May 30 - 30, 2015
For the last weekend of May, join us for the South-North Griots Summit, an international spoken word festival hosted by the Northern Griots Network in collaboration with Nia Centre for the Arts. The event promises to bring together culturally diverse spoken words artists of primarily African Canadian, Caribbean, Latin American and Indigenous heritage in a gathering to perform, celebrate and investigate the fascinating art of spoken word.
With over 40 artists representing countries from 4 directions during 4 event-packed days, the Summit features award-winning artists, poet laureates, slam champions and more!
Performers include Dwayne Morgan, Motion, Ikenna Onyegbula, El Jones, Jamaal St. John, Itah Sadu, Andrea Thompson, Yasus Afari and many more.
In addition, our very own Nia AlumNia will be making waves on the stage including Randell Adjei, Lola Bunz, David Delisca, Whitney French, Jaydahmann, Griotz Road and Quentin Vercetty.
The South-North Griots Summit will kick off at Lula Lounge May 28th and the remaining events will be take place at Harbourfront Centre. The South-North Griots Festival complements the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
Krystle Chance is a R&B, pop singer/songwriter from Toronto. Her self produced sound draws elements from 90’s R&B, Hip-hop, millennial pop, Edm, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms all acting as the musical compliments to her thoughtful lyrics and soulful voice.
Whitney French is a storyteller and a literacy advocate. Her debut collection Cities was self-published in April 2012. She is a certified arts educator and has been published in Descant Magazine and anthologized in The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry. Whitney French is also the founder and co-editor and of the nation-wide publication From the Root Zine.
Randell Adjei is spoken word Edutainer & Artivist who uses the power of words to inspire people to use their stories and art to help create community through Edutainment. He is the founder of Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (R.I.S.E). The beat of his Art was found after years of being lost in the criminal justice system. He found himself by turning his struggles around to inspire others.
He is an avid believer in human rights and has a burning desire to inspire others to take action and find purpose along the way while using their stories to propel them forward. He is Professional Spoken Word Artist, Public Speaker, Community Organizer and a MaRS – Studio Y Cohort 2 fellow. He is also 1 of 4 coaches involved in the Pan AM/ Toronto Public Library (Poetry Saved Our Lives) project.
Randell has performed and shared his story at various Universities across Ontario, including Western and Laurier University. Randell has been a featured performer on TEDxUTSC and has also opened up for Terry Crews, Paul Mooney, Maestro Fresh Wes and many more. Randell is a recent recipient of the Identify & Impact Street Level Advocate Awards by the Toronto Youth Cabinet, Black Canadian – Best Spoken Word award winner and the Yinnergy Appreciation award from the Youth Outreach Workers in Malvern.
VerCetty is an award-winning contemporary griot – storyteller who knows no boundaries when it comes to his artistic expression. His practice focuses on teaching the effectiveness of artivism and the empowerment in controlling the narrative of your own story for today and the future. Having a background adolescence that was shaped by affiliations with street gangs, drug trafficking and indulging in various illegal activities he now uses his lived experiences to create art using film, poetry, short story parables, drumming, painting and 3D digital art rendering, to inspire and provoke social change. Quentin is also an avid chess advocate and teaches the game in a metaphorical way to children, youth and adult as a methodology to overcome the circumstances and build for their future. He has spread his message of the arts as a tool for social change in places like London, Dubai, Port-au-Prince, Cape Town, Kingston, Havana and around the United States and Canada. As a recent graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design University he hopes to continue to work with youth and different communities internationally.
Born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, raised in West Palm Beach, Florida , David Delisca is a spoken word poet, actor and comedian. A versatile artist, he uses stories of the immigrant and diaspora experiences, as well as other various human realities, to bridge realms of communication. He is a four-time member of the Toronto Poetry Slam’s National Team, a finalist at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) Saskatoon, in 2012 and a National Champion at CFSW Montreal, in 2013. He has traveled and performed across Canada, from Victoria, BC to Halifax, NS, to share his words at many literary festivals and venues. His work has been published in various anthologies and magazines, such as “The Great Black North” (Frontenac House), “Basodee” (General Store Publishing House), Scarborough Big Art Book (2013) and Poetry Is Dead Humour Issue (2014). David also published his first collection of poetry, entitled “I Grew Up Right Beside You”, in February 2012.
LolaBunz is a hip hop lyricist born and raised in Toronto. At 27 years of age she has landed performances at Honey Jam Canada, Manifesto, Canadian Music Week, AC3 Atlanta, BET Freestyle Friday, Youth Day and Much more. LolaBunz is a voice for the unheard, and a force to be reckoned with. 2018 will be an even bigger year for LolaBunz as she releases her first EP entitled “Wild Card”.
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