After a sublimely impactful engagement in 2016, the arts and humanities program at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts – located at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival – seeks a return residency of Soul Inscribed in 2017.
The New York based four-piece band mixes Hip Hop poetics and soulful vocals, propelled by a blend of jazz, funk and dub instrumentals. In a second one-week residency, the E3 (Engage. Experience. Explore) school-to-community project at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will again partner with Soul Inscribed for workshops and performances in several rural upstate New York Schools capped by a free public performance at the Bethel Woods 400-seat indoor venue.
Featuring MC/producer Baba Israel , vocalist Duv, saxophonist/flutist Sean Nowell and multi-instrumentalist/producer Yako 440 on guitar and bass, Soul Inscribed flows between crafted songs and improvisation grounded in the traditions of Jazz and Hip Hop. All four members are also human beatboxers who weave vocal percussion into their shows.
For their Bethel Woods Center for the Arts residency, the ensemble will again add Hip Hop dancer Ken Fury. Soul Inscribed members are also arts educators and have brought their music to young audiences across the world.
The program E3 gives participants the opportunity to engage, experience, and explore the arts through exposure to high quality performing groups. E3 seeks to inspire future artists, expose participants to innovative approaches to art, and encourage self-expression.
In 2016, the Soul Inscribed one-week E3 residency and culminating performance reached 642 students and adults in a program that involved 6 schools spread across 30 miles.
During the residency, Soul Inscribed plus Ken Fury reside on the grounds of Bethel Woods – the place where Woodstock happened. Like other artists before them, the band members reported on their transformative and creative experience, not the least of which had to do with composing and playing their music in the woodland Conservatory – no neighbors to disturb!
The group not only composed music while in residency, group leader Baba Israel composed and then delivered his poem/lyrics in the public performance, excerpted here:
the sixties a time of turmoil, dreams, and the magic of possibility
The Vietnam war
A vision rising like a guitar solo, amplified, distorted and filled with beauty
Rippling rolling, draft resisters, magic missions
Signs in the street,
1234 we dont want your war
I started to feel something awake, to know that in these times is when we can step up
I have been talking to strangers a lot more, I have been hugging random people in the streets
So let’s honor the spirit of of gathering of community
Of generosity of possibility … “
About Bethel Woods
Located 90 miles from New York City in Bethel, NY, at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, Bethel Woods educates individuals about the issues and lessons of the decade while inspiring a new generation to contribute positively to the world around them.