June 26, 2007


Dave Brubeck was born in Concord, California, on December 6, 1920. He was the third son of Elizabeth Ivey Brubeck, a music teacher and pianist, and Howard "Pete" Brubeck, a cattle rancher. Dave went to the College of the Pacific, in Stockton, California, as a pre-med student with the aim of becoming a veterinarian, but soon changed his major to music. Upon graduation in 1942, he entered the armed services where he served under Patton in the European Theater of Operations. Upon his discharge in 1946, Dave returned from Europe to study composition with the famous French composer, Darius Milhaud. With encouragement from Milhaud, Brubeck began composing and performing with an octet, which included Paul Desmond, Cal Tjader and Bill Smith. The Dave Brubeck Trio, with Cal Tjader and Ron Crotty, won both the Down Beat and Metronome awards for Best New Instrumental Group.

Following a near fatal swimming accident which incapacitated him for several months, Brubeck organized a quartet with his old friend, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. They were an inseparable team from 1951 to 1968, selling millions of records and winning dozens of jazz polls. After the original quartet disbanded, Dave Brubeck toured and recorded with Gerry Mulligan, Alan Dawson and Jack Six; and for two years led an all-Brubeck Quartet with his sons, Darius, Dan and Chris. The current version of the Dave Brubeck Quartet includes Randy Jones, drums; Jack Six, string bass; and Bill Smith, an original member of the 1947 Dave Brubeck Octet, on clarinet.

Over his long career, Dave Brubeck has received many honors. He was inducted into the first Playboy Jazz Hall of Fame, along with Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. He was one of the first musicians to have a star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University and holds six honorary doctorate degrees. In 1987, he received the Connecticut Arts Award, and was honored in 1988 at the American Eagle Awards presented by the National Music Council. In 1989, he was inducted into the Pantheon of the Arts at University of the Pacific, and was cited by the French Government for his contribution to the arts. In April of 1990, Fairfield University honored him with the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award. In 1992, he was honored by the Connecticut Bar Association and Simon's Rock College for distinguished service. He also received the BMI Jazz Pioneer Award and was commended by that organization for his "long and outstanding contributions to the world of jazz." And in 1994 Mr. Brubeck was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Clinton.

Dave Brubeck first appeared on the Telarc label as a guest artist on Big Band Hit Parade. Fortunately for Telarc, Mr. Brubeck brought his own group to the label and recorded Late Night Brubeck live at the Blue Note in 1993. Mr. Brubeck continues to record for Telarc bringing outstanding recordings to his fans - old and new.

June 25, 2007


Yuma Bellomee (pronounced like Bellamy), who goes by the name Yewmanyeti was born August 23, 1981 in Bronx, NY. He spent most of his childhood living in the south side of Mt. Vernon, NY, where he currently resides, and between schools in Mt. Vernon and the Bronx. At an early age, he was exposed to West African culture through his mother, Brenda, who studied African dance, and his father, Zeleka, a musician who played an instrumental role in the Afro-Caribbean style band called Spirit Ensemble and specialized in playing the mbira (m-BEER-ah), cora (KOR-ah), dozengoni ('doze-n-GO-nee), and various percussion instruments. Yuma displayed his interest in many genres of music and culture at an early age and began studying the West African drum, djembe (pronounced JEM-bay) at the age of 2 years old under master drummer, Kyende Ohuru (kie-END-day oh-HOO-rue).

Unable to continue his lessons there due to time, money, and distance circumstances, he continued drumming for the cultural community of Mt. Vernon and learning more along the way. Also during his childhood, Yuma briefly took piano lessons, which he came out of with the ability to play using his right hand. He would tinker around with the piano and drums for a while, eventually learning the alto and tenor saxophone which he played from middle school through high school in band. At the age of 15, during his stay in Jacksonville, Florida is where he was persuaded by his brother, Rahjae, and who he refers to as his cousins, Joseph and John Scott, to embark on writing rap verses. Influenced by the creativity of Hip Hop artists such as Busta Rhymes, Wu-Tang Clan, Big Pun, and others, he concentrated on first honing his rhyming, then his lyrical skill.

He wrote his first poem for an English assignment in his senior year of high school, and continued writing Hip Hop music and composing a few melodies for it. In the year 2000, he created the Yewmanyeti moniker that he's gone by ever since. After finding a few message boards online, including Vocalized Ink, he was encouraged to write more poetry and eventually record his written poetry pieces for the first time. Influenced by his Hip Hop style, he continues to write poetry occasionally as a hobby and form of release. He is also currently working on a Hip Hop CD entitled Fulphilological Progressions, which he is hoping to complete by the spring of 2007.

