Ghosts Appearing through the Sound: Kosi’s Tribute to Abbey Lincoln
My name is Kosi. I am one of many representatives of the Post Abbey Lincoln Era of jazz.
In celebrating Abbey Lincoln, we celebrate jazz, the art of the singer-songwriter, activism, outspoken black womanhood, and the continuum/continuation of history. Abbey said often in her interviews “I came from Billie Holiday… Billie came from Bessie Smith…” My goal for this weekend-long theatrical performance is to invoke the music and the magic of one of our most recent ancestors (“ghosts appearing through the sound”): Kosi came from Abbey. With this presentation of art, music, poetry, and drama (which parenthetically but not coincidentally will be held in the oldest woman-and-transgender-owned theater in New York City, the country, and the world), I celebrate what comes next by honoring what came before.
Also, I don’t want those of you who are not likely to be in New York City on that particular weekend to feel left out, and so I’m creating a ten-track album of my unique renditions of various songs recorded by Abbey Lincoln over her five-decade career. This will be my third album project. (Take a peek at my first two if you haven’t yet: “Pictures of Us,” “One More Cup of Coffee.” Go ahead. I’ll wait here.)
Both the performance and the album will feature some of the finest young musicians in New York City. Both the performance and the album are sure to blow you away.
If you’re thinking that these are separately monumental tasks, and that together they’re simply insane, you’re absolutely right. This is why I need your help, dear friends. Props, costumes, theater space, studio time, engineering services… these all cost money. Not to mention, in the words of Abbey Lincoln herself, “you’ve got to pay the band.” No amount of help from you is too small. Every little bit is appreciated. Every dollar brings me a little bit closer to bringing you the absolute best performance and sealing our place, yours and mine, dear friend, in jazz history.
Billie came from Bessie, Abbey came from Billie, Kosi came from Abbey, and you could help me get there.
Let’s do it!