Say It Loud

Whether soberly introspective, tender, or outrageous, Afro Solo performances give breadth and depth to the experience of black American artists with a wide range of performers and media. On the first night of the fifth annual festival, five nights this year, Midnight Voices founder Will Power and the Justice League's DJ Pause mix hip hop with theater and Fillmore folklore in Back in the Day to create a pantheon of characters based on people from Power's Fillmore neighborhood; Alison Wright, meanwhile, recounts the story of a traveling American college graduate tasting the pleasures and facing the perils of Europe in Kidnapped in Paris. The second night brings Michael Sullivan, with “The March,” an excerpt from his piece Did Anybody Ever Tell You — You Look Like Huey P. Newton?, and Elisa Joy White's chronology of race theorist Saxon Khemit, along with a tribute to the late performance artist Wayne Cobitt, performed by poet/musician Avotcja and others. Gospel singer Alfreda Yevette Mitchell, jazz saxophonist Idris Ackamoor, and pianist Michael Dolman are among the musicians slated to perform at a gala concert, and the festival closes with Lynel Gardner's Black Son No Father and Maxine Wyman's Drawing Shadows to Stones, a collection of stories about that “man woman thing” set to a live score performed by violinist Sandy Poindexter. Performances are held 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $5-16.50; call 621-7797. The gala concert is held 8 p.m. Saturday (with a 7 p.m. reception) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $5-16.50; call 978-ARTS. The festival also features workshops and a scholars symposium on funding and craft over the weekend; call 346-9344 for more information. (

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