The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Western States Arts Federation and Langston present
LANGSTON: A Celebration of Black Brilliance in Dance, Music, & Spoken Word
VIRTUAL EVENT | October 9, 2020
LANGSTON: A Celebration of Black Brilliance in Dance, Music & Spoken Word can be streamed from any device with internet capability; any phone, tablet, laptop, game console, or Smart TV. Starting at 1 p.m. PST / 4 p.m. EST, stream live performances from Owuor Arunga, Tiffany Wilson, plus more in the YouTube app, from our Facebook page, or virtually at the Kennedy Center!
Black Brilliance in Dance, Music & Spoken Word
Soul singer extraordinaire Tiffany Wilson has endeared herself to audiences across the United States with magnetic live performances and unflinching honesty. Drawing from a well of inspiration that reflects inner and outer change, politics, and the vision of a brighter future, Ms. Wilson’s soaring melodies and infectious hooks serve as the sugar for the medicine (and the lesson) to go down.
Tiffany Wilson has received consistent radio airplay, KEXP being one of her biggest supporters, and has made appearances on television programs such as “Art Zone with Nancy Guppy”. With two full-length albums and a host of collaborations forthcoming, Tiffany Wilson has continued to fuel the fire of hers and her audience’s inspiration.
Carlynn Newhouse is a poet, educator, emcee, and performer. She is an Adobe Creativity Scholar attending Howard University, a National YoungArts Finalist, and ranked 4th in the 2020 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Her work has been featured on platforms such as Button Poetry, The Seattle Globalist, the Kennedy Center, and more. Carlynn believes poetry is a form of activism and a tool for raising awareness in hopes of making the world a safer space.
Owuor Arunga is a producer for Coke Studio Africa, Artistic Director for Madaraka Festival, Contributing artist on hit songs, including collaborations with Wyclef, Just A band, Mad Con, and happens to be a major contributor on the multi-Grammy award-winning album “The Heist”
Owuor was born in Kisumu Kenya and moved to New York in the early 2000s, where he studied at The New School’s Jazz & Contemporary Music Program. Some of the artists he’s played and apprenticed with include Charlie Persip, Candido Camero, Billy Bang, The Cadillacs, Robert Glasper, Louis Reyes Rivera, Olu Dara, Jimmy Owens, Chico Freeman, Bobby Sanabria, and Ahmed Abdullah who gave him his first shot recording the music of Sun Ra.
Rell Be Free
Rell Be Free is in full effect as a multifaceted creative who is always reppin South Seattle. Rell is a part of a number of eclectic collectives in Seattle that span from music & culture to abolition & community defense. His music is available on all platforms, with his most recent project “P.T.F.D.” available now on Tidal, Apple Music, & Spotify.
NW Tap Connection
At Northwest Tap Connection, rhythm tap is the dance form at our heart. At the same time, we regularly incorporate a variety of dance styles such as African, jazz, modern, ballet, swing, ballroom, and hip-hop into our curriculum and performances. Northwest Tap Connection is dedicated to building the whole dancer through a love of dance, personal discipline, respect for the community, respect for fellow dancers, and knowledge of the history of the art form. We provide an environment where dancers can grow artistically and technically, and at the same time can develop leadership skills and social responsibility.
Some of our senior students have danced with tap legends such as the late Gregory Hines, the late Nicholas Brothers, the late Buster Brown, Savion Glover, Jeni LeGon and Jimmy Slyde. Their repertoire includes choreography by nationally acclaimed artists such as Diane Walker, Lane Alexander and Chester Whitmore.
Melba Ayco, founder and Artistic Director of Northwest Tap Connection, is a Gullah-Geechee and Creole Storyteller, Tap Dance Historian, and Choreographer. Born in a small town on the north shores of New Orleans, she describes her life as a three-part harmony: born into segregation, survived integration, and enlightenment through cultural diversity. Her life commitment is to define and share the African American experience through the performing arts.