June 19, 2007


Kamal Imani was born Terrence Karlton Oats on September 17th, 1966 in Harlem NY . At the age of 3 after his parents divorced his mother moved to the Bronx , NY with his 2 younger sisters. He was recruited by the Junior Black Spades gang at the age of 7 and started witnessing situations that he didn’t desire or expect. He later moved to Teaneck NJ at the age of 9 with the assistance of his Grandmother Mrs. Mary C. Webb AKA “Sugarpie” and his Grandfather Henry C. Webb AKA “Pop” whom many would mistaken for Gladys Knight and Redd Foxx.
Watching his mother struggle working overtime for Ma Bell/AT&T and being a latch key kid, Kamal developed a sense of responsibility and protectiveness. He also developed a early sense of entrepreneurship and hustle. After school he would help ladies take their packages home for a few dollars.
One of his favorite quotes is “Everybody wants me to be what they want me to be, I’m not happy when I try to fake it” by Lionel Ritchie of the Commodores from the song “Easy like Sunday Morning”. This is due to Kamal’s many pressured influences. At 11 years old his grandmother worked for the NAACP and when asked by her and his aunt what he wanted to be when he grew up he said “either in communications, broadcasting or an astronomer” His grandmother said “you should want to be the first black president” which bothered him, but he remained determined to pursue communications and also developed a love for poetry and hip hop (his Grandmother gave him African American poetry anthologies to read).
His stepfather Shaka Zulu was and is a Harlem based Garveyite and was very strong with his instilling of his Pan African ideology. Kamal’s father was and is a Jehovah’s Witness and constantly attempted to pull him into that religion. His mother and grandmothers sides of the family went to both Baptist and Methodist churchs.

At the age of 16 Kamal’s 2 female cousins from the Bronx gave him the Autobiography of Malcolm X. His best friends taught him about the 5% Nation of Islam teachings and Kamal started hearing Minister Farrakhan on WWRL AM radio in NYC. This started him reading hundreds of books on spirituality, religion and African history. This is at a time when hip hop was new and on the rise and where Kamal use to write poems to please the young girls, now he was putting it to music.
He was invited to perform at high schools and house parties with his various hip hop crews. He later started promoting talent showcases at various Masonic lodges and making a good deal of money for a teenager. He learned a lot from those days and host several open mics to this day. He is also a radio host of the “Revolutionary Art Show” on Vocalized Ink Radio.

During hip hop’s Golden or Conscious age, Kamal was spitting fiery and conscious lyrics with a message. When he noticed the industry moving towards gangster music and he noticed that Russell Simmons was bringing a new wave of poetry back, he decided to let his message be heard through the poetry venue. In just 4 years he has emerged as a well known, loved and respected poet.

Kamal has been happily married for 12 years to his Bajan (From Barbados) wife and has a 2 year old son. His strong sense of responsibility for his family has caused him to approach the entertainment business with professionalism. He refuses to be viewed as anything but a top notch professional and rising star. He is a graduate of Teaneck High School , Bergen Community College , and Computer Career Training Center and is currently going for his Bachelors online via New York Institute of Technology with the goal of teaching in the inner city. Kamal is doing all of this while holding down a fulltime job at the Penguin Book Publishing Group where he is a Title Release Coordinator.

One of the open mics that Kamal host is at the Technology Resource/Khepera Center in Englewood NJ which houses the home offices and bases for infamous African historians Drs. Leonard and Rosalind Jeffries, Rev. Herbert and Dawn Daughtry, B.W.A.R.E (Black Women Against Racism Empowered) in which he is an advisor and lecturer for, African Medicine Women, Circle of Colors, African Drummers and Martial Arts Circle, The NOI Study Group and Mary K Cosmetics. He constantly participates with fundraising, marketing and networking efforts in his interactions with all of these groups.
He has poems such as “Lynch the N Word” which is primarily aimed at the youth and is being used by classes in the Paterson NJ school system as an educational tool. Also “You a Armchair Revolutionary” which encourages all of us to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. He helps keep the sister’s heads up with his dedication
“Ms. Melanin."

