World Music

Tonight the Echo Chamber presented the annual “Word Beat I Powa” dub poetry, other poetry, and spoken word special as part of National Poetry Month. Of course, it was dub poetry that set the foundation of the show. Among the dub poets featured were Oku Onoura, Mutabaruka, Ras Takura, Jean Binta Breeze, Benjamin Zephaniah, Tomlin Ellis, Malachi Smith, Glenville Bryan, Jazzmin Tutum, Lillian Allen, Desmond Faada Johnson, Lady Dawn, and of course, the incomparable Linton Kwesi Johnson. Other pieces of dub poetry included the excellent track “Dilly Dally” from Everton Sylvester and the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, and “Spirit Made Flesh” from Dub Gabriel and Karen Gibson. But there was much more than dub poetry… From the Beat camp we had Jack Kerouac, and The Last Poets contributed the gritty “True Blues”. Other voices included Jah Wobble and Ronnie Drew doing “London Rain” from the “Celtic Poets” album; Ken Nordine’s unique “word jazz’; the “Hashish Poem” from Bill Laswell and Nicole Blackman; and the powerful words and music of Liberian born (and KFAI’s own) poet, e.g. bailey. Ahh, but let us not forget the extraordinary Jamaican DJs. Before there was dub poetry as we know it today, there was already the great tradition of Jamaican “toasters” — and we included King Stitt and I-Roy. Heck, we even included some classic Stiller & Meara comedy, and “Jack the Biscuit” from late Andy Fairley. What an eclectic mix of words…and beats…and Powa!


Tonight our guest is Dr. Eugene Rousseau, Emeritus Professeur at Indiana, who is currently teaching saxophone at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Rousseau was a Fulbright fellow who studied classical saxophone at the Paris Conservatory with the famous Marcel Mule. We will play several of his classical recordings along with the interview.

During the second hour, we will hear a variety of songs, both old and new, from France and Québec.


Spring brings violins, harps, & accordians!

Guest Host: J. Otis Powell!

Siege, Mizmaar, Nadia Ali, Annie Khalid, Najma Akhtar, Superheavy, and more …

Five stories from our 10,000 Fresh Voices series:

1. Medical quackery at the Science Museum
Produced by Will Wright
X-ray and CAT-scan machines are part of today’s medical landscape, but have you heard of the Orgone Energy Accumulator? Psychograph? Or Prostate Gland-Warmer? The Minnesota Science Museum houses a collection of dubious medical devices, but were these really designed to work? KFAI producer Will Wright takes a tour.

2. Alissa Barthel & Punk Rawk Labs
Produced by Cyn Collins
Punk Rawk Labs is a Minneapolis-based company specializing in living cuisine. Owner Alissa Barthel graduated with the inaugural class of the Matthew Kenney Academy, a culinary facility that specializes in raw food cuisine, then started her own line of products. In addition to her food business, Alissa writes a blog and produces an online “uncooking” show. For more information, visit punkrawklabs.net. Produced for KFAI by Cyn Collins.

3. Guante takes his message to school
Produced by Eric Blom
Guante is a spoken word and hip-hop artist, progressive activist, and educator from St. Paul. He curates the “Hip Hop Against Homophobia” concert series, taking his message to high schools, colleges and stages around the region. KFAI producer Eric Blom has more.

4. The Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet
Produced by Britt Aamodt
Lila Ammons grew up in Chicago—one of the hotbeds of American music. Trained in classical music, she was never far from her family roots in jazz. Her uncle Gene was a jazz player, and her grandfather Albert Ammons was one of the great boogie woogie piano players of the 1930s. Since 2010, Lila has been jazzing up the Twin Cities music scene with the Lila Ammons Jazz Quintent. KFAI’s Britt Aamodt talks to Ammons and saxophonist Dean Brewington.

5. Toki Wright
Produced by Cristeta Boarini
Twin Cities hip-hop artist Toki Wright is a dynamic force on stage and in the recording studio. He’s also an instructor at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. KFAI producer Cristeta Boarini caught up with Toki to talk about his latest projects.

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Today we had in studio guests, the Dean Harrington Quintet playing Gypsy jazz.

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