The second annual Word*Rock* & Sword: A Festival Exploration Of Women's Lives, a week-long celebration of women produced by Toshi Reagon, rocked Le Poisson Rouge last Saturday night with over a dozen talented women poets, vocalists, and musicians, from Meshell Ndegeocello to Staceyann Chin. Reagon knows how to produce a fabulous show; she allowed each rocker to shine onstage while keeping a smooth pace in between acts.
On their Facebook site, Reagon describes the impetus behind WRS as a "response to this backlash [against women], we are inspired to respond creatively, showing our lives, our work, our activism and our talent.... We will come together to share our gifts and focus our intentions for the 21 Century.” With community in mind, any of these artists collaborated onstage; Toshi sang a song from Meshell's upcoming album, and Nona Hendrix called on a bevvy of vocalists to assist her in two songs, one of them directed at Rush Limbaugh.
Moon, who attended the inaugural WRS, invited me to join her at this year's show—and I can easily say that I'm now a new devotee...to all these artists. Fingers-crossed WRS numero tres is already in the works!
Below are some photos from the show, courtesy of Desdemona Burgin.
Toshi and Alsarah
...and Joan as Police Woman
Marcelle Davies Lashley, backs up Nona Hendrix
Nona Hendrix, and Imani Uzuri singing backup