The Jazzcat

Kamau Daaood Performance July 9th at the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum

by on Jun.30, 2017, under Events, News

On Sunday, July 9th at 2 p.m., The Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, located at 4130 Overland Avenue in Culver City, will present another of the late Mimi Melnick’s Double M Jazz Salons. The much-anticipated concert will feature poet, mentor, and community activist Kamau Daáood. He’ll headline A Band of Griots in an afternoon of poetic storytelling woven into the fabric sonic landscapes. Teodross Avery, saxophone; Kamau Kenyatta, piano and saxophone; Trevor Ware, bass; and drummer Dexter Story, will join Kamau in this gracious offering. Daáood began his creative career in the late sixties. He was deeply moved by the spiritual groundings of John Coltrane and Archie Shepp. Their compositions wove an intricate tapestry for Kamau’s pieces that eloquently spoke of social protest, liberation, culture, family, folklore, race, redemption and the human condition. Kamau addressed these recurring themes in Leimert Park, a CD released by MAMA Records in 1997.

In 1968, Kamau joined the Watts Writer’s Workshop. As an emerging artist, Daáood garnered the respect of his peers, including Ojenke, Curtis Lyle and Quincy Troupe. Another pivotal point in Kamau’s development occurred when he was sought by the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra at the request of Horace Tapscott, a prolific pianist, composer and visionary. The Ark performed at schools, colleges, parks, prisons, community centers, funerals, churches and libraries — – wherever its seeds could be nurtured.

Today, Kamau continues to impart wisdom throughout the village and beyond. Partnering with legendary drummer Billy Higgins in 1989, Kamau co-founded the World Stage, a modest, grass-roots venue in Leimert Park. Children, youth, students, elders, writers, musicians and emerging artists, still gather there to learn, listen, share and attend workshops, facilitated by seasoned professionals.

Life is a Saxophone, a film that features Kamau, was produced by S. Pearl Sharp, in 1984. Over two decades later, The Language of Saxophones, a volume of selected poems, was published by City Lights in 2005. That same year, Kamau was featured in a compelling documentary, Leimert Park: The Story of a Village in South Central L.A., produced and directed by Jeannette Lindsay. Daáood also appeared in the PBS documentary Race is the Place by Paradigm Productions. In 2012, poet Kamau Daáood served as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Bordeaux, in France. There, Le Castor Astral published a bi-lingual translation of Kamau’s work, Notes D’un Griot De Los Angeles, 2012.

Influenced by Amiri Baraka and fellow scribes from the tribe, Daáood firmly believes that there is an inherent connection between Jazz and spoken word. He reveals, “I can hear the music in it.”


Sunday, July 9th at 2 p.m

Kamau Daaood

The Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum

4130 Overland Avenue

Doors open at 12:30 p.m. At 1:00 p.m., Kamau will briefly reflect on his purposeful journey during an informal discussion with jazz historian, Jeffrey Winston. An extended set will follow at 2:00 p.m.

The Double M Jazz Salon will continue its unique program series at the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum in Culver City. In 1996, Jazz Baroness Mimi Melnick launched her first salon at her Encino home on Strawberry Drive. Mimi loved jazz.

She organized the intimate salons to support L.A.'s jazz community. Producer Steve Isoardi notes, “We are now celebrating the 22 nd year of Mimi’s unique series!” We are very proud and extremely honored to carry the torch ” said Executive Director Lloyd Clayton. The MCLM, collects, preserves, exhibits and celebrates, the vast history and cultural heritage of Americans of African descent. Seating is limited. Salon tickets are $20.00 and may be purchased online at


or call, (310) 202-1647.

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