Aja Monet

Aja Monet is a Caribbean American poet, performer, and educator. Her poems are wise, lyrical, and courageous. Aja Monet was awarded the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title and has been internationally recognized for combining her spellbound voice and vivid poetic imagery on stage. In 2018, Aja Monet’s first full collection of poetry, My Mother Was A Freedom Fighter, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. She read the title poem of her collection at the national Women’s March on Washington DC in 2017 to commemorate women of the Diaspora. Aja has independently published several chapbooks including Inner-City Chants & Cyborg Cyphers (2014) and The Black Unicorn Sings (2010). In 2012, she collaborated with poet/musician Saul Williams on the book Chorus: A literary Mixtape, an anthem of a new generation of poets.

Aja Monet currently lives in Little Haiti, Miami where she is co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio, a community collective dedicated to music, art, culture, and community organizing. Inspired by poet June Jordan’s revolutionary blueprint, Aja facilitates “Voices: Poetry for the People,” a poetry workshop for grassroots community organizers and leaders. The workshop created the first annual Maroon Poetry Festival in Liberty City, Miami to honor elder cultural workers for their commitment to radical truth-telling. She was a featured speaker at TEDWomen 2018 for her meaningful work in South Florida with Smoke Signals Studio.

Even on the coldest (a.k.a. 50-degree) Oakland day, Sarah Kirnon’s soul-warming Caribbean cuisine at (Michelin 2019) Miss Ollie’s will transport you to the islands. Barbados-born Chef/owner Sarah Kirnon named her restaurant after her grandmother, and it now serves up many of her childhood favorites, including plump, sweet grilled shrimp in a jerk marinade and some of the best fried chicken in town—with a flaky golden-brown crust. Housed in the historic Swan's Market building in Old Oakland, Miss Ollie's has a particularly loyal crowd of lunchtime regulars, who sip tart ginger limeade as they liberally dose their food with the excellent Scotch bonnet hot sauce. With all the colorful art on the walls as well as a welcoming staff, it's a rustic slice of Caribbean soul. - MICHELIN guide inspectors

SCRAAATCH is the sound and performance art duo of MHYSA and lawd knows. Originally from Maryland and based in Philadelphia, SCRAAATCH has performed and exhibited sound and media experiments at venues including MoMA PS1, The Kitchen, MoCADA and the New Museum in NY, Various Small Fires in LA and Little Berlin and the ICA in Philadelphia. Using the chaotic and energetic hybrid DJ/live PA style they’ve come to be known for, they’ve played sets for Boiler Room, MoMA PS1 Sunday Sessions and GHE20G0TH1K among many others. They’ve shared the stage with musical likeminds including Elysia Crampton, NGUZUNGUZU and SHYB0I. SCRAAATCH’s history in the growing URL/IRL electronic music scene of the last few years includes throwing wildly experimental and inclusive nights as part of ATM and contributing their sounds and socially critical voices to earliest outings of NON Worldwide in North America. In addition to their monthly show on NTS Radio, the future for them includes projects on Halcyon Veil and other labels.

Encrypted & Vulnerable is the second installment of a trilogy that follows a coltan miner-turned-hacker living in Burundi using the screen name, “MartyLoserKing” who becomes an international sensation à la Banksy, but winds up being labeled a terrorist by the powers that be. The new album features contributions from TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, King Britt, Orko Eloheim, Thavius Beck, CX KiDTRONiK, and others, like-minded thinkers and musicians. The album will also serve as the score to Williams’s upcoming debut musical, Neptune Frost, executive produced by Lin Manuel Miranda.

"Encrypted & Vulnerable is simultaneously a personal and intimately optimistic takedown on struggle, defiance, awareness, aloneness, and a takedown of heteronormative capitalistic patriarchal authoritarian politics in topics ranging from love, technology, religion, war, to migration."

”I wanted to make an album with invisible beats — I always want people to dance — but this time I wanted the drums to be DIY. I figured the drums in your head could be crazier and more complex than anything I could program. So I started working on sounds that would instigate that. You feel the rhythm and you're already dancing in anticipation of the drums... that was one goal of the album."

Date & Time: September 28 • 7:00PM
Location: Red Bay Coffee Roasters

The complete performance experience is included with each ticket, while the dinner package is limited.