Live spoken word with Montreal’s Kalmunity
Thursday, Apr 02, 2015 06:00 am
With April being National Poetry Month, it is a perfect time to celebrate The Banff Centre’s spoken word program’s upcoming event offerings.
The literary and musical showcases will offer a blend of spoken word with Montreal’s Kalmunity Vibe Collective musicians; a grassroots group of musicians, poets, dancers, MCs, and singers who tell the stories of the voiceless through original music rich with cultural, spiritual, and social content.
Kalmunity is an ensemble of around 30 artists that performs on a weekly basis in Montreal with an ever changing lineup that helps in creating an organic improvisational live act.
“There are three shows this year where it’s really about words and music,” said Banff Centre Spoken Word program faculty member Tanya Evanson. “The musicians are on stage and one of the musicians will start something and they basically jam and their level is so high that it sounds rehearsed whether its jam, funk, R&B, pop, reggae – they can do it all.”
Evanson explained the MCs, spoken word poets and storytellers are in the audience and let the music provided by Kalmunity dictate when they feel it is the right moment to go up to the mic to share their art.
“I was thinking how I could refresh the spoken word program at The Banff Centre. I’m already an interdisciplinary artist where I work with youth as a spoken word artist and I have for almost 20 years, so it’s just bringing my own love into the program here,” Evanson said. “I want to work with these guys so I’m always trying to create a program that I would want to attend.”
The event at The Banff Centre’s Maclab will include Kalmunity’s live organic improv, where they play and spoken word members are in the audience. Evanson has been working with 15 members in the spoken word program at the centre.
“They’ll have a workshop first with Kalmunity and some will have one on one sessions with them first, then I’m throwing them into the fire and I’ll get up myself,” Evanson said. “I’ve never worked with Kalmunity in this way and I want to work with them, so I’ll sacrifice myself first.
“It’s mainly geared towards people who are already doing spoken word, it’s mainly for spoken word artists to do and present work in a new and challenging way.”
Evanson is a 20-year veteran of spoken word and will play host to the events.
“I’ll host it so it doesn’t get out of control and leave spaces for my participants in the program to present work to show them this is possible and you can do it,” Evanson said. “The next is the faculty show that we have every year. Myself, Robert Priest and Ivy are the main spoken word faculty and we’ll have a musical set by Kalmunity at The Club for a night of words and music.”
The final event is called ANU Banff in the Eric Harvie Theatre, and it will be the 13th international installment of ANU.
“It was started in 2001 by an Iraqi-Canadian visual artist in Vancouver. It is a conceptual event and uses light and improvisation towards new creation and during the event there are usually a dozen interdisciplinary artists all on stage at once and for the duration of the event,” Evanson said.
KALMUNITY LIVE ORGANIC IMPROV
Thursday (April 2), 9 p.m.
Maclab Bistro, free
Thundering beats and earthy musical tones from Montreal’s Kalmunity Vibe Collective, laced with the fiery speech of inspiration from poets, MCs and lyrical participants in The Banff Centre Spoken Word program.
Saturday (April 4), 8 p.m.
The Club, Theatre Complex, free
Musicians and spoken word artists come together for an intimate night in The Club featuring multilingual words and soul music.
Friday (April 10), 8 p.m.
Margaret Greenham Theatre, free
An ensemble performance of words and music by faculty and participants from The Banff Centre Spoken Word program.