The Caroline Werner Gannett Project 2007-08
George Elliott Clarke & D.D. Jackson

George Elliott Clarke & D.D. Jackson

Award-winning Africadian poet/playwright teams up with renowned NYC jazz composer and pianist



What: Jazz composer/pianist D D Jackson plays a selection of songs from two chamber operas (“Quebecite” and “Trudeau: Long March/Shining Path”) performed with RIT singers.
When: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Ingle Auditorium
(Student Alumni Union)

“BeBopera Too”

What: George Elliott Clarke performs from his poetry and other writings
When: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.
Where: Ingle Auditorium
(Student Alumni Union)

D.D. Jackson Master Class

When: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: 04-A120
(Student Alumni Union)

clarke and jackson talk photo

George Elliott Clarke's poetry is close to song--popular song. Everything he writes,or recites, echoes ballad and blues. No wonder he writes opera lyrics--as well as beautiful poems.

Clarke: E. J. Pratt Professor of Canadian literature at University of Toronto, George Elliott Clarke is a 7th generation African-Canadian, born in Nova Scotia. He is descended from the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains who emigrated north before the War of 1812. An award-winning poet, playwright and novelist and librettist, he is author of six books of poetry, including Execution Poems (2001 Governor General’s Award) and the blistering and defiant poems of Black (2006). His verse novel, Whylah Falls, described as “one rich vaudeville opera,” has inspired an acclaimed CBC-Radio drama, a popular stage play and a feature film, “One Heart Broken into Song.” Clarke writes of his poems in Blue (2001): “I craved to draft lyrics that would pour out like penecostal fire—pell mell, scorching, bright, loud: a poetics of arson.” His many honors include a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (Bellagio, Italy); Nova Scotia’s Portia White Prize; the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize. He has also been awarded the Toronto Black Film & Video Network’s Outstanding Screenwriter Award (2000).

Jackson: Canadian born, NYC-based D.D. Jackson is an award-winning jazz pianist/composer whose work spans 12 CD’s, including Serenity Song, Suite for New York (a meditation on the events of 9/11) and Sigame. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Music with High Distinction in Classical Piano, Indiana University and a Master of Music in Jazz from the Manhattan School of Music. His CD’s have been nominated for six Juno Awards (“The Canadian Grammy”) and his RCA solo disc, “. . . so far,” won in 2000. Jackson performs all over the world with his groups, appearing and recording with some of the most distinguished names in jazz. An accomplished classical pianist, he recently released a recording of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue He writes a regular column for Downbeat magazine entitled “Living Jazz,” maintains the related "D.D. Jackson Living Jazz Podcast" and is a member of the Manhattan Producers Alliance.

Links: Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path  Québecité  Blue   Beatrice Chancy   Execution Poems Suite for New York Sigame Serenity Song