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"Wow!! I kind of can’t believe it!!
The first birthday concert was at the Community Café, part of the Bethesda Coop near Washington DC where I lived. I was inspired by the way my mom created The Sweet Honey In The Rock Anniversary Concerts. They were so cool. A homecoming. A centering of a collaborative circle between the group, their community, and the conditions of time. Like New Year’s Day the concerts started their own circle through the seasons. I wanted to do that cycle, so I used my birthday. That 1st B Day concert was the only time I sang with my mom and dad together. I invited different local artist to perform their own work. The next few years I mostly did them at the Iconic DC Space and from there I moved to NYC. One of my favorite b day concerts was at CBGB’s Gallery when I turned 30. OMG!! Packed! We drank everything. We sang so loud and strong. The late great independent producer Virginia Giordano produced the concerts for a couple of years with the idea of expanding the audience. The largest audience was at Irving Plaza one year. I preferred the smaller venues.
I was looking for a new place and called a couple of venues. Bill Bragin, who was the director at Joe’s Pub called me back right away and that was it. Home!! I am so grateful that Shanta Thake (Who expanded the concerts to 5 nights) and current Joe's Pub Director Alex Knowlton continued to support the intention of these concerts. A celebration of where we are in the conditions of the here and now. If we can create a sonic vibration and feel the congregation spirit of our togetherness we can keep on.
We are doing 7 concerts this year. Each One will have it’s own vibe. Saturday will be a special fundraiser for Wise Reagon Arts, the company I created to produce the opera Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower and the community initiatives the Parable Path, Songs of the Living all Volunteer Community Choir, and the work in progress theatrical projects You are Having Too Much Fun- So We’re Gonna Have to Kill You, EcoTone, and Working On A Building."
Wed-Fri, Jan 24-26 40th Annual Birthday Concerts featuring Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely
Sat, Jan 27
Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower In Concert featuring Toshi Reagon & friends - Fundraiser for Wise Reagon Arts
Sun, Jan 28 The Sacred Music Show featuring The Bernice Johnson Reagon songbook
Tues, Jan 30 The Toshi Reagon Songbook featuring Meshell Ndegeocello, Helga Davis, Joan as Policewoman, Nona Hendryx, Morley, Catherine Russell, Tariq Al-Sabir & more
Wed, Jan 31 Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely Unplugged with Chris Bruce, Michelle Dorrance, Carla Duren, Ganessa James, Juliette Jones, Shirazette Tinnin, Carla Duren & Josette Newsam
Featured Artists include:
And a lot of special guests…
Toshi Reagon is a multi-talented and versatile singer, composer, musician, curator, and producer with a profound ear for sonic Americana. Her expansive career includes residences at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House, and multiple festivals and venues nationally and internationally. A highly collaborative artist, she has worked with many musicians, choreographers, film and theater makers, including Meshell Ndegeocello, Alsarah, Lizz Wright, Urban Bush Women, Dorrance Dance, Ananya Chatterjea, Nona Hendryx, Carl Hancock Rux, Rhiannon Giddens, Robert Wilson, her band BIGLovely and many more.
Toshi co-composed music for two Peabody Award-winning films. She is a 2015 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, a 2018 United States Artist Fellow, an Andrew W. Melon Creative Futures Fellow Carolina Performing Arts. She is currently a Met Museum Civic Practice Fellow and a Bowdoin College Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow. In 2021, Toshi received the APAP Award for Merit in the Performing Arts and was a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Music.
In 2022 Toshi received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Emerson College. In 2011 she founded the Community based festival Word*Rock*& Sword. In 2018 she created the production company Wise Reagon Arts which produces the opera Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower Created by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon w/ Music and Lyrics by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon. As of 2023 the opera has been presented on 4 continents and has been seen by over 40,000 audience members.
Ongoing projects include Songs of the Living Community Choir, Sacred Revolution (A Song Cycle), The Bernice Johnson Reagon Songbook. LongWaterSong- Marine Mammal Meditations w/ Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Octavia’s Parables Podcast w/ adrienne maree brown and Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Toshi continues produce, present and collaborate with artist and practitioners of all kinds. She continues to tour as a solo artist and with her band Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely. Her music can be found on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
Jan 24-26: $30
Jan 27: $35-$150
Jan 28: $35
Jan 30 & 31: $30
(ticket prices are exclusive of fees)
6PM Jan 24 & 28
9PM Jan 25-27, 30 & 31
For last-minute tickets, please visit our Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street. Web sales and phone sales end when doors open, and tickets may be available for in-person, walk-up sale right before the show begins.