Drumvoices Revue 20th Anniversary Celebration!

I’m very, very pleased to be included in this volume and to post this announcment!

FROM: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville English Department/
Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club: 618 650-3991; eredmon@siue.edu

TO: All Media, Poets & Writers, Musicians & Music Students, Visual Artists & Photographers, Citizens

May 25 in East St. Louis (IL):
“DA-DUM-DUN”: Homage to Miles, Dumas & Dunham
Combines with Book Release Party for “Drumvoices Revue”

An annual multi-arts festival in honor of three world-class creative geniuses whose expressions influenced—and were profoundly influenced by—East St. Louis (Illinois) will be held on Friday, May 25, at 6:00 p.m., in Room 2083-84 of Bldg. “B” on the SIUE-ESL Higher Education Campus, 601 J.R. Thompson Dr., East St. Louis. Included in the celebration will be a book release party for “Drumvoices Revue,” a 700-page volume co-published by the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club and SIUE, co-sponsors of “Da-Dum-Dun”–a free family event. The 200-plus writers in “Drumvoices” range from Maya Angelou to Derek Walcott. Amiri Baraka to Andrea Wren, Gwendolyn Brooks to Richard Wright.

Miles Dewey Davis III (1926-1991), Henry Lee Dumas (1934-1968) and Katherine Dunham (1909-2006)—musician, poet-fictionist and dancer-anthropologist-choreographer, respectively—will be celebrated in music (the Bosman Twins, saxophone virtuosos); literary expression from Drumvoices “poetrees” (Pacia Anderson, Michael Castro, Roscoe “Ros” Crenshaw, Angela Cureton, Byron Lee, Susan “Spit-Fire” Lively, Charlois Lumpkin, Patricia Merritt, Treasure Shields Redmond, Mary Z. Rose, Darlene Roy (Club president), Cheryl D. S. Walker, Dr. Lena Weathers, and Jaye P. Willis); dance and percussion (Sunshine’s Community Performance Ensemble); and a multimodal exhibit (DavisDumasDunham) from the EBR/SIUE Collection. Book sales and autographing will open and follow the expo.

Born in Alton (Illinois), Davis was raised in East St. Louis, graduating from Lincoln Senior High School in 1944. That same year he joined Lincoln classmate/pianist Eugene Haynes at New York’s Julliard School of Music. As a trumpeter, composer and true “original,” he is revered across the globe as a leader and shaper of musical directions, tastes and styles. Drumvoices Revue, a multicultural journal, often honors Davis in poems and photographs.

Writer Dumas, born in Sweet Home (Arkansas) and raised in New York’s Harlem from the age of 10, taught at SIUE-ESL’s Experiment in Higher Education in 1967-68. At EHE, he mentored local poet Sherman L. Fowler and was a colleague of Redmond (EBR has been HD’s literary executor since 1968). Nobel laureate Toni Morrison called Dumas “a genius, an absolute genius.” Patron saint of the Writers Club, Dumas’ writings and photographs appear in multiple issues of Drumvoices Revue.

A Chicago area native, scholar-artist-author Dunham returned to her home state after several decades of studying, performing and teaching in more than 60 countries. Becoming an East St. Louis resident in 1967, she taught in EHE and founded the Performing Arts Training Center and namesake Dynamic Museum and Children’s Workshop. This adopted matriarch of ESL has also been the subject of several volumes of Drumvoices Revue.

Founded in 1986 and chartered by Fowler, Roy and Redmond, the 25-year-old Club meets twice monthly in ESL. Trustees are Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Avery Brooks, Haki R. Madhubuti, Walter Mosley, Quincy Troupe, Jerry Ward Jr., and Lena J. Weathers. Margaret Walker Alexander (1915-1998), Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), Raymond Patterson (1929-2001) and Barbara Ann Teer (1937-2008) were also trustees. For information about the Club or “Drumvoices Revue,” call 618 650-3991 or write the Club at P.O. Box 6165, East St. Louis, Illinois 62201.

To order “Drumvoices,” send an $18.00 check/money order ($15.00 + $3.00 shipping/handling) to the above address. Email: eredmon@siue.edu. The ESL-based Black River Writers Press is also a “Da-Dum-Dun” sponsor.

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