The Golden Thyme Coffee Café and the Saint Paul Almanac are pleased to announce the “Soul Sounds Open Mic,” hosted by Tish Jones! The “Soul Sounds Open Mic” series is held every Thursday, with a special pre-performance writing workshop on the first Thursday of each month.
March 21st Featured Performer – K.Raydio
Krysta Rayford was born in Evanston, Illinois, and moved to Minneapolis in grade school. Her mother was a singer and guitarist and her father was the son of a blues musician. Rayford graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2010 with a degree in Communication Arts. Shortly thereafter Rayford attended an Erykah Badu/Janelle Monae concert in Chicago, which inspired her to overcome her longtime stage fright and pursue her passion for music.
Rayford released her debut under the name K.Raydio, the Significant (Other) EP on August 30, 2010. Produced entirely by DJ, producer and multimedia artist Man Mantis, the EP includes heavy hip-hop, soul and blues influences, particularly on the opening track “Make It Happen” (featuring Minneapolis’ own Phonetic ONE) and “Catchy Hook” (featuring JDante). The album’s closing track, “My Outro”, is a dedication to Lena Horne and has evolved into K.Raydio’s signature song.
Following favorable Internet buzz, K.Raydio extended the project and released Significant (Other) EP – Part II as an exclusively free online release on March 3, 2011. Collaborating once again with Man Mantis, Part II incorporates more jazz, R&B and experimental elements than its predecessor. The tracks include J Dilla-esque “It’s Alright,” the duet “Prayin’” (produced by and featuring Charlie Kim) and “Protocol”, which The Onion’s A.V. Club-Madison called a “stellar, new break-up song” (3/29/11).
Rayford went on to perform with a number of prominent Midwest hip-hop artists, Big Quarters, Dumate, Cecil Otter of Doomtree, F. Stokes, Maria Isa, and Prof. She has two more collaborative projects and an as-yet-unnamed solo project in the works for early 2012.
The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Golden Thyme Coffee Café at 921 Selby Avenue (corner of North Milton Street) in Saint Paul, MN 55104. All ages are welcome, and there is no cover charge. Every first Thursday, a writing workshop will be held an hour before the open mic begins, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
About Host Tish Jones
Tish Jones, Community Engagement Director for the Saint Paul Almanac, is a spoken word artist, writer, educator, organizer, and activist in the Twin Cities. She has worked as a teaching artist with Pillsbury House Theater, Intermedia Arts, Plymouth Christian Youth Center, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Public Schools (Arts for Academic Achievement), Kulture Klub, and many other arts organizations. She received the 2009 Artist of the Year Award from City Pages and was Female Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Spoken Word Association’s Urban Griots Awards in 2009.
About the Soul Sounds Open Mic
The Soul Sounds Open Mic is a platform for encouraging literacy within the Saint Paul community through leadership, mentoring, and relationship building. Unlike actors and many musicians, writers typically work in isolation, so building and supporting a literary community can be a challenge.
The “open mic” format, together with a featured performer, is designed to foster leadership; encourage connecting opportunities between established, emerging, and amateur writers; and help build, strengthen, and leverage other opportunities for the Saint Paul literary community.
Featured performers are recognized as leaders in the literary arts community and are offered an opportunity to build their own audiences. The “Soul Sounds Open Mic” also provides a space to connect writers who are spoken-word based and writers who are written-word based, within the context of being artists sharing a common literary heritage and practicing their craft in Saint Paul.
The First Thursday workshops before performances will explore specific poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, metaphor, or specific forms of poetry to investigate when developing a piece. Workshop attendees will be encouraged to share the work created in the workshop at the open mic that follows.
The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Golden Thyme Coffee Café at 921 Selby Avenue (corner of North Milton Street) in Saint Paul. All ages are welcome, and there is no cover charge. The First Thursday writing workshop is held an hour before the open mic begins, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.