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Music Talk: Meshell Ndegeocello with Staceyann Chin

About the Speakers

Poet, actor, and performing artist Staceyann Chin is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir The Other Side of Paradise, cowriter and original performer in the Tony Award–winning Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and author of the one-woman shows Hands Afire, Unspeakable Things, Border/Clash, and MotherStruck. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and 60 Minutes, and her poetry been featured in the New York Times and Washington Post. She proudly identifies as Caribbean, Black, Asian, lesbian, a woman, and a resident of New York City, as well as a Jamaican national. Her new book, Crossfire A Litany for Survival, which collects Chin's empowering, feminist-LGBTQ-Caribbean, activist-driven poetry for the first time in a single book, was released October 1, 2019 by Haymarket Books. Edwidge Danticat calls Crossfire “a remarkable collection from a dynamic and talented writer, whose urgent storytelling and commanding voice feel vital for our times.”

Meshell Ndegeocello is a bassist, vocalist, and songwriter, whose music incorporates a wide variety of influences: funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, reggae, and rock. She has garnered critical acclaim throughout her career, including ten Grammy Award nominations. Ndegeocello has worked with The Rolling Stones, Prince, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Terence Blanchard, and Cassandra Wilson. She has also collaborated with Billy Preston, John Mellencamp, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Redman, Lizz Wright, Lalah Hathaway, Zap Mama, Cody Chestnutt, Toshi Reagon, and many others. In 2016, Ndegeocello worked with collaborators, including director Charlotte Brathwaite and designer Abigail DeVille, to create Can I Get a Witness: The Gospel According to James Baldwin, an evolving work of music theater inspired by The Fire Next Time, Baldwin's polemic about race in America.

Directed by Cass Bird.