Art and Soul of Chibuzo

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 7:00pm
Location: Jewett Art Center Auditorium, Jewett Art Center Foyer

The Art & Soul of Chibuzo is a performance that debuts the creative music, dance, and theater ensemble of director, composer, and musician Akili Jamal Haynes. This program explores the personal, spiritual, and cultural nature of a creative process through a unique blend of dance, drumming, music, spoken word, and theater from an African perspective.

"Chibuzo" is an African word that means "God leads." The performance, which is presented by The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Wellesley, combines dance, African drumming, original music, spoken word, and film to answer the question, “Where Does the Soul Begin?” The audience will be encouraged to participate; some of Haynes’ original lyrics will be made available so that audience members may sing along if they feel inspired to do so.  

The event, scheduled to honor Black History Month and Day of Remembrance, promises to resonate artfully and soulfully with everyone who attends and participates in this unique collective celebration. Elena Creef, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and one of the event organizers, said audiences can expect to be “visually mesmerized by a rich and colorful ensemble of musicians, dancers, puppets, and film images, and moved by the live music of drums, piano, trumpet, double bass, and singers.”

Haynes, a virtuoso on trombone, trumpet, drums, bass, saxophone, and piano, found himself surrounded early in his career by internationally recognized artists like Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Lester Bowie, and Illinois Jacquet and found inspiration in them. At Wellesley, Haynes will be joined by special guests including Grammy Award winning vocalist Maya Azucena; musical legends Cecil McBee, Bill Pierce, and Yoron Israel; and Wellesley’s Yanvalou Dance and Drum Ensemble, with Yanvalou Director Kera Washington.

Haynes will be joined by Adrienne Hawkins of Impulse Dance and Bass-Line Motion; De Ama Battle of The Art of Black Dance & Music, Inc.; the Jo-Me Dance Company, directed by Joe Gonzalez and May-Lisa Chandler; NIA Dance Troupe of Origination, choreographed by Shaumba Yandje Dibinga; In Divine Company directed by Aparna (Pampi) Das; Zucan; and visual artist Dey Hernandez. 

The Art & Soul of Chibuzo is presented by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Wellesley as part of its Art & Soul program, a program developed to foster community exploration of spirituality and the arts at Wellesley. The event is cosponsored by the College’s Women’s & Gender Studies, Africana Studies, American Studies, and Music departments, along with the Treves Fund, and the Partnerships for Diversity & Inclusion at Wellesley College.


Photo credit: © Jill Goldman, Jill Goldman Photography

Sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Women’s Gender Studies.