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Explore Hip Hop, Jazz Lyrics At Writers Center In Sleepy Hollow

Toni Blackman Photo Credit: Contributed
Greg Thomas Photo Credit: Contributed

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center will present two exciting presentations in a two-part series, Lyrics as Poetry taking place on July 24 and 31 at 7:30 p.m.

The Lyrics as Poetry Series begins with Hip Hop Classics presented by Toni Blackman. It will be a creative adventure wherein the audience will listen, discuss, and recite poetic gems from classic and popular rap forms to challenge the stigma often associated with Hip Hop as a genre of art. Blackman will be joined by disc jockey Courtland Hankins.

As a poet and performer, Blackman has presented at the ASPEN Institute Summit in Oman, the Chicago Ideas Week and appeared in FORBES, the Washington Post and The New York Times.

The Lyrics as Poetry Series continues with Jazz Vocalese with Greg Thomas. This event explores how lyrics, at their highest level, are poetry set to music, melodies made visible via words becoming song. Mr. Thomas’ presentation will feature works of vocalese Master Jon Hendricks, who, at 94 years young, will be in attendance that evening.

Thomas has taught jazz appreciation across New York City for such institutions as the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, as well as pre-concert lecture series at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The founding editor of Harlem World, Thomas has written for The Root, the New York City Jazz Record and The Village Voice. He’s been the host of jazz radio programs on WBAI-FM and WVOX in Westchester. Thomas has produced live jazz shows throughout New York.

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