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Cambridge Public Library to Celebrate Black History Month with Jazz in Conversation with Poetry Event


1/29/20244 months ago

Main Library Mezzanine

The Cambridge Public Library will welcome the Joel LaRue Smith trio and poet Tatiana Johnson-Boria for an event exploring the relationship between jazz and poetry, in celebration of Black History Month. On Wednesday, February 7, from 6-7:30 p.m., Johnson-Boria and the Joel LaRue Smith trio will perform in the Main Library Lecture Hall (449 Broadway). This event is hybrid, and registration is required.

Joel LaRue Smith is a senior lecturer in music at Tufts University and the Director of the Tufts Jazz Orchestra (formerly the Big Band) and Jazz Activities at Tufts University since 1996. Moving seamlessly between the constellations of jazz styles and the rich and varied literature of the classical masters, Joel LaRue Smith is one of those rare and gifted pianists who have never had to choose between these two musical worlds, because for him they are not separate. His piano skill, musical artistry, and intuitive understanding of each composer he interprets speak directly and intimately to his listeners. He invites them to enter into a unique, personal, and exhilarating musical experience, regardless of the genre.

Tatiana Johnson-Boria is the author of Nocturne in Joy, an exercise in Black vulnerability through poetry. She’s also an educator and facilitator who uses her writing practice to dismantle racism, reckon with trauma, and to cultivate healing. She’s an award-winning writer who has received distinguished fellowships from Tin House, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, The MacDowell Residency, and others. Tatiana completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College and teaches at Emerson College, GrubStreet, Catapult, and elsewhere. 

"As a musician, the highest honor for me is to create images with my music, like that of a poet," says Joel LaRue Smith. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens at the intersection of jazz and poetry. Both art forms are already in deep conversation with one another. It’s sure to be a beautiful experience," says Tatiana Johnson-Boria.

This event is cosponsored by the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library.

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About the Cambridge Public Library:
At the Cambridge Public Library, we welcome all, inspire minds, and empower community. We support a Cambridge where everyone has equitable opportunities to learn, people live their best lives and democracy thrives. The Library’s programming provides an opportunity for civic dialogue, conversation, and learning, which includes exploring a wide range of views. 
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The City of Cambridge does not discriminate, including on the basis of disability. We may provide auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures to people with disabilities. For more information, contact us at library@cambridgema.gov, 617-349-4032 (voice), or via relay at 711.