Saturday, May 31, 2008

San Diego Slam Team and New Grand Slam Champion

Last night, San Diego witnessed the crowning of a new Grand Slam Champion and the announcement of the San Diego Slam team members. The dark horse, Deacon Blair received consistently high scores from the judges and took the top honors as the San Diego Grand Slam Champion for 2008. Congratulations Deacon Blair!

Along with the Grand Slam Champion, the four top poets from last nights competition earned the right to represent SD at the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin. Ant Black and Brian DeBenedictus who were on team San Diego last year, will make their first trip to the national competition along with Taili Lamumba Mugambi. Nikki Blak, who competed at nationals last year will make her second consecutive trip to the National Poetry Slam, this year as a member of San Diego. Rudy Francisco, who unsuccessfully defended his title as last year's Grand Slam Champion, qualified for the team, but has already committed to slam for team Hollywood. 

However, the real winner of last night's competition was the San Diego poetry community. Eveoke Dance Theater was beyond capacity with people who came out to witness and support spoken word and slam poetry in San Diego. We appreciate it! Here's to representing Diego!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

SLAM! San Diego

The last qualifying slam for the 2008 slam season was held at Elevated on Thursday night. The mic was hot as poets from all over San Diego and a surprise poet from Los Angeles competed for the last 3 positions on roster. The judges had a difficult job pleasing the crowd and the 14 poets competing for scores and they did a great job of maintaining the balance. In the end Ms. Nikki Blak, who slammed nationally for the Hollywood Slam Team last year, took the Slam Champion title. A newcomer to the poetry scene, Succinct, took second place. Collective Purpose's own, Taili, finished third.

All three finishers qualified for the San Diego Poetry Grand Slam, which will be held on May 29, 2008 at 9 pm in the Eveoke Dance Theatre. The roster for the Grand Slam is full, with 13 poets competing for a spot on the San Diego National team. Here is the list of poets qualified for the Grand Slam:
1. Gill SOTU
2. Jason O'neal
3. Rudy Francisco
4. Viet Mai
5. Ant Black
6. Deacon Blair
7. Jro
8. Michael
9. Latasha
10. Brian DeBenedictus
11. Nikki Blak
12. Succinct
13. Taili Lamumba Mugambi

From the look of the roster, the Grand Slam is going to be a battle of the best. The top five poets will be offered a position on the San Diego Slam team and the opportunity to go to the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin. Get there early, this show is definitely going to be standing room only.

San Diego Poetry

Grand Slam@ELEVATED!

May 29, 2008 @ 9 pm

Eveoke Dance Theatre

2811 University Ave (in North Park)

$5 @ the Door

Moving the Movement!

Last night members of Collective Purpose blew the roof off of the Marina Village Conference Center. Ant Black, Kendrick Dial, and Rudy Francisco performed at the Center for Social Adovcacy Annual Dinner before a crowd of about 200 social activists, politicians, public officials, and community members. The performance included You Shoulda Been There, The Movement, and My Poem is Pissed. All three pieces challenge the state of society, the lack of consciousness, and the need for more activism. By the end of their performance the crowd was on their feet cheering and asking for more.

The highlight of the night was Ant Black's dedication of a tribute poem to Ms. Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmworkers Union. Ms. Huerta, who provided a rousing and challenging keynote address at the dinner, was moved to tears. The poem, which told the story her life through sacrifice, struggle, and hope, came on the heels of her appearance at the Encanto Street Fair in 2007 when Collective Purpose was asked to do an introductory performance on the spur of the moment. Ant Black reported to the audience that he felt like the introduction was not appropriate for the contributions Ms. Huerta made to the movement and American society. He said that this time he wanted to give her an introduction that lived up to her place in history and her contributions to the world. He wrote the poem just before the dinner started. After the performance she embraced Ant Black with a heartfelt hug of appreciation.

The Center for Social Advocacy (formerly the Heartland Human Relations) is the oldest social justice agency in San Diego County. Their focus is on Fair Housing, Immigrant Issues, and Civil Rights.

Friday, May 16, 2008

If you missed Elevated tonight

Tonight was a real hot night. IN-Q made the night with a hot feature. The energy was live from the moment he stepped on the stage until the movement he got off. If you were not there, you missed yoga aerobics, pirates, and his lost virginity...but the ladies wanted to know why he didn't do the hair flip- whats up with that?

This was also the final slam before the SAN DIEGO GRAND SLAM. Nikki Blak came through and destroyed the slam! She killed it with two monster pieces and will be competing for a spot on the San Diego Slam Team.

I also wanted to shout out Judy Holiday who came down from LA. And it was good to see some folks who ran venues and helped lay the foundation for San Diego spoken word. Elena from Brujas y Bellas and Scotch one of the founders of Reverb. Oh yeah, and I've gotta give it up to my cousin Devaughn who's back from DC. He closed the night with a dope piece.

Look to the right and there's 30 seconds of Elevated. It's a piece done by..well take a guess. Hint: He's in the collective.


-Msg sent from LG Voyager

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mobile & Interactive Updates

Blogging our website allows us to have some exciting new features. One of the most exciting is mobile updates and instant media. Now we can update the site with information and media as soon as it happens!

For example, I just got an e-mail from our feature last week, Sekou tha Misfit. He said the energy was incredible last week! Elevated is one of his favorite spots on the west coast. 

Did you notice the video next to Sekou's name? Hover your mouse over the video or the name and see what happens. There's media like this all over the page. We'll be updating the site after (and during) every show with pictures, video, even news articles. 

See you Thursday!

Happy Birthday Jackie & Jessica

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 15, IN-Q & San Diego Slam

This week is the last chance to qualify for the San Diego Slam team. If you'd like to get in on the action, make sure you're there at 9pm to sign up. Also we've got an incredible feature

 has been a featured poet on HBO’s Def Poetry JamABC’s Eye on LA, and NBC’s Living Large. He wrote and performed 5 poetry commercials for Nickelodeon and a hip hop song for Wendy’s Skill Drill Giveaway. He is a 5 time Hollywood Slam Team member and 2007’s “Grand Slam Champion”. He was also part of the team that won the National Poetry Championships in Saint Louis in 2004. This same year  IN-Q opened up for Hilary ClintonBarack Obama, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at LA’s Campaign Fundraiser to support the Senate. IN-Q won the Urban Graffiti Contest (a pilot filmed for Warner Brothers) and The Sunkiss competition, sponsored by Power 106. He has been a regular at DA Poetry LoungeFly Poets Showcase, and done numerous spot dates around the country. For the last four years he has been teaching poetry to Upward Bound students in Long Beachand Art Share students in Downtown L.A.