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LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs: Village

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs: Village

May 25, 2023

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs celebrates her second book, Village (Coffee House Press 2023). In propulsive and formally inventive verse, Diggs examines how trauma reshapes lineage, language, and choice, disrupting attempts at reconciliation across generations. Questioning who is deemed worthy of public memorialization, Diggs raises new monuments, tears down classist tropes, offers detailed instructions for her own international funeral celebrations, and makes visible the hidden labors of care and place. From corners in Harlem through North Carolina back roads, Diggs complicates the concept of “survivor,” getting to the truth of living in the dystopia of poverty.

As part of her residency at The Movement Lab at Barnard College, LaTasha collaborated with dancer/creative technologist/multimedia artist Allison Costa to create a visual and sonic reanimation to accompany the book.

Joining her will be composer and instrumentalist Kaoru Watanabe and sound practitioner and artist GENG PTP.

Acclaimed composer and instrumentalist Kaoru Watanabe’s melodic, authentic and engaging music focuses on points of connection: the joints between Western jazz and Eastern traditional, Japanese theater and political action, the ancient and the all-too-contemporary. Born into a musical family, Watanabe began his training at a young age, eventually graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, then devoting a decade overseas performing with and ultimately leading the world-renowned Taiko drum performance group KODO. His ten years in Japan profoundly influenced Watanabe's practice, and his signature skill of infusing Japanese culture with disparate styles has made him a much in-demand collaborator. Watanabe’s impressive list of creative works across different media reflects his ever-curious ear and wandering eye. He advised and contributed to film director Wes Anderson’s Oscar-nominated score for Isle of Dogs; tours regularly with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad; has supported numerous dance companies and movement artists, including Mikhail Baryshnikov; and has composed with and performed alongside Laurie Anderson, Jason Moran, Alicia Hall Moran, Vernon Reid, Bando Tamasaburo, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Zakir Hussain, among many others. As a composer, Watanabe writes for various, often unconventional instrumentation, utilizing a wide variety of compositional and performance techniques. Watanabe's newest creation, INCENSE, uses live-recorded sample loops of flute, drums, and vocals, providing him the technical means to perform ensemble compositions as a solo artist.

GENG PTP is a Manhattan-born, Queens NYC-based sound practitioner (producer, poet/vocalist, sound engineer, DJ), educator, archivist, writer, visual designer, organizer, and physical trainer. With 3+ decades of participatory roots in NYC's underground music/DIY communities, he has been making work through a multitude of solo and collaborative processes. Most currently, he performs as King Vision Ultra (est. 2017), a channeling project considering memory and voice as quantum weaponry in relation to honoring/making/taking space, remembrance (the archive), and protecting the spirit.

In January 2023, he released his fourth album as KVU, SHOOK WORLD, featuring 16 collaborators + Algiers (Atlanta, GA). Recent collaborations: Nile Harris (TESTIFY, 2023), Jeremy Toussant-Baptiste (...and Drive (Far Away), 2022), Jonathan González (Practice, 2022, Lucifer Landing II, 2019), and Matana Roberts (Sandy Speaks...II, 2022, Sandy Speaks..., 2019, Blood.Blue(s), 2018).

Photo credit: Alaric Campbell

May 25, 2023


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THU 05/25 7:00 PM