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Speak Up and Drum

An inter-disciplinary overview of poetry and music from such diverse times and places as Shakespearean England, the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat Generation, the Black Arts Movement of the 1950s & 1960s and the Hip Hop/Spoken word era of today.

Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards

(A=Assembly; W=Workshop; R=Residency)

1.3 English Language Arts:Reading Literature W, R

1.5 English Language Arts: Speaking and Listening W, R

9.1 Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts A, W, R

9.2 Historical and Cultural Contexts A, W, R

9.3 Critical Response W, R

15.4 Learning Through Experience A, W, R

25.3 Pro-Social Relationships with Adults W, R

25.4 Pro-Social Relationships with Peers W, R

Art Form(s): Music, Spoken Word/Literary Arts

Instrument(s): Spoken Word Poetry, Percussion, Bass

Musicopia offers quality
“Little Ones” programming
for Early Learning Centers

Assembly, Workshop, and Residency Offerings

Speak Up and Drum Assembly

In this assembly, MusicSpeaks provide an interdisciplinary overview of poetry and music from such diverse times and places as Shakespearean England, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, the Beat Generation and the Black Arts Movement of the 1950s & 1960s and of the Hip Hop/Spoken word era of today. Students are introduced to common characteristics of jazz and hip hop music as it relates to free verse poetry and rhythms in music. They will also gain an understanding of the rhythmic origins of these styles through a discussion of the commonalities and historical perspectives between music and poetry.


Best for: K-12  •  Special Needs  •  After-School/Community

Speak Up and Drum Workshop

Through this interactive, small group workshop, MusicSpeaks provide an interdisciplinary overview of poetry and music from such diverse times and places as Shakespearean England, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, the Beat Generation and the Black Arts Movement of the 1950s & 1960s and of the Hip Hop/Spoken word era of today. Students learn to identify common characteristics of jazz and hip hop music as it relates to free verse poetry, rhythms in music, and understanding the rhythmic origins of these styles as well as discuss the commonalities and historical perspectives between music and poetry.   (Max. ~25 students)


Best for: K-12  •  Special Needs  •  After-School/Community

Speak Up and Drum Residency

This interdisciplinary residency brings together poetry and percussion to demonstrate the connection between the spoken word and music. The initial assembly program features Lamont’s poetry and work by a range of other writers, accompanied by renowned local musicians on bass, percussion, and keyboard. Music Speaks provides a series of highly adaptable workshops that introduce literary and musical terms, dramatic techniques and a variety of percussion techniques—all in the service of teaching students to create joint works of music and poetry.


Among other subjects, workshop participants will analyze the craft of voice projection and articulation, experimenting with their own voices and rhythms. Led by Lamont, a compelling interpreter of poetry and spoken word poet himself, students delve into the widely varying rhythms associated with the poetry and music of Shakespearean England, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, the Beat Generation and the Black Arts Movement of the 1950s & 1960s and today’s Hip Hop/Spoken word era. The resident artists then suggest a choice of themes for students to use as the basis for writing their own works that express their insights and make use of their authentic voices. MusicSpeaks guide the students towards creating percussion rhythms that are fitting and effective accompaniments to their own spoken word poetry.

​Best for: 6-8  •  9-12  •  Special Needs  •  After-School/Community

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Featuring: Lamont Dixon and MusicSpeaks

Philadelphian Lamont Dixon, aka Napalm Da Bomb, has been a prominent presence on the music/poetry scene for many years, one who often mentors young artists. As a performance poet/teaching artist, Lamont demonstrates what he describes as "vibepoetics" - an eclectic mixing of multiple artistic genres to provide dramatic language arts education.

 

Napalm's poetry has been published in many magazines. He appears on various jazz CDs including: Awaiting the Spirit, The Po-Jazz Connection and African Rhythm Tongues. Lamont served as co-executive producer for the Philadelphia segment of HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam. His latest book of poetry is Come Ride My Poems. In 2007, he released his CD Pigments of My Imagination.