Kamal also has a new wedding maxi single which can be found at http://www.myspace.com/kamalthepoet as well as his CD “The Mic is Calling Me” which can be found at http://www.myspace.com/kamalsupreme

June 17, 2007


Lee Morgan was born July 10, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Lee was a jazz prodigy, first picking up the trumpet on about the age of thirteeen or so, after developing an interest in the vibraphone. On his 13th or 14th birthday, Morgan was given his first trumpet, his sister Ernestine (his elder by ten years) and mother having brought it together. He joined the Dizzy Gillespie big band at 18, and remained a member for eighteen months, until Gillespie was forced to disband in 1958. Beginning in 1956, he began recording as a leader, mainly for the Blue Note label. Eventually, he recorded 25 albums for the company. Morgan's principal influence as a player was Clifford Brown, having had some lessons from Brown before his premature death.

He was also a featured sideman on several early Hank Mobley records, as well as John Coltrane's Blue Train. On the latter LP, he even played a bent-up horn (like the style that Gillespie made famous), and recorded one of the all-time great improvised trumpet solos on the title track.

Joining Art Blakey's's Jazz Messengers in 1958 further developed his talent as a soloist and songwriter. He toured with Blakey for a few years, and was featured on Moanin, which is probably Blakey's best known recording. According to the biography by Tom Pechard, it was Blakey who started Morgan on his addiction to heroin, which was to blight most of his career. When Benny Golson left the Jazz Messengers, Morgan persuaded Blakey to hire Wayne Shorter, a young tenor saxophonist, to fill the chair. This classic version of the Jazz Messengers, including Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt, would record the classic The Freedom Rider album. The drug problems of Morgan and Timmons led to Blakey sacking them in 1961, and Morgan was largely inactive professionally for about two years, returning to his family in Philadelphia.
Morgan tried to move in to the more advanced areas of the music in the early 1960s. In November 1963 he played on Grachan Moncur III's essentially avant-garde Evolution album (apparently his favorite work), and experimenting on some of his own recordings, such as the title track of Search for the New Land (1964).
But the popularity of his famous album, The Sidewinder, featuring Joe Henderson precluded his career developing in this way.

The title track of that record cracked the pop charts in 1964, and served as the background theme for Chrysler commercials during the World Series. This was done without Morgan's consent and it is thought by Perchard that the intercession of Blue Note's lawyers were enough for the commercial to be withdrawn. The Sidewinder's crossover success in a rapidly changing pop music market caused Blue Note to rush the track's "Boogaloo" sound to stores. This is evidenced in the mid-1960s output of many Blue Note stars, including Morgan, and some of the lesser artists in the stable, releasing albums with modified and rhythmically punchy blues tracks, such as "Yes I Can, No You Can't" on Morgan's own The Gigolo. According to drummer Billy Hart, Morgan said he had recorded "Sidewinder" as filler for the album, and was upset that it had turned into his first hit. In 1964, Morgan rejoined the Jazz Messengers after his successor Freddie Hubbard departed. At this point, the Jazz Messengers had become a sextet, with the addition of Curtis Fuller to the group.

Alongside this commercial success, Morgan continued to record prolifically, producing such works as Search For the New Land which reached the top 20 of the R&B charts. His work became increasingly more modal and free towards the end of the sixties. He had begun to lead his own group, featuring Bennie Maupin as a multi-reedist.

By 1965, Morgan's addiction had returned, and Blakey felt he was unable to use him anymore. Billy Hart says that things deteriorated to the point where Morgan was sleeping on pool tables, and didn't even have a horn, let alone a working band. He borrowed a horn for the recording of Night of the Cookers, in which he sat in with Freddie Hubbard's band at a live gig in New York. The recording captures some of Morgan's weakest playing. Helen Moore, who became his girlfriend and later his common-law wife, helped Morgan clean up his act. He eventually put together a working band and re-established himself. Live at the Lighthouse, recorded over three nights of a two-week stand at Hermosa Beach, California in July, 1970, captures some very strong playing by Morgan and his band. A three-disc box set of the performances has been issued in recent years.

On February 19, 1972 Lee Morgan was shot by Helen Moore following an argument between sets at Slug's, a popular New York City jazz club. According to an interview with drummer Billy Hart. Morgan had gotten into a dispute with a drug dealer, after buying a large amount of cocaine. He called Moore and asked her to bring his gun to him at the club.Moore showed up, and spotted him with another woman (whom Morgan had been planning to leave Moore for) An argument erupted, and Morgan kicked Moore out of the club. When she returned to retrieve something she had forgotten, Morgan got into a scuffle with her, and the gun went off. An ambulance was late in showing up, and Morgan bled to death. His last words to Moore while she was crying to him, were "Get away from me, you dirty bitch." Moore was judged to be insane at the time of the shooting, and spent several months in an asylum, in which she reportedly continued to talk to Morgan as if he was still alive. After her release, she moved down south, and disappeared, according to Hart.

