Poet & Biographer to Headline Concert

American Book Award-winning poet and biographer Quincy Troupe will headline a concert bringing together the power of poetry and jazz and featuring some of Detroit’s most acclaimed musicians on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the General Motors Theater of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

“The Jazz of Poetry: Quincy Troupe and Friends,” is the museum’s commemoration of National Poetry Month. Troupe’s performance will feature selections from his 2018 book “Ghost Voices,” a long-form poem in 13 parts that explores the spiritual and cultural dynamics of the Middle Passage and its aftermath. Troupe will also perform his rhythmic poem “Avalanche,” which evokes the call and response feeling of black preaching.

Troupe said there are many linkages between jazz and poetry.

“It’s not only about improvisation, rhythm, meter and keeping the time, poetry and jazz are about painting colors,” Troupe said. “A writer paints colors with words in the air. Great musicians evoke colors in your brain.”

Troupe won American Book Awards or his 1979 poetry collection “Snake-Back Solos: Selected Poems: 1969-1977” and his 1989 memoir of jazz musician Miles Davis “Miles: The Autobiography.” In 1991, he received the Peabody Award for co-producing and writing the radio show “The Miles Davis Radio Project.” Troupe’s many honors include fellowships from the National Foundation for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts and a stint as the poet laureate of the state of California.

Joining Troupe will be renowned saxophonist James Carter, drummer Will Calhoun, bassist Ralphe Armstrong and trumpeter Rayse Biggs.

"Quincy Troupe is a force of nature and is one of the world's greatest poets and writers of prose," stated Charles Ezra Ferrell, Vice President of Public Programs and Community Engagement at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. "We are thrilled to close out our celebration of National Poetry Month with Quincy's magical performance of his brilliant new epic poem, Ghost Voices, backed by world-class musicians: renowned saxophonist James Carter, drummer Will Calhoun(formerly of Living Color), bassist Ralphe Armstrong and trumpeter Rayse Biggs. Ghost Voices is focused on the spiritual journey of the African holocaust - the Transatlantic Slave Trade - and is aptly aligned with our annual theme, 1619-2019: Resisting Enslavement, Fighting Mass Incarceration, Our Struggle for Human Rights."

The event is free and open to the public with limited seating. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7 PM.

Media Contact

Edward Foxworth III, Director of External Affairs, 313-494-5863, efoxworth@thewright.org