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Jazz, spoken word shows coming to Music Hall

April 12, 2007 By Gwen Evans

Jazz and spoken-word performances will heat up Music Hall on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus later this month.

Omar Sosa and his Afreecanos Quartet will raise the rafters on Thursday, April 26, at 8 p.m., with their infectious and energetic Latin- and African-influenced jazz. And on Monday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m., spoken-word luminary and UW–Madison artist in residence Marc Bamuthi Joseph will present a farewell performance of electrifying poetry and dance in “An Evening with Marc Bamuthi Joseph,” featuring different components of his award-winning one man shows.

Born and trained in Cuba, Sosa now lives in the San Francisco area. His compositions combine world and electronic music with his native Afro-Cuban roots to create a fresh and original urban sound – all with a Latin jazz heart. The new Afreecanos Quartet includes Cuban drummer Julio Barreto, Mozambican electric bassist Childo Tomas and Senegalese vocalist Mola Sylla.

Downbeat magazine recently had this to say about the bandleader: “Sosa stokes the African and Cuban fires: Each burns distinctly from the other while illuminating the place between them. This is where Sosa pitches his musical camp and works his magic.”

Bamuthi, an internationally acclaimed spoken-word artist, is on the UW–Madison campus this spring through the Arts Institute Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program. He was invited to participate in the residency through the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) with co-sponsorship from the department of Afro-American studies and numerous other campus units. In addition to performing, he is teaching a course on writing and performing spoken word and hip-hop theater.

The Sosa and Bamuthi performances are sponsored by OMAI; the Sosa concert is also sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Theater Committee and the Isthmus Jazz Festival and is a benefit for scholarships for First Wave students, an urban arts and spoken word residential learning community opening this fall at UW–Madison.

Tickets to Omar Sosa and his Afreecanos Quartet are $25 for adults, $10 for students with ID; tickets for Marc Bamuthi Joseph are $20 for adults, $10 for students with ID. Tickets are available at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office, 262-2201. Both performances will take place in Music Hall, which is located on Bascom Hill near Park Street.