June 16, 2007


Yusef Komunyakaa was born on April 29, 1947 in Bogalusa, Louisiana. He is the eldest of five children. Komunyakaa uses his childhood experiences to inform many of his works: his familial relationships, his maturation in a rural Southern community, and the musical environment afforded by the close proximity of the jazz and blues center of New Orleans provide fundamental themes for several of his volumes.
Military service during young adulthood also proved formative to the budding poet. After graduating from Bogalusa's Central High School in 1965, Komunyakaa enlisted in the United States Army to begin a tour of duty in Vietnam. While there, he started writing, sometime between 1969 and 1970. As a correspondent for and later editor of the military newspaper, The Southern Cross, Komunyakaa mastered a journalistic style that he would use later to write poems about his time in war. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his work with the paper.
After leaving the army in the early 1970s, Komunyakaa enrolled at the University of Colorado, receiving a B.A. in 1975. While at Colorado, he discovered his nascent abilities as a poet in a creative writing workshop. The workshop, notes the author, was the first chance he had to write for himself. Even though he had long been an avid reader of poetry and a lover of literature, his attempts to write creatively--mainly short stories--had been unsuccessful.
Inspired by his newfound love and talent, Komunyakaa went on to earn an M.A. from Colorado State University in 1978, studying with poet Bill Tremblay in the graduate writing program. Meanwhile, he continued to practice his art, self-publishing two limited editions, Dedications and Other Darkhorses (1977) and Lost in the Bonewheel Factory (1979).
He left Colorado State to earn an M.F.A. from the University of California at Irvine in 1980. That same year, he joined the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a closely knit community of artists geared toward encouraging the self-conscious, individualistic writer. Being in residence at the work center, the author felt, gave him an opportunity to develop his own voice. There he gained a deeper understanding of himself as a writer and as a human being, an acute awareness that he strives to express in his poetry. Komunyakaa says this of a poet’s quest--a search fulfilled for him by his unique workshop experience: "a sort of unearthing has to take place; sometimes one has to remove layers of facades and superficialities. The writer has to get down to the guts of the thing and rediscover the basic timbre of his or her existence."
Komunyakaa has been very prolific since his time at Irvine, writing nine additional volumes of poetry, co-editing two anthologies, and producing a couple of works of prose. His third collection, Copacetic (1984), is his first commercially published book, featuring some of the earliest poems he wrote. Komunyakaa completed Copacetic in 1981 after returning to Louisiana to reconsider how the music of his home town reflected racial issues of the time. He discovered that jazz music was being used both as a forum in which to express racial iniquity and as a catharsis to heal the wounds which resulted from hatred and bigotry. It is no coincidence, then, that in this volume, Komunyakaa focuses on childhood and folk experiences that are startling and pleasurable, gripping and appealing: he invokes jazz and blues forms, themes, and idioms, as noted by critic Kirkland Jones, to soothe the pain of his community, to create poetry "where everything is alright." In fact, the pieces in the collection are closely tied to the meaning of the word "copacetic," a term originally coined by the African American tap dancer, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, to refer to situations where everything is, as scholar Constance Valis Hill notes, "fine or tip-top." The expression was later adopted by jazz musicians to describe musical pieces that are particularly melodious, smooth, mellow, and entirely pleasing.
Despite its racially-charged content, Copacetic is framed by an overarching theme of contentment. It is as if Komunyakaa is ultimately rendering the hope of a people who, despite a long history of racism, have persevered and ultimately triumphed.
Quickly becoming an accomplished poet, Komunyakaa also took on the role of educator, teaching poetry in the public school system of New Orleans and then creative writing at the University of New Orleans. At the University he met Mandy Sayer, an Australian fiction writer, whom he married in 1985. Also in 1985, he became an associate professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, where he held the Ruth Lily Professorship from 1989 to 1990.
