Rhythm & Rhymes: A Music & Poetry Series
April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate by attending related events all month long.
Local chamber metal band Valentine Wolfe performs original music featuring the poetry of Emily Dickinson and other gothic style writings from Edgar Allan Poe and Tennyson.
Valentine Wolfe is a gothic metal duo blending the ethereal soprano vocals of Sarah Black and the thunderous roar of Braxton Ballew's electric upright bass to evoke the imaginary soundscape of Edgar Allan Poe.
In addition to their gothic metal stylings, their eclectic musical interests have afforded them multiple opportunities to broaden their musical horizons in recent years, having been contracted to lend their unique sound to theatre productions; composing and performing the scores for Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The Distracted Globe), the voice of The Angel in the Warehouse Theater's production of Angels in America, silent films such as Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and short horror films.
Drawing inspiration from all things macabre, including literature, poetry, and history, they follow the back alleys of streets lit with yellowed gas lamps, casting shadows long against the walls; where Jack the Ripper stalked his victims, where Dracula walked with Mina. Together they've provided the drama and the grandeur of the gothic at conventions all up and down the East Coast.
In 2017, their release The Elegiac Repose, 9 death positive songs about mourning, loss, and grief, was profiled on Death and the Maiden (deadmaidens.com) and supported by a grant from Greenville, SC’s Metropolitan Arts Council. In 2018, they celebrated the 200th anniversary of the immortal classic Frankenstein with their album The Haunting of Mary Shelley, creating a multimedia presentation that debuted at Greenville County Library System's Hughes Main Library. Their most recent work, Winternight Whisperings, celebrates the dark and ghostly side of the holiday season, and was also supported by Greenville's Metropolitan Arts Council.
The Greenville Jazz Collective performs live music with poet, Martha Mims. Experience the interplay between the music of poetry and the language of music.
The Greenville Jazz Collective is a non-profit organization started in 2012 by highly respected members of the jazz community in Greenville, SC. Through education outreach in the community and regular performance in an environment that is best suited for listening, the mission of the GJC is to create a greater awareness and appreciation for jazz music and history in the Upstate for generations to come.
Along with the Big Band, Contemporary Quintet, and Education Outreach Program, we are also working towards starting various small group ensembles for high school students, free events for the general public, and providing the Greater Greenville community with robust and innovative jazz events and offerings.
Martha Mims is an author and recording artist. She currently does storytelling and poetry readings in the region of Upstate South Carolina. Martha was the creator of Listen & Be Heard, a performance series that began in NYC at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and migrated with her to the bay area of California where it became a performance cafe and award winning weekly arts newspaper. Martha’s recording of the poem Living It (recorded under her maiden name Martha Cinader) has been remixed and released on compilations internationally. She has a full length CD also called Living It and is the author of two books of short stories and poetry. Her fairy tale series The Magic Path is available as eBooks at Amazon.com. Her poems and stories are published in numerous magazines and anthologies.
Dr. John Akers performs the music beloved by poet Carl Sandburg on the Spanish guitar and recites his guitar-inspired writings.
Dr. John Akers’ niche in the guitar world is that of interpreter of Carl Sandburg’s love of the Spanish classical guitar. He has performed twice as the featured artist for the Sandburg Days Festival in Galesburg, IL, and three times at the annual Memorial Day Folk Festival at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, NC—the only classical guitarist to ever perform at the event. Other venues in recent years include the Philadelphia Free Library, Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, SC, the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute, the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of South Carolina’s School of Music. He began his guitar studies as a sophomore at Middlebury College and completed the PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at UCLA. He has two short books on Sandburg and his guitar-inspired writings; he recently recorded a CD of international Christmas music with soprano Emily Conrad.