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“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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Collage Review

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 members of the Cavani Quartet in collaboration with poet Mwatabu Okantah since 1994, have inspired audiences to deepen their understanding and appreciation of both music and the spoken word while representing living history from the 18th through the 21st century. This unique fusion of chamber music and poetry creates a new and larger experience, and serves to reach all audiences through mind and heart. 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 has been featured at the American Music Festival Creative Writing Workshop in North Carolina, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, West Virginia University, The Chamber Music America National Conference in New York, Occidental Concert Series in San Francisco, Kent State University Martin Luther King Celebration 2021. 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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