 

Additionally, Napalm portrays Malcolm X in Fire & Fury: X in Oratory and Langston Hughes in A Walk Down Lennox Ave. In contrast, he has delighted thousands of children with his deft portrayal as Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat (available as part of Musicopia’s Little Ones programming).

 

Napalm has performed throughout the region at the Turkey Hill Ice Cream Arts Festival; Chrysler National African-American Cultural Expo; Music City's Jazz & Arts Festival, Jackson, TN; Garden State Children's Discovery Museum; PA Multicultural Affairs Congress; Maryland ARTScape Fest; Philadelphia Drug Enforcement Agency; and National Association of Black Storytellers.

Leon Jordan, Sr. began studying percussion in the Philadelphia School System. He continued his musical studies at the University of the Arts-Conservatory. He studied independently with several respected and accomplished musicians including, Philly Joe Jones, Gerald Price, Butch Ballard, Max Roach, Leonard “Doc” Gibbs and Pablo Batista.

 

Leon Sr. has more than 35 years of experience as a full time professional musician touring and recording with various well known jazz and R&B artists. Leon Sr. can be heard on more than one hundred and twenty-five published recordings to date as a sideman, performing jazz, pop, gospel, Latin and even country music from time to time. From the mid-1980’s through the 90’s, Leon Sr. toured and/or recorded extensively with; Grover Washington Jr., John Blake Jr., Phyllis Hyman, Benny Golson, Chaka Kahn, The Stylistics, Lou Rawls, Monette Sudler, Joey DeFrancesco, George Benson, Roy Ayres and even the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, just to name a few. Leon Sr. also appeared in ensemble and orchestral performances for the touring companies of Ain’t Misbehavin, Five Guys Named Moe and Purlie and served as a music contractor and performer for the Prince Theater.

 

Since 1994, Leon Jordan Sr. has performed teaching workshops and master classes for The School District of Philadelphia, Trenton Community Music School, Mt Airy Cultural Center, Christina Cultural Arts Center, Graterford Prison, the Jazz Institute of New Jersey and several local and out-of-state colleges. Leon has been a presenter with Musicopia’s roster since 2002, and leads the Pos-Jordan Jazz Ensemble. The ensemble conducts A Jazz Journey for Youth assembly program, Fundamentals of Jazz residency, and jazz and percussion workshop sessions. Leon is currently the founder and leader of the Renaissance Orchestra based in Philadelphia and can be found weekly hosting the open mic each Tuesday at SOUTH nightclub on north Broad St. in Philly.

 

Dave Posmontier has been playing keyboard since the age of seven and has played professionally for the past 40 years. In 1980, Dave and his brother Rich formed the Posmontier Brothers Quintet, performing extensively at concerts, clubs, radio and television appearances in the Philadelphia area and producing an album, "PBQ'" of Dave's original music in 1985.

 

Dave has performed and recorded with many jazz artists including Christian McBride, James Moody, Chris Potter, Duane Eubanks, Mickey Roker, Bobbie Durham, John Blake, John Swana, Mike Richmond, Bootsie Barnes, Tony Williams (sax), Bob Howell, Chico Huff, Larry McKenna, Steve Giordano, Grover Washington Jr., David "Fathead" Newman, and Johnny Hartman.   

 

He also plays traditional and innovative klezmer music with a band called, “Klingon Klezmer.” They have performed in a number of major concert halls throughout Germany and have released two CDs. Dave also enjoys playing traditional jazz and is part of bassist Ed Wise’s New Orleans Jazz Band, playing concerts along the East Coast.   

 

In 2007, in celebration of its 100th birthday, the renowned Settlement Music School honored 100 alumni who have made a difference in the world of music. Dave and his brother Rich were both chosen to receive this honor.


Currently, Dave is playing, composing, arranging, teaching, and participating in educational jazz concerts, workshops and clinics in schools throughout the area. Dave can also be heard on several CD’s of Philadelphia area jazz artists. He has recently released two albums "Posterity" (2010) featuring his original compositions and arrangements, and a live acoustic trio CD, "Deep Pockets".

Joined Musicopia: 2008