Acoustic SpokenWord Cafe: a taste of New York in downtown Fort Wayne
Music isn’t hard to find in the Summit City, and the quality of musicianship is top notch. But there is one thing that sets TRIAAC’s Acoustic SpokenWord Café apart from other venues – it’s an artists’ venue. Patrons who come to the Café come to hear the musicians and poets who bring their work to the boards. Much like Fort Wayne’s former Toast & Jam or the the atmosphere and patron expectation at New York’s Village Vanguard, “when the artists present everyone listens.”
Sunny Taylor played the Café in February, and it was the first time she’d played “unplugged” in a good while Sunny is only one of the incredible Fort Wayne talents that have graced the boards at the Café this season. Among the others have been Keith Flye, John Ward, Carol Lockridge, Megan King, the AfroDisiacs, Fatima Washington, the Bryan Nellems Trio, the Three Rivers Jenbe Ensemble, and Mathis Grey. And the season doesn’t wrap up until the end of June.
And the incredible mix the Café presents is among its most touted aspects. The artistic mix features musicians, poets and a regular Open Mic space at each sitting of the Café. Poets who’ve appeared at the Café since September include Helen Frost, Emmanuel Ortiz, George Kalamaras, Ketu Oladuwa, Mary Ann Cain, Troy Bigelow, Paula Ashe, Tanika Burt, Linda Bess, Teresa Vazquez, and Kemit Oladuwa.
The Acoustic SpokenWord Café is designed as a space for artists to be heard in Downtown Fort Wayne. It’s a venue where artists come to create, display, present, explore, re-member and remember, engage and entice, invite and move, act and embody, plant and germinate—without rushing or feeling the pressure “to perform” over the night-life din.
Continuuum, a new jazz ensemble featuring Quincy Sanders on alto sax, Marco Rubio on bass, and Jesse West on piccolo bass, with Bryan Nellems on drums will close out the winter session of the Café, on March 24. The featured poet for the evening is Aric Curry, a young artist who has developed his skills at the Weisser Park Community Center’s SBA program. The Café is open the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, from September through June. Rounding out it’s third year, TRIAAC received funding from Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne to support the work of the café.