Message From The Tune In Festival Curators

The artists and composers that are a part of this year’s Tune In Festival, at their very core, inspire. As an artist, the biggest gift one receives from another artist is the gift of inspiration. When I rush home after a performance to practice, or create, I am truly elated. Lifted. Elevated. These artists are an inspiration and they are also exquisite storytellers. Through their music, their words, they paint pictures, create frameworks, but perhaps most importantly, make you feel. And really feel. They have that intangible quality that drives one to change, to dance spontaneously in the living room, to marvel at and in turn contemplate one’s own fragility. The ten cellos that score Julius Eastman’s powerfully obsessive and passionate Holy Presence of Joan of Arc, the way that Mariee Sioux’s enchanting voice and veritable guitar playing transport and invite, seemingly effortlessly, into her world. The vibrant and unexpected juxtapositions of J. Ivy’s words that rouse us to ponder different and alternate significance. The almost inexplicable world of light, of luminescence, that Olivier Messiaen was able to generate in Quartet for the End of Time as he composed it 80 years ago in a POW camp. This is the power of artists to overcome, to continually create, to move. To share their generosity of spirit, their vulnerability, their quests to drive change.

This is The Tune In Festival 2021.

—Lisa Kaplan, Eighth Blackbird

There aren’t many things that we can collectively agree on, but I think we would all concur that the stories we tell are a huge part of everyone’s human experience. Each step we’ve taken in life has been tied to a thread of wonder, exploration, growth and new perspective. These tales, these guiding lights, open our eyes to the unknown, helping to connect the reason of our being to our life’s purpose.

Throughout history there have been those who have been anointed with the ability to dive deeper into our meaning. Storytellers who have been gifted with a keen sense of feel and intuition. Griots, Poets, who observe, gather, and translate the happenings of the world into digestible food for thought and food for our souls. These “Street reporters who take notes for the future,” are the glue of our society and brick layers for civilization.

I’m beyond excited to help bring together some of the most prolific poets and storytellers of our day. Hailing from New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco, and Detroit, the masterful, rhythmic, healing words of Sunni Patterson, Tongo Eisen-Martin and jessica Care moore will uplift our spirits and help make The Tune In Festival electric, entertaining, and enlightening. On this weekend, we will all be elevated, smiles will be rewarded, hearts will be filled, lives will forever be changed.

—J. Ivy, Poet/Spoken Word Artist