What a day we had on Sunday! Lots & lots of people, great food, great sorrel punch & ginger beer. Sam Murray cooked for me and we served curried chicken, curried goat, oxtails with butter beans, fried sweet plaintains, rice and peas, and sauted kale with a vinaigrette sauce by vegan chef Brenda Been was a gigantic hit!
You know it’s a party when our beloved State Senator Bill Perkins is in da house!

Left: State Senator Bill Perkins; right: Michael Kenny

We loved re-connecting with Donal Fox, the exquisite composer and brilliant pianist whose Peace Out for Improvised Piano and Orchestra we can’t stop listening to. In two words utterly transporting. Feel free to check out what the “newspaper of record,” i.e. The New York Times, had to say about it, if you need independent verification, “Mr. Fox, a composer, pianist and improviser who deftly draws from jazz and classical contemporary traditions, was the soloist in his intense, episodic 15-minute work.” It was especially delightful to meet his lovely wife, Karen, a powerhouse in her own right.

Sunday was so much fun that we’re super-energized and looking forward to our next salon on March 25th with the inimitable novelist, Earl Lovelace for his new book Is Just a Movie from Haymarket Books
< …that is, unless we decide to do something during Black History Month in February. Our friend poet Brenda Connor-Bey, whom we haven’t seen in a long time and were so pleased to have in the audience, wrote to me later,

Brenda Conner-Bey

Margaret: Congratulations on a first-class afternoon presentaion of the Harlem Arts Salon for Quincy’s book, “Errançities.” I apologize for having to leave as early as I did. But this is one of those weekends where we were invited to several affairs. All that being said, I would not have missed Q’s celebration. On that note, his work has expanded in so many wonderful directions; sort of like a sage coming into his own. While browsing through the book before he performed, I was able to read the first two stanzas of the piece on Michael Jackson and I swear that Michael rose up from those words on the page to let me hear his story.

I especially liked his collaboration with Kelvyn Bell. I tried to explain the performance to a group of artists at the open house I attended after leaving you. The words and music were in tandem–not one in front or behind the other; they flowed. Magnificent!

It was a special afternoon; magical and inspiring. I thank you for the acknowledgement of my presence (quite unexpected but appreciated just the same!) and for the well-oiled machine you had working behind the scene. Bravo!

All of this was made possible with the generous contribution and support of publisher Coffee House Press, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) publishing entity with a superb list of contemporary poets and writers. Thank you Jessica and Tricia, Alan Kornblum and Chris Fishbach and the whole Coffee House staff. Thanks also to Anna Pasztor, who videotaped the event. Our special thanks to guitarist, Kelvyn Bell, poet Allison Hedge Coke and all our wonderful guests who attended!

Kelvyn Bell composed the music on SoundArt: a new tongue the new CD that is a collaboration between Quincy, Kelvyn, Hamiet Bluiett and Ronnie Burrage. Copies available through Quincy Troupe (www.quincytroupe.com).