WHat WE ARE:
Gavagai is a monthly performance series curated and hosted by poet Danielle Blau that brings you poetry and fiction readings scored with original live music by composer-improviser-bassist Mike Brown, with other skilled improvisers (piano-players, guitarists, horn-players, drummers, harpists, cellists, violinists, vocalists, who knows?) usually dropping in onstage as guest-musicians.
Unless otherwise noted, performances are at 8pm,
on the third Thursday of every month,
at The Owl Music Parlor - 497 Rogers Ave. Brooklyn, NY.
Suggested donation $10
Check out Gavagai's first album, "White Dust", featuring Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, along with musicians Mike Brown (bass, looping) and David Cieri (piano, waterphone, vocals) - out now with Ropeadope Records!
The New York Times recently included one of White Dust's tracks (/ one of Komunyakaa's poems), "Dolphy's Aviary", on its Playlist of 11 most notable new songs. And other people had some nice things to say about the record, too (e.g., "What floats in and out of ‘White Dust’ could cover all of humanity" ):
"...[T]his album really is some kind of miracle, especially for one devoted entirely to the historically unsteady marriage of free jazz and Spoken Word. White Dust should be the litmus test for every rising artist looking for a better score, not an ego play."
Sign up to keep abreast of future Gavagai events. (it half-rhymes.)
who we are:
Danielle Blau’s Rhyme or Reason: Poets, Philosophers, and the Problem of Being Here Now is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. Her poetry collection mere eye was selected for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Award and published in 2013 with an introduction by poet D.A. Powell, and her poems won first place in the 2015 multi-genre Narrative 30 Below Contest. Poetry, short stories, articles, and interviews by Blau can be found in such publications as The Atlantic online, The Baffler, The Harvard Review, The Literary Review, Narrative Magazine, The New Yorker’s book blog, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Plume Poetry, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Wolf, the Argos Books anthology Why I Am Not a Painter, and various volumes of the Plume Anthology of Poetry. A graduate of Brown with an honors degree in philosophy, and of NYU with an MFA in poetry, she teaches at Hunter College. Learn more Blau-related facts here.
Mike Brown's career began with a legitimate position as a cashier in an independent music store and a boldfaced lie about his ability as an actual musician - both of which motivated him to buy a bass, learn to play it, and join a rock band (not necessarily in that order). Four major cities, a couple of bachelor's degrees and some master's classes later, Mike is an accomplished player of both electric and double bass. Exploring everything from rock to jazz to classical to country, specializing in "New/ Avant Garde" music and "extended techniques," Mike has somehow managed to support himself financially as well as creatively. He leads May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way, is one half of the Brown-Jewell duo, and is a member of many other group, including Kotorino, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Keva, Charles Atlas, Now Over Ever, The Kerosene Ensemble, and Fingerprint. You can learn more about Mike Brown here.