Meshell Ndegeocello is a bassist, vocalist, and songwriter, whose music incorporates a wide variety of influences: funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, reggae and rock. She has garnered critical acclaim throughout her career, including ten career Grammy Award nominations. Ndegeocello has worked with The Rolling Stones, Prince, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Terrence Blanchard and Cassandra Wilson. She has also collaborated with Billy Preston, John Mellencamp, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Redman, Lizz Wright, Lalah Hathaway, Zap Mama, Cody Chestnut, Toshi Reagon, and many others. Beginning in 2016, Ndegeocello has worked with Charlotte Brathwaite, and other collaborators, to create The Gospel of James Baldwin, an evolving work of music theater inspired by The Fire Next Time (1963), Baldwin’s polemic about race in America.
Charlotte Brathwaite (Canada/Barbados/UK) is known for her unique approach to staging classical and unconventional texts, dance, visual art, multi-media, site-specific installation, video, film, performance art, plays and music events. Her work has been seen in the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia and ranges in subject matter from the historical past to the distant future illuminating issues of race, sex, power and the complexities of the human condition. Brathwaite received her MFA at Yale School of Drama and her BA in Physical Theater at the Amsterdam School for the Arts (the Netherlands). She has been a Visiting Professor at Amherst College, The University of Fortaleza UNIFOR (Brazil) and Visiting Artist at Williams College, New York University and Barbados Community College. Brathwaite is currently a freelance director and Assistant Professor of Music and Theater Arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). For more information look to: www.charlottebrathwaite.com.
Poet, actor, and performing artist, Staceyann Chin is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, co-writer and original performer in the Tony Award-winning Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and author of the one-woman shows Hands Afire, Unspeakable Things, Border/ Clash, and MotherStruck. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and 60 Minutes and has been featured in The New York Times and Washington Post. She proudly identifies as Caribbean, Black, Asian, lesbian, a woman, and a resident of New York City, as well as a Jamaican national. Her new book, Crossfire: A Litany for Survival was released October 2019.
Suné WoodsSuné Woods is an artist living in Los Angeles. Her work takes the form of video installations, photographs, and collage.
Her work has been included in exhibitions at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Light Work, Syracuse, New York (2017); Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York (2017); Urban Video Project, Syracuse, New York (2017); Papillion Art, Los Angeles (2015, 2014); Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles (2015); 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, California (2012); Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles (2012); Performance Art Institute, San Francisco (2011); and Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco (2009), among others.
She has had residencies at Light Work (2016), Center for Photography at Woodstock (2015), Vermont Studio Center (2014), and Headlands Center for the Arts (2012). She is a recipient of the Los Angeles Artadia Award (2020), John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award from the San Francisco Foundation (2015), Visions from the New California Award from the James Irvine Foundation (2012), and Murphy and Cadagon Fellowship (2009).