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“The players dove into the music wholeheartedly— I heard soulful renditions of Dvořák and gospel songs, sizzling Bartók, and swanky blues. Voice, language, rhythm, gesture, melody, phrase, sentence, articulation—these bumped into each other, conversed with each other, challenged and loved each other in a ravishing tapestry of audible human expression. By simply bringing together these connections in such an evocative way, “Collage” taught me to introspect about how I experience and direct emotions, leading me toward possibilities for empathy and human connection in ways I couldn’t have envisioned.”


COLLAGE: Music and Poetry

The Cavani String Quartet and Mwatabu Okantah, Poet


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Mwatabu Okantah Bio

COLLAGE: Music and Poetry is a multi discipline performance experience which takes the audience on an electrifying journey through spoken poetry woven in and around music.

The Cavani Quartet has performed with poet Mwatabu Okantah at universities, schools, and on cultural arts series throughout the United States. COLLAGE has received acclaim as the intensely powerful convergence of two art forms which take their roots from both African and European cultures. Originally conceived to introduce young audiences to the mediums of chamber music and poetry, the program was recently featured at the American Music Festival Creative Writing Workshop in Wilmington North Carolina, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, West Virginia University and also at The Chamber Music America National Conference in New York. A recent Cavani / Okantah performance received this accolade from a high school teacher: “ The Cavani Quartet with poet Mwatabu Okantah, a modern day griot, will move the entire room with its beautiful and sorrowful mélange of cultures and history. Audience members will leave wanting to be better human beings.” The program is particularly meaningful and exciting for people from all walks of life who like to think ‘outside the box’ and see limitless possibilities for self-expression through music and the spoken word.

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