Monday, April 25, 2016

Aaron Jafferis is Coming to the Neighborhood!

When acclaimed hip-hop poet and playwright Aaron Jafferis visits NMS on May 5,
anything is possible. That's because Aaron's repertoire is so wide-ranging, from his free-form poetry to his musicals, which have been produced around the world. Aaron will be discussing the philosophy behind what he does - plus, he'll be performing! 

The lecture is the third in the NMS Spotlight Series; the last event on March 31 - 
featuring our own Jesse Hameen II describing his personal journey as a jazz musician -
was standing room only with over 75 people in attendance!
                                                                           Photo from
May 5 will follow a similar format, with NMS Program Director Noah Bloom providing 
an introduction to Aaron's impressive body of work, including discussing what he and 
NMS are doing to create a forum for New Haven youth to express their feelings about cultural issues through the arts. 

Aaron's artistic accomplishments (just to name a few) include appearing at major venues 
such as the Kennedy Center and National Poetry Slam Championships, and completing 
multiple artist's residencies. He teaches poetry and hip-hop theatre in schools, health 
centers, community organizations, and detention centers in New Haven - his hometown - 
including serving as the writer-in-residence at Yale-New Haven Hospital's Child Life 
Department, where he works with children in the hospital on creating poetry about their 

"We chose Aaron for this series because Neighborhood is a place where we believe 
deeply in giving youth a platform to develop their own voice through the arts," says Noah. "When we think about people in this community who are doing this with great success, Aaron is top of the mind."
But you don't have to wait until May to get a sneak preview of the great work Aaron's 
doing in the community. Don't miss THE WORD - Citywide Youth Poetry Collective's 
annual high school poetry jam on April 29 at 6 p.m. - this year held at Neighborhood 
Music School, with a back-up band made up of NMS jazz students accompanying some 
of the performers! The event, showcasing original work of student poets from local high schools, follows week long residencies at these schools by Aaron and other artists and performers. Learn more about the poetry jam - which is free and open to the public!

And to learn more about what Aaron does - and to watch mesmerizing videos of him 
performing - visit his website -
So be sure to mark your calendars for these two fabulous events: April 29 - THE WORD poetry jam at 6 p.m. and Aaron's May 5 Spotlight Series talk, which will take place in the NMS Recital Hall at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public, and features complimentary coffee from the Happiness Lab and donuts from Tony's Square Donuts. The Spotlight Series talk series is sponsored by Yale New Hospital.