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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533

Black Jazz Photography by Kamau Amen-Ra

Berkeley, California (Thursday, May 20, 2010) - "The Music Is The Magic" is being shown in the lobby gallery at 1947 Center Street in Berkeley, June 2, 2010 through August 27, 2010. This exhibition show can be viewed during regular office hours, is open to the public, and it is free and wheelchair accessible. 

Kamau Amen-Ra has been following Black musicians with his camera for over 40 years. His focus has been the genre known as jazz, immortalizing the master instrumentalists and vocalists that have shaped the music since the passing of tenor great John Coltrane in 1967 (although he has snapped some veteran legends such as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis). Amen-Ra has been around for as long as the early Be-bop years, and he even played trumpet and messed around with some strings (violin) in his younger days. You might catch him blowing a one-note horn at the Ashby Flea Market on Sundays. But his real passion became the captured image, preserving forever the energy and soul of the African American experience expressed through music.

For each of his photos, Amen-Ra has a clear memory and a short story, an extension of  the "African oral tradition," he will tell you. If you're lucky, you will catch him in the lobby of 1947 Center Street. But you can find a strong sample of his work there from June 2nd through August 27th, open during regular business hours.

For more information, contact:

amenra@hotmail.com Kamau Amen-Ra
mmerker@CityofBerkeley.info Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator
gmorozumi@yahoo.com Curator

Sponsored by the Civic Arts Program of the City of Berkeley in cooperation with the Civic Arts Commission.


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