Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14, 2012

Has it already been nearly a month since we were at Icehouse Mpls w/ Oyin Dance Collective and  Jayanthi Kyle / Wes Burdine (Gospel Machine)!

We heated the place up & had a fabulous time!
Photographer Meredith Westin came through and took some great  show photos for TC Daily Planet. Check them out!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Saturday, Sept 15 - Hip Hop Harambee

This New Moon Saturday, I perform at HipHop Harambee - a new West Bank Minneapolis HipHop Block Party.  Zach & I sat down w/ the Mpls Harambee (a Swahili word  / saying  that means "lets pull together!") crew to talk about Science and Spirit.  Talib Kweli is the out of town celebrity headliner, but don't sleep on the resident artists on the hard work & talented line up which includes Sims, Big Zach of Kanser, Manny Phesto, Audio Perm, Sean Anonymous, Grittee Committee, Haphduzn, Mike the Martyr, Duenday, Meta and Up Rock. 2 - 10 pm outside the Nomad World Pub!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

September is Full and Satisfying!

September, my birth month is full and satisfying!

I started September at a retreat for SPEAC - A community organizing program of Hope Community - connecting with and ourselves for the joys and challenges of organizing.

Thursday - Sunday Sept 6 - 9 is Moreechika: Seasons of Mirage by Ananya Dance Theater at the Southern Theater. I have been blessed to work on the score, composed by Greg Schutte.   The show draws much of its inspiration from stories of "oil and the environmental, cultural and human costs of oil extraction around the world, particularly on women in global communities of color." Choreographed by Ananya Chatterjea and Co-Directed by Laurie Carlos, the company has spun oil stories from around the world into powerful examinations of the costs of our addiction to oil.

Saturday, September, 15th  I get to share a show with Talib Kweli & a host of illustrious resident musicians at the Hip Hop Harambee!  Check out their lineup which includes, Lizzo and the Larva Ink, Big Zach, Grittee Committee, Sean Anonymous, Mike the Martyr, Haphduzn, Audio Perm, Manny Phesto, Up Rock & Hosted by Alicia Steele.  Medium Zach & I will do a short set. Gonna be a sweet block party!

Sept 21st  - 23rd is the Black Environmental Thought II Conference at the University of Minnesota. The conference invites "scholars, activists, farmers, artists, gardeners, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts across the African diaspora to engage in translocal and transnational dialogues about environmental justice.

That Saturday,  the 22nd I will be hosting a creative community dialogue at the BETII conference. 
Later that evening I am blessed to read/sing a few new pieces at Equilibrium: Patricia Smith and Anis Mojgani. It's the 10th anniversary of EQ - and I am honored to be a 
part of the celebration!   

That same Saturday nite, Sept 22nd - 11pm - 2am - Late Nite at Icehouse Mplswe are hosting a full night of Soul Sista music (& connecting to the BETII Conference).  The full show includes Gospel Machine - w/ Jayanthi Kyle and Wes Burdine  and Oyin Dance Collective.  11pm $6 21+  
2528 Nicollet Avenue South.  This is my first full show since the release - we'll put some new juice into the machine!   COME WISH ME AN EARLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  More to come.

And at the end the month _ I am blessed to spend time in a residency w/ Yeyo Arts Collective - a talented, persistent collective of women in St. Louis. Spirit, Sense and Everyday Abundance.

I feel truly abundant - with a life full of simple, satisfying gifts!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What do you mean w/ that smile?

We put out Smile to celebrate the release of Science and Spirit!

Directed and produced by Medium Zach, and shot by Dave Wilson.  
Come Smile with me on July 21st in Minneapolis at the Release Party!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Science & Spirit Available July 17th / Twin Cities Album Release Party Saturday, July 21st

After more than a decade as a mainstay of the Twin Cities music and performance scene, Mankwe is releasing a new album, Science and Spirit.  

We are celebrating the release of Science and Spirit, on Saturday, July 21st from 6 pm - 11 pm at Juxtaposition Arts in North Minneapolis. This community celebration will bring together different parts of Mankwe’s musical family.

  • 6:30
  • Give-Get Sistet (harmonic singing - w/ acapella highlights from the album)
  • 7pm
  • Cypher / Jam session hosted by Tish Jones
  • 8:30
  • Science and Spirit set w/ guest appearances by Sean “Twinkie Jiggles” McPherson, Jon Davis, Valandra!, Sarah Greer, Libby Turner-Opanga  
    and Chicago musicians, Jovia Armstrong and Tomeka Reid.
  • 10pm
Move the Movement Jam w/ musicians, dancers singers & poets hosted by Kenna Cottman

Saturday, July 21st @ Jxta (Juxtaposition Arts)

1108 W. Broadway Avenue N | Mpls
6pm - 11pm21+ | $7 Youth | $5 Under 10 | Free  
The release party is an All-Ages, Alcohol-free event.
You can pre-purchase tickets here at (.50/ticket online fee)
or in cash at the door.

