April 12, 2015 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm


The Department of English presents a tribute concert by the band, “Heroes Are Gang Leaders,” in honor of Amiri Baraka. After Baraka’s death in January 2014, Thomas Sayers Ellis, who serves at the Spring 2015 Sterling Allen Brown Professor of English and the Humanities, and his frequent collaborator James Brandon Lewis formed "Heroes Are Gang Leaders," a group of poets and musicians, who were inspired by Baraka and his short story of the same name. They recorded "The Amiri Baraka Sessions" over three six-hour sessions, which is expected to be released later this year.  Ellis calls it “a signifying groove head-nod to Mr. Baraka,” influenced by such artists as Thelonious Monk, Funkadelic, Samuel Barber, Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, and A Tribe Called Quest to name a few. The band for the Amiri Baraka Sessions features Ellis (Head Hegro-in-Charge), Lewis on saxophone, Luke Stewart on bass, Janice Lowe on piano and vocals, Catalina Gonzalez on guitar and vocals, Ryan Frazier on trumpet, Warren "Trae" Crudup on drums, Margaret Morris (vocals), and Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie and Randall Horton (poets). On Sunday, April 12, 2015, at 3 p.m. in the Ira Aldridge Theatre, “Heroes” will perform selections from their upcomign CD.  The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.  Reserve up to four (4) tickets at www.coas.howard.edu/theatrearts. Click “Buy Tickets,” and then select “Heroes Are Gang Leaders.” For more information, call 202-806-6730 or email Dana A. Williams at d_williams@howard.edu.  Please note, the CD will not be available for purchase at this event.