In 1986 the author's fourth volume, I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head, was published. This work is an attempt to coalesce otherwise disparate events, to mesh and extract meaning from what Aimé Césaire terms "all lived experiences." Despite the title's obvious proclamation, the book is not, as the author states, an apology. Rather it is a satirical analysis of the definitions that we often use to identify who we are to others and to ourselves. As a whole, it rejects status, class, and "Uncle Tom-ism." It embraces, instead, ordinary yet mythic images like those of old women, babies, prostitutes, and ghosts. For this volume, Komunyakaa won the San Francisco Poetry Center Award honoring the best book of poetry published in 1986.
Fourteen years after leaving Vietnam, Komunyakaa began recording his war experiences in verse. The two collections that specifically chronicle those experiences, Toys in a Field (1987) and Dien Cai Dau (1988), place him among the most notable of the soldier-poets. The latter volume made the 1988 Young Adults/American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults" list. Several of the poems have been translated into a number of languages, and, in 1989, many were included in W. D. Ehrharts's anthology, Unaccustomed Mercy: Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War.
February in Sydney (1989), the poet's next work, reflects his interest both in jazz composition and in Australian culture, particularly that of the Aborigine people. The Jazz Poetry Anthology, which followed in 1991, features more jazz- and blues-influenced poetry. Komunyakaa co-edited the collection with poet and jazz saxophonist Sascha Feinstein.
In Magic City (1992), the author details his childhood in Louisiana. He brilliantly portrays the imagination of a young child, drawing on such images as a Venus fly-trap plant, a love-torn and abusive father, a neighborhood street prophet, the trials of an immigrant grandfather, and the juvenile rivalry of siblings.
Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (1993) features pieces that further exemplify the author's ability to elevate single images. In addition, some of his best work from earlier volumes is included. For this book Komunyakaa was awarded the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He also received the Kingsley Tufts Award and the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes in 1994.
In 1996, Komunyakaa teamed up with Feinstein again to publish a sequel to their first anthology, The Second Set: The Jazz Poetry Anthology, Volume 2. Komunyakaa’s Thieves of Paradise (1998), which was short listed for the National Book Critics Circle Award, includes poems about his stay in Australia.
Komunyakaa’s latest works of poetry include: Talking Dirty to the Gods (2000), a mixture of classical and modern themes where Greek mythology and deadly sins meet sensuality and jazz musicians; and Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999 (2001), both a collection of some of Komunyakaa’s premier poems from over the span of his twenty-five-year career and the debut of many more new poems.
Komunyakaa’s works of prose include: 1) the co-translation, with Martha Collins, of Nguyen Quang Thieu’s The Insomnia of Fire (1995); and 2) the contribution of essays, ruminations, and inspirations to Blues Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries (2000), an exploration of the development of Komunyakaa’s blues aesthetic.
Critics have compared Komunyakaa to Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Amiri Baraka, and William Carlos Williams. The author has acknowledged that his work has been influenced by these poets as well as by Melvin Tolson, Sterling Brown, Helen Johnson, Margaret Walker, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Komunyakaa boasts numerous prestigious awards and titles, including two Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1981, 1987), the Thomas Forcade Award (1991), the Hanes Poetry Prize (1997), Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (1999), and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998). Komunyakaa's critical acclaim, particularly as a "Southern writer," has garnered him biographical and critical inclusion in such collections as the Norton Anthology of Southern Literature, The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. He is currently Distinguished Senior Poet and Professor in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University.

