Book : blues, jazz, dub, rap, song and freedom
in the literature and orature of Montréal's Kalmunity Vibe
by Kaie Kellough &
Jason "Blackbird" Selman
wants to touch this riddim?
percussion players, one trap drummer, a bassist, a guitarist,
a keyboardist, and three horn players cram onto a floor-level
stage. Twelve vocalists squat stage right, waiting for their chance
to touch the mic. The air crackles with anticipation. In the crowd,
Blacks, Browns, Whites are packed together so tightly that, as
in the Langston Hughes poem about riding the New York subway,
there is “no room for fear.” One person inhales another’s language.
Welcome to Kalmunity’s Live Organic Improv
at Sablo Kafé. This anthology collects the words and thoughts
of Kalmunity’s rappers, dub poets, jazz poets, singers,
and musicians as they reflect on collective improvisation, freedom,
love, history, politics, and the divine.
photos: Zibz Black Current
Andy Vial (MTL), Ashanti Alston (NY), David Sedo Obaguidi (MTL),
d’bi.young.anitafrica (TO), Fabrice Koffy (MTL), Fredy "V"
Varre (MTL), Jason "JahSun" Promesse (MTL), Jason "Blackbird"
Selman (MTL), Joel "Jahnice" Janis (MTL), Josephine C.
Watson (Halifax), kaie kellough (MTL), Katherine "katalyst"
Blenkinsop (MTL), Kim Zombik (Boston), Klyde "Durm-I"
Broox (TO), S. "Kya Kindu" Been (MTL), Lansou "Sossa"
Adjahi (MTL), Mathieuson "Preach Ankobia" Beaujour (MTL),
Mohamed Mehdi (MTL), Neil "Zibz Black Current" Guilding
(MTL), Odessa "Queen" Thornhill (MTL), Oulimata "Féliken"
Kane (MTL), Alex "Phénix" Sylvestre (MTL), "Lady"
Rafaelle Mackay (MTL), Ron G. "RawNia" Scott (MTL), Roen
"BLU Rva" Higgins (MTL), Sharon Brooks (MTL), Stephen
Thomas (MTL), Zarrahkshatryia " Bungle Natty" Clarke (MTL).
is a graduate of Concordia University with a Bachelor
of Fine Arts (specialization in Jazz Studies). He has been performing
on the local arts scene as both spoken word artist and musician
for the last eight years. For the last two years Jason has also
served as a facilitator for the Black Theatre Workshop’s
Youth Works theatre program. Mr. Selman continues to fulfill himself
both musically and poetically as part of the Kalmunity Vibe Collective.
kellough is an author, performer, educator, editor,
and active arts organizer. His words make sound blue sense and
be bop inflected. His first book, lettricity,
was published in 2004. He was writer in residence for the 2005
Toronto Int'l Dub Poetry Festival. He has performed across Canada
and in the United States. His work has been featured on national
radio and television.