the National Sawdust Projects dynamic musical social commentary (M)IYAMOTO IS BLACK ENOUGH performs at the Lovelace Studio Theater.
The show opens with a lively beating of the drums by Sean Dixon to set the tempo. Soon two more musicians – Andy Akiho on steel drum and xylophone, and Jeffrey Zeigler picks up his bow and electric cello to enhance the tone and rhythm, before poet and spoken-word artist Roger Bonair-Agard steps onstage.
Speaking clearly while enunciating each word in rap and bebop delivery, Trinidadian-Brooklynite Bonair-Agard challenges his audience to think about regentrification, social justice, and the struggles of being a young black man and father growing up in Brooklyn.
His poetry includes lines “thunder of pigeon wings” and “what hasn’t met you, hasn’t past you.” He calls his show “Vocal Jazz Punk Music,” and “Being black means building a vocabulary out of survival.”
Sean Dixon is sensational on the drums. He performs a solo piece that has the audience appreciatively applauding.
Cellist Jeffrey Zeigler is mesmerizing to watch as he creates unique and exceptional sounds from his bright red instrument.
Equally as fun to watch and listen to is the energetic composer and steel drum performer Andy Akiho. I’ve never heard steel drums played like this in such an entertaining manner.
Sound designer Garth MacAleavey adds to this brazen, dynamic and creative three-piece symphony, intensifying what this “fire in his belly” poet has to say.
The show ends at Wallis Annenberg on March 15, 2019. Their next show will be at the National Sawdust on March 31, 2019. National Sawdust is at 80 N. 6th St. Brooklyn, New York 11249.
National Sawdust Projects produces, cultivates and tours new interdisciplinary music projects that reflect the world we live in today, as well as the world we imagine, and wish to cultivate for the future. (M)IYAMOTO IS BLACK ENOUGH will leave you thinking about the world and music in a new way.
Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90210 310.746.4000.