Booker T. Dozier Recreation Complex, 2025 Middlebelt Rd. Inkster, MI 48141
Saturday, September 17, 2011
12:00pm to 4:30pm
The Josie Odum Morris Literacy Project (JOMLP) is excited to bring you interviews with authors who are reshaping the literary world and our local community. Each week we will profile and interview one new author and artist who will perform at our upcoming Literacy Day Extravaganza.
Kris Johnsonis an Artistic Director for Progression, Inc. and producer of The Learning Express. Kris Johnson is a trumpeter, composer, arranger, and educator from Detroit, MI. He holds a Master's (2007) and Bachelor's (2005) degree in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University, and is a former trumpeter, arranger, and soloist of the Count Basie Orchestra (2008 - 2010). Kris Johnson plays CarolBrass® instruments. Drawing from jazz, classical, hip-hop, and neo-soul, Kris's writing creates diverse textures that represent his unique musical identity. His composition My Apologies was the first place recipient of the 8th Annual Great American Song Contest (instrumental category). Kris has also composed a jazz oratorio Jim Crow's Tears which is influenced by the history of minstrelsy and blackface. In July of 2008, Kris premiered Un Voyage dans les Rêves, a piece commissioned by the Arts League of Michigan in Detroit.
Othellois an Artistic Director for Progression, Inc. and a recording artist that has been rocking live and making a name for himself since 1998. Having toured the US, Europe, and Japan, Othello has been on the summer-long Warped Tour, shared stages with De La Soul , People Under the Stairs, Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Galactic, Chali Tuna, One BeLo, Ying Yang Twins and countless other local and national acts. He has sold over 20,000 records around the world, and has released a variety of projects as a solo musician, with his bands The Blacknotes and The Hypnotics, and as 1/3rd of the Northwest based Hip Hop super crew, Lightheaded alongside partners Braille and Ohmega Watts. With a commanding stage presence, honest lyrics and a seamless delivery, Othello is an MC with a heap of soul and a career that will stand the test of time.
JOMLP: Why does "reading rock" for you?
We at the Learning Express have had some success in our loves, we believe, because we were all made to be strong and passionate readers. Books unlock a world of imagination and creativity. Our motto is "If you can read you can do anything!"
JOMLP: What inspired you to use your musical talent to reach and educate young people?
We were fortunate to have strong mentors growing up so we have always had the desire to be mentors ourselves and since we are artists what better way to empower the next generation than through music and rap!
See Them Live!
Learning Express will perform at the 2nd Annual Literacy Day Extravaganza to be held on Saturday, September 17, 2011. Get on board and join us! Admission is free and open to the public.