the January winter of 2003, Harlem jewelry artist and historian,
Dorothy Makeeta White, invited my mother and I to perform at one
of her salon presentations in her beautiful art-laden Harlem brownstone.
The salon attendees and participants were broad-ranged in age --
an eclectic mix of performance artists reciting poetry or one-person
sketches, and perhaps a jazz duo or trio. Mother had a vision of
us talking a little bit about ourselves, our lives, tragedy and
triumph, in a skit-like format. She’d play piano and I would
sing. We’d perform some jazz covers, gospel and other original
material I’d written. That’s how the concept of “In
Full Circle” was born.
Our performance was warmly and enthusiastically received and embraced
and questioned. So many people wanted to know when we’d be
doing it again and if it was something they could see on the weekend
on a regular basis because they wanted to invite their friends.
We were totally blown away by the response so Mother talked about
it with her good friend, Cobi Nobuko Narita who unexpectedly and
quite generously offered us an opportunity to use her performance
space, Cobi’s Place on 45th Street in Manhattan, to launch
an expanded piece. Mother and I worked on it over the Spring and
Summer of 2003. In Full Circle evolved into “Ashes From My
Wings” which we presented on November 8, 2003 in celebration
of our birthdays on the 8th and the 10th. We went on to have 2 more
sold out shows at Cobi’s Place.
We are currently seeking a producer and venue for “Wings.”