SLAM! Spoken Word Poetry at ArtsRiot

This months features are Blue Slate & Reuben Jackson.

Blue Slate is a high school jazz quartet comprised of students from Burlington, Champlain Valley Union, and Mount Mansfield High School. Building a repertoire by playing at AO glass, The Monkey House, Radio Bean, and most recently at the Lifting the World event hosted by Rajnii Eddins, the members of Blue Slate hope to continue sharing their music with the public.

Guitarist Julian Segar-Reid is a junior at Burlington High School who has been playing since the age of 13. Drummer Ben King, a junior at CVU, has been playing drums for as long as he can remember, along with newest addition, CVU freshman Hans Kindstedt, a talented bass player.

Reuben Jackson
Reuben Jackson, nationally-known poet and educator, is going to be sharing at November's SLAM! Spoken Word Poetry.
Jackson's book of poems, "Fingering the Keys," won the Columbia Book Award. His poems have appeared in such journals as "The Indiana Review," "Chelsea," "Gargoyle," "Visions," "Jazzhouse" (the Jazz Journalist Association Web site) and in eight anthologies. Jackson's poem "Haiku" has also been set to music by internationally-known jazz saxophonist/composer Steve Lacy.

Reuben was curator of the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for more than 20 years. His music reviews have been published in The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Reuben is also a poet, a mentor with The Young Writers Project and educator. #ReubenJackson is also the host of "Where Have We Met Before", which plays Jazz Friday nights on VPR

"The point is the poetry," says Rajnii Eddins, MC of our new slam night series and hopeful leader of a national-level Burlington Slam Team. Since he moved from Seattle, Rajnii's been waiting for the chance to kick our slam scene into gear and bring that option to the community, and now, he declares, "Anybody can come to the mic and share, hone their craft and see where they can take their words." The night will open with an open mic session and then roll into a juried set, with judges pulled from the audience and participants pouring their literary souls into three-minute performances. At the end of the evening, there'll be a winner, but really, explains Rajnii, "the points are props and ploys to get people to come." So, whether you're a seasoned vet of a thousand stages or a rank amateur trying to overcome stage fright, bring what you've got and step on up.