Written by Ruby K, cross-posted from JewSchool: Alternative Views and Culture:
As a part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival . . . . I trudged over to Busboys and Poets for the performance. Wasn’t even sure I was gonna spit cuz of the long day and the rough several I’ve been having. But the talent Sarah Beller assembled from the community to bless the mic was as diverse as it was talented. If this event is an indication of the quality of the rest of the schedule, get out to these shows.
I arrived to a packed house (almost wasn’t allowed in it was so full!) and Jon Braman spitting crazy rhymes over a UKELELE! Yes, y’all read that right. The DC Guerilla Poetry Insurgency rolled deep, with Jessica Philie, Mo Alem, Hawah Kasat, Shahid Buttar and Kristen Arant all bringing some serious fire. Particularly dug Mo’s “Flip Side of a Coin”, Hawah’s In-A-Me, and Shahid dropping science with Bagdad Blues with Kristen putting the heartbeat into it with some SERIOUS drumming. Aref Dajani’s gutsy mini-set had him busting out opera, a classic Mahmoud Darwish poem, and his own beautifully crafted response to the Shma. Eric Seader did some old peace favorites, but snuck a tune of his own titled F.W. in the middle which really had the crowd going. Anna Mwalagho brought some great words, Yori translated his Hebrew poems on the spot for us, Jewish acapella group Makela brought music and David Ben Reuven brought his musings. And of course, some of my favorite dc folks closed out the show with a rousing singing of Salaam/Shalom.
I was moved, so I wrote a new piece during the performance (think it was Mo’s piece that lit the fire) and performed it there.