Support shout-outs go to the Jerome Foundation, Ndosi Enterprises, Big Quarters and Team SciSpi

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Science and Spirit Pt. 3

I know you were waiting for it! ;0)   Here's another on the spot musical offering from Medium Zach and me.  Science and Spirit Pt. 3.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mankwe & Medium Zach - Science and Spirit in the Studio Pt. 2 !

A new Post from the Valued Input Music Lab & Studio - Watch me & Zach mix up some new sounds ... live!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mankwe - Science and Spirit - Pt. 1

From the Valued Input underground Laboratory/Sanctuary...Medium Zach & I mixing new science & spirit live  - from notebooks & inspiration.  We'll post a new one each week - tune in!  Peace!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Science & Spirit comes out July 17th - First single "Henrietta Goes Electric"

  We're releasing my debut LP, Science and Spirit,  on July 17th.  I've been sharing some of the music with new family in Milwaukee, Chicago, Ft. Wayne, Detroit and the Twin Cities. (more posts to come). I produced the LP with my friend/partner Medium Zach of Big Quarters. Party info to come... Today we're releasing the first single "Henrietta Goes Electric" - You can stream / download some spirit off of sound cloud here.  Enjoy!  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

 I have been on a composition/writing retreat for the last few days - here until the end of the month to write for a a group of musicians I'll bring together. A meditation that I received suggested that I meditate on silence and non-judgement....- so this will be my practice in the first week  - exploring silence, listening rather than talking.  

Deciding not to talk for three days has meant that only immediate & basic things can be easily communicated  - to other humans..And as i am here with 7 other artists - each working on their own projects- dinner has been the only social time that we regularly speak together. At first, people ascribed different reasons for my silence.....  was I mute? could I read lips? was I saving my voice / had I lost it?  was I gonna be done tomorrow?  As I am new to every person here, and they new to me, it seems that some are curious - in suspense as to what my voice must be like, some are eager to ask me questions that are hard to answer w/ out language, and others seem to just have put the whole thing on hold (not engaging much) until I choose to speak.

It has been a time when I have become aware of, and begun to empty all the chatter in my head.  It has been a way for me to transition from one reality to another - focusing on listening and accepting reality as it is right now.  It has uncovered my own triggers (being the only Afrikan person in a group of  Europeans (though one of our hosts is of Phillipine descent)) and has allowed me to listen to the stories triggered in my own brain (high school, bad grant review panel memories, reaction against areas of extreme privilege) but not be held captive by them - or feel the need to act out.  I have been able to listen to and be with those around me instead of having to BE or PROVE or SAY anything.

It has also helped  me to become aware of and to listen for the music that is asking to be brought into the world. 

A walk in the prairie led me to a bridge over a running stream yesterday morning.  Sitting on the edge of the bridge, feet dangling over the water i listened, silently, to the water, and the earth around it.  And the song came into my head, asking to be born.  The earth and my openness and patience made room for the music to be to the challenge of manifestation......from the stream, through me to the musicians....and to your ears.....

Friday, February 10, 2012

world of music

So people like to ask me about who my vocal inspirations or teachers are.........and who my first voice teacher was.

Sometime I say my mother, Barbara, who would sing me awake in the morning, and sometimes sing me to sleep at nite.

Sometimes I give credit to the one of a kind singer/justice worker  Miriam Makeba - here w/ her band in 1966 in Paris - Introducing the musicians & singing one of my favorites Amampondo.

But was mother nature.

The songs of the birds, the frogs, the wind, the cry of the eagle, the meow of the cat, the rustling of grass, or wheat or leaves, the wailing of a child, a mourning, the sudden laughter bursting from surprised lips, our mumbling, our heartbeats, the crashing of a thunderstorm, the howling of the winter wind.  Some of the most beautiful singing in the world is inspired by and sung in harmony with the music of nature.

Like that of the Baka People of Cameroon / Congo - singing & water drumming

...there is a world of music happening around you - if you tune your ears to it!

Alafia & blessings to you & your mother!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I had the pleasure of attending and performing as part of Three Rivers Institute for Afrikan Art and Culture's first Acoustic SpokenWord Cafe in Ft. Wayne, Indiana earlier this Month.  A dedicated crew hosts teaches drum and dancing, hosts creative events, and welcomes the entire community in Ft. Wayne into the breadth of creativity in the Afrikan Diaspora. 

The event was war, welcoming, and packed!  I look forward to connecting with them again & to supporting their good works! Thanks to Emmanuel Ortiz for connecting me to this wonderful resource for the community!

Acoustic Spoken Word Cafe You Tube Channel