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About this community discussion and performance series

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Watch the video recording of this event here:

We convene to close our "Mind, Body & Soul: Afrofuturist Sacred Sounds" series on Good Friday, a time to mourn and consider the miracle of resurrection in many Christian African and African Diaspora communities. We will consider what needs to be buried and what we might want to resurrect as we nationally mourn half a million deaths due to the coronavirus. The third and final part of our series will honor ancestors and communally reflect on decomposition as a creative process, embodied in the orisha Yewa/Ewa in Afro Atlantic spiritualities. We have invited a stellar group of artists and organizers Ekio Jiburoho, Raquel Moreno, Christelle Durandy and hosts Jadele McPherson and Joseph A. Torres-González whose work will expand our conversation about the intersections of Afro-Latinx artistry, activism and wellness.

Please join us as we continue to grapple with social distancing, keeping our creativity alive and practicing wellness as we experience a new phase of compounded duress during this global pandemic. Our series invokes our ancestral voices for wisdom as we chat as if we were hanging out in someone’s living room, and share intimate, live performances that will inspire us to begin this New Year refreshed and fortified.

This event is free and open to the public, but please register here to access the Zoom link and attend.

Jadele McPherson. Photo by Jon Vachon

Basement Vodou by Shannon Taggart

Jadele McPherson, at The Gospel of James Baldwin show at Harlem Stage, December 2016. James Baldwin painting by Mary Olin Geiger; photo by Marc Millman

~ We dedicate this series to the spirit and memory of Miriam Jiménez Román whose pioneering work on Afro-Latinx intellectuals and artists in New York City continues to inspire new collaborations. ~

More About the Participants and their Work:

Raquel Moreno

Raquel Moreno is the author of La Nena’s Kitchen: A Guide to Plant-Based Cooking at Home. She began her work in food out of a desire to help people enjoy vibrant food for a vibrant life. She has led teams of nutritionists and cooks in teaching youth and adults to prepare nourishing, delicious meals with the foods most readily available to them. Her love of languages and intercultural exchange led her to become a host for international students studying in Philadelphia. She uses cooking to help students improve their English skills and learn about the ethnic diversity of American culture. Raquel is currently enamored by the golden brilliance of saffron.

Ekio Juburoho

Ekio Juburoho: Carlos (Ekio) currently resides in the Chicago area where he continues to create his art. He is a graduating senior majoring in Theatre and Performance at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Carlos as an actor, writer and songwriter has written devised pieces in theatre such as “Blk Girl Blk Boy” (Directed by Erin Washington at Spelman College). Ekio interned at UGA and in two weeks he participated in crafting devised pieces and wrote original music entitled “Bad Boys Make Good Roads” and it was used for “By Our Hands”(Directed by Amma Y. Ghartey-Tahoe Kootin, Emily Sahakian, Julie B. Johnson and Keith Arthur Bolden). He has also been selected to curate his visual art and performance for SoulCenter programming entitled “The Rif” in Atlanta, GA. Musically, Ekio has released his first project “Social Distance”. This project is an EP that encapsulates lyricism, social issues and theory. He has also wrote, and performed in his short film “Blychedelic”. “Blychedelic” was audio recorded on his Iphone 6. Sonically, it is multilayered with various vocal compositions, lyricism and poetry. This film was recorded and produced during the pandemic. It is dedicated and inspired by the social uprisings in the summer of 2020.

Christelle Durandy

Christelle Durandy's range is a mosaic, a cross-cultural jazz combination that draws upon a vast spectrum of Soul, Caribbean and Latin influences. The melodic threads of her musicianship transcend borders, and weave an international fabric rooted in Christelle’s artistry. Christelle Durandy heads "Cinq TêTeS", an ensemble in which she showcases her loyal love for words and languages rhythmic concepts. Preserving her stylings, Christelle brings her talent to diverse projects. She has been featured with the Paul Carlon Octet, Koko Jones and The Soul Spirit, Max Pollak RumbaTap, and Vocalenssia, a potent vocal combination with singer Sofia Tosello in which Christelle exhibits her talent as both a performer and arranger, just to name a few. Of Reunion Island and French West Indies ancestry, Christelle Durandy combines colors of a rich tapestry of musical experiences as she began performing Gwo-ka music (from Guadeloupe) at an early age with her family-based troupe in France. Under their guidance, she honed in on musical skills that she later developed during her studies in Europe, Cuba, and The U.S. Christelle has continually garnered critical praise for her passionate and fierce live performances, and has mesmerized audiences worldwide.

Jadele McPherson. Photo by Jon Vachon

Jadele McPherson is an artist-scholar whose research focuses on the intersections of sound and healing, mutual aid, and performance in Florida, Haiti and Cuba. McPherson is currently a PhD student in the CUNY Graduate Center Anthropology Department and teaching fellow with the Mellon Seminar for Collaborative Research and Engagement where she is researching how sound impacts wellness, climate change & environmental sustainability. As a founder of Lukumi Arts (2008), an experimental theatre company focused on Afro-Cuban arts, she wrote and produced La Sirene: Rutas de Azúcar which debuted at JACK (2016), in the HERE Arts SANCTUARY series, and Brown University's Rites & Reason Theatre (2017). Jadele was an artist in the James Baldwin tribute Can I Get a Witness? at Harlem Stage co-created by director Charlotte Brathwaite and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, and No More Water/The Fire Next Time at the Park Ave Armory (February 2018). Jadele was also a featured guest on The Hoodoisie, a Chicago-based radical live news show (October 2018) and shortly after released her solo debut EP entitled “Peace & Quiet” (2019).

Joseph A. Torres-González

Joseph A. Torres-González is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He holds a master's degree in Anthropology and a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies, both from the State University of New York, University at Albany. His research interests are in the intersections of History and Anthropology, Political Economy, Popular culture, and consumption. His current research project is based in Puerto Rico, studying food, coffee shops, baristas, ethnicity, and identity. Joseph works as a research assistant at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, serves as a Graduate Fellow at the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity Programs at the CUNY Graduate Center, and teaches as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology at Brooklyn College.

This event is sponsored by Teaching Fellow Jadele McPherson's Afrofuturist Sound Ecologies project as part of the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at TheGraduate Center, CUNY.



Event Series Organizer


"Wade in the Water." Postcard of a river baptism in New Bern, North Carolina near the turn of the 20th century. Public domain image via Wiki-media.

Image: Jadele McPherson. Photo by Jon Vachon