This Special One Night Streaming Event is Dedicated to the Late Andre Harrell
It’s been a long time since some of the most spectacular Def Poetry Jam alumni Poets graced the Def Jam Poetry stage and Tonight, Saturday, May 23, 2020 some of the most memorable poets of our time will be joined by special guest poets Actor and Def Poetry veteran Malcolm-Jamal Warner, singer Jill Scott and Mayor of Newark, NJ, Ras Baraka as we adapt to the new normal of virtual performance with a mega marathon live-streamed event for COVID-19 relief at 7PMET/4PM PT.
The show, which is dedicated to the memory of Andre Harrell, a Hip-Hop Mogul and Entertainment Powerhouse who founded Uptown Records. Mr. Harrell influenced urban culture around the world, with his “Champagne and Bubbles” mentality; sadly, Andre passed earlier this month as He was an integral part of bringing Def Poetry Jam to life.
Co-executive producer Danny Simmons credited the late Andre Harrell for convincing his brother Russell to produce Def Poetry, Danny stated “I pretty much always stayed in my own lane from the music industry but Andre was one of Russ’ Friends and colleagues who I was always hyped to see at Art and poetry shows or whatever else I was up to at the time. He had genuine respect and love for the culture that extended beyond the music industry. He always knew the pulse of the entirety of our cultural community.”
This epic evening of thought-provoking artistry will be hosted by The Legendary Black Ice and Jessica Care Moore with more than two dozen poets confirmed to perform, including Def Poetry all-stars such as Georgia Me, Staceyann Chin, Roger Bonair, Bassey Ikpi and Sunni Patterson. The production will introduce powerful new voices like Brandon “Real Talk” Alexander, Elisabet Velasquez, and Khemist as well as feature legendary poetry voices such as Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets. Def Poetry Jam co-creator Danny Simmons, accompanied by jazz legend Ron Carter will dust off the poetry book to shine a little light.
Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam opened on Broadway in November 2002. A television version of the show ran on HBO from 2002 to 2007. The TV series featured performances by established and up-and-coming poets as well as famous actors and musicians; and was key in advancing the cultural importance of poetry. Winning the Broadway show won a Tony Award and the television series won a Peabody Award.
The May 23rd fundraiser is produced and curated by Lamar “The Legendary Black Ice” Manson and Jessica Care Moore and presented online by GC Studios, a division of Gushcloud International, in association with Newark Symphony Hall.
ABOUT RUSH PHILANTHROPIC ARTS FOUNDATION (www.RushPhilanthropic.org)
Co-founded by Danny Simmons in 1995, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (Rush Arts) is dedicated to providing underserved youth with contemporary art education, and developing and supporting emerging artists and curators and cultivating new audiences.
ABOUT NEWARK SYMPHONY HALL (www.newarksymphonyhall.org)
First opened in 1925 as the Salaam Temple built by the Shriners, an order of the Masons, Newark Symphony Hall has been the home of almost a century of arts and culture in what is now New Jersey’s oldest arts and entertainment venue. #EmbraceNewark is Newark Symphony Hall’s artist-activated initiative facilitating resources for food distribution, personal protective equipment, and wellness checks while producing online artistic programming designed to engage and inform.
ABOUT GUSHCLOUD INTERNATIONAL (www.gushcloud.com)
Gushcloud International is a global talent agency group, focused on marketing and entertainment. The company connects audiences and brands to influencers and content creators through representation and management, brand strategy, marketing and activation services, media production, sales and distribution, licensing and cocreating significant IP in the content, media and event spaces. The holding company has three business units: Gushcloud Marketing Group, Gushcloud Talent Agency, and Gushcloud Entertainment Group and has more than 300 employees in ten offices globally including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, China, and the United States of America.