Spoken Word, World, Latin, & Reggae


When: Sun., Aug. 2, 7 p.m. 2009

It's no surprise that Avotcja cites Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez on her web bio because all of them come from the same school of feminist and civil rights-oriented spoken word. Though her style harks back to an older tradition, Avotcja has such electrifying presence that her cult following keeps growing. Avotcja usually performs with the jazz ensemble Modupue, which features a heterogenous mix of instruments: Indian flutes, talking drums, congas, vibes, and cajones, in addition to all the instruments you'd find in a standard jazz combo. Avotcja rounds off the group with an aggressive, staccato form of poetry in both English and Spanish. More phonetic than figurative, she obviously pays attention to the shape, texture, and intonation of words. Avotcja's concept is fascinating; her execution is captivating. Her feté happensSun. (Aug. 2), 7 p.m. at Berkeley's La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave.). $10-$15 LaPena.org

Rachel Swan

Price: $10-$15

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