First Wave Spoken Word Showcase: Indigenous Traditions, Multilingual Voices
First Wave poets put their unique poetic spin on the global languages of hip hop and will be responded to by renowned local and internationally acclaimed artists, community intellectuals and UW faculty members.
First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble
The First Wave Hip Hop Theatre Ensemble (FWTE) is a groundbreaking collective of spoken word poets, emcees, dancers, singers, actors, and activists from across the United States. FWTE represents the First Wave Hip Hop & Urban Arts Learning Community at UW-Madison, the world's first and only full tuition scholarship for Hip Hop and urbans arts. They create works that unpack the personal narrative as a route to academic engagement, artistic productivity and community engagement.
Performance Poet J. Ivy first discovered his affinity for the written art during a routine high school assignment. This Chicago native headed to Illinois State University, where he soon became known on campus as “The Poet,” which later led him to performing throughout Chicago and then across the country and around the world.
Frank Waln is an award winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist, producer, and performer from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. A recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Waln attended Columbia College Chicago where he received a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics. Waln’s awards include three Native American Music Awards, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2014 Native American 40 Under 40, and the 2014 Chicago Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement.
One of the shining stars of the Cuban underground music movement is the native poetess and rapper, Telmary Diaz. Without placing herself completely in the hip-hop tradition, Diaz has been able to use the genre as a means of expressing her ideas and communicating with young people in Cuba. She has collaborated with the likes of Isaac Delgado, Jane Bunnet, Descemer Bueno, Kelvis Ochoa, the Afro-Cuban All Stars, Los Van Van, and the Buena Vista Social Club.
Baba Israel was raised in New York by parents who were core members of the Living Theatre. He developed as a young artist exploring spoken word, Hip Hop, and experimental performance. He next lived and worked in Australia working on community theatre projects and festivals. During his time in Australia he received a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to produce and perform the Hip Hop Theatre production “The Bridge” which was performed in non-traditional venues and toured to juvenile detention centers.