June 13, 2007


Joshua Redman was born February 1, 1969, in Berkeley, California. By the time of his birth, his father, noted saxophonist Dewey Redman, had moved to New York and was playing with Ornette Coleman. Redman's only contact with his father was hearing his records around the house, and during infrequent visits to town with Coleman, Keith Jarrett, Old and New Dreams, and others. His mother, Renee Shedroff, a dancer and librarian, was the driving force that nurtured his creativity.

Redman's formal music training began when his mother enrolled him in Indonesian and Indian music classes at the Center for World Music. These unique art forms, along with the recordings of Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, and Dewey Redman were his early influences. Redman soon learned to play the recorder, guitar, and piano. He listened to popular music, such as James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire, the Commodores, Parliament-Funkadelic, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles.

At ten years old, Redman settled on the tenor saxophone; he had been exposed to it since birth and felt naturally drawn to the sound. He started with the clarinet and moved on to tenor the following year. The Berkeley Public Schools had an exceptional jazz program, directed by Phil Hardymon. (Graduates include Benny Green, Craig Handy, Peter Apfelbaum, and Rodney Franklin, among others.)

Although he quickly became an accomplished saxophonist, Redman was often more interested in popular music than jazz. Experimenting with guitar and keyboards, he would seldom practice the saxophone. The Berkeley High School jazz band, directed by Charles Hamilton, won several competitions, with Redman usually named the best soloist. His high school jazz quartet started working professionally. Though he still didn't practice, he was listening more and more, rediscovering the music of Rollins, Gordon, and Coltrane, and also absorbing the styles of Charlie Parker, Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Ben Webster, Wayne Shorter, Coleman, and others. Always a serious student, Redman's academic studies took precedence over music. With straight A's throughout high school, he graduated in 1986 number one in his class. He wanted to become a doctor and was accepted early admission to Harvard. Boston suited him well; he could be in a city with a strong music scene and still concentrate on his studies.

While at Harvard, Redman played in the school jazz band, but that was about it for music. His limited playing experiences included a few gigs with Delfeayo Marsalis his senior year; after weeks without practice, Redman would get on a plane and show up for the gig.

However, during summer breaks in Boston, he spent most of his time hanging out with musicians at the Berklee College of Music and participating in jam sessions. He also debuted with his father at the Village Vanguard in summer 1990. His intense listening continued with his influences expanding to other instrumentalists — McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Kelly, Elvin Jones, Ray Brown, and Freddie Hubbard, among others.

Redman graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1991, and was accepted to Yale Law School. He was now on his way to a career in civil rights law or social work, but before jumping in, he took a year off. He wanted to check out the music scene in New York — not as a career move, but as a chance to concentrate on being creative again. In June 1991, he moved to a house with four other musicians in Brooklyn. For the first time in his life, he was practicing regularly, playing jam sessions every day, and taking advantage of the New York jazz scene. He was also playing regularly with his father.

Finally, in late November 1991, he performed at the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. He won the contest and has since performed and/or recorded with Elvin Jones, Charles Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, the Mingus Dynasty and Big Band, Red Rodney, and Paul Motion, among many others. He was also voted Best New Artist in the 1992 Jazz Times reader's poll.

June 12, 2007


Nelson Saha was born in Paterson, NJ. Nelson is a poet, producer, father, performer, preacher. activist dream builder and mentor to some of the most talented artists of our age. Nearly 20 years of experience in the edutainment industry has made the Man known as Maximus Parthas all of these things and more.

His career began in the early 90’s and by 1997 Max had hit the national scene with the rap group FAM. The first Family in Hip Hop history (Max & his children) Within 2 more years Max had established himself in the industry as a manager, producer, performer and marketing wizard of unparalleled ability. With Max as it’s head, the company he founded, “FAM Entertainment” became a local media icon with over 20 artists under that banner. Using his uncanny publicity savvy, Max and the edutainers he managed graced a multitude of magazine covers, newspaper headlines, and national television. All while doing it as a family.

By 2001 Max had done much. From his own radio show to a syndicated TV series. But something was missing and it left the poet unfulfilled. Money was neither the goal nor the answer. Fame was fleeting and finicky at best. None of it held the sense of achievement he sought. Growing up in impoverished Paterson NJ had taught Max many lessons. Primarily that life needs heroes and leaders who have the courage to face conformity head on and make a lasting difference in the quality of our society.

A born leader, it wasn’t long before his poetic peers sought direction from the much accomplished activist and writer. Unlike the present icons of rap, the pioneers of poetry were interested in truth and positive change. Their main goal wasn’t money. (what poet can expect to get rich?) They wanted nothing more than to be heard. These poets represented nearly every state in the union. Getting people heard was something Max excelled in. The combination could become a national phenomenon but Max was reluctant to lead so many when he himself knew the consequences of speaking out. Alone he could continue to fight against issues like poverty, racisms, inequity, corruption and political dictatorship. Yet he was loathe to include those who didn’t realize the price of such pursuits. Eventually, Through trust and friendship, the poets of DPJ convinced Max to lead them into a new era.

Within 4 years Max and the poets of a Prysmatic Dreams did exactly that. Repeating the steps that had made Hip Hop so successful and incorporating the emerging technologies of the internet, these groundbreaking literary pioneers created an ever growing movement that humbly began with their home site “PrysmaticDreams.com” and has now grown to over 500 poets, 14 venues nationwide, a nationally syndicated show and a global audience.

Maximus Parthas may have led the way, but every accomplishment was made as a team. With a multitude of venues, achievements and awards, those pioneers that began by chance at DPJ got what they wanted and more. To be heard. To make a difference in their communities and lives. To allow creative talents unrestricted growth while edutaining the world with art. To reach out and reach back for those who would follow the tenets of A New Word Order. As industry trendsetters, their influence continues to touch the entire genre of spoken word/poetry today.