Let’s meet the people who make this show happen!
Jaz Sufi is a poet, a Bay Area native, and the slammaster of the Berkeley Slam. At 18, she became the slammaster of the Legendary Santa Cruz Indie Slam and the youngest slammaster of a PSI-certified venue in the country. Later that year, she assistant coached her team to place 8th in the nation at the 2011 National Poetry Slam. She competed on the city of Stockton’s Pierced Ear Poets team in 2012 and 2013, as well as being voted audience’s choice both years at inkSlam, and represented San Francisco at the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She was also a featured poet at the 2011 USF Creative Justice Art Show, and will be published in the upcoming Hurt to Hope Anthology. Sometimes Jaz is sad in her poems, and that’s fine, but sometimes she’s not, and that’s fine, too.
Dre Johnson was born and raised in East Oakland, Ca. While organizing in high school for social and economic justice (winners of“Youth Activism Award” from the California Teacher’s Association Peace and Justice Caucus 2004 and 2007) with Youth Together started hosting and performing at events. He found the stage at Tourettes Without Regrets when he was 14 and started competing in poetry slams. In 2008 he made San Francisco National Slam team ranking in the top #20. In 2009 he made team Life Sentence of Fairfield, Ca where they took 5th in the Nation in Team Piece Finals. In October of 2009 He earned a spotlight with team mate Patrick better known as Jackhammer Serenade on final stage of The Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) . While competing at a poetry slam in Berkeley, Ca in 2008 he was approached by Kelleth Chin international recording producer. 3 months after their 1st meeting their hip-hop/blues/rock band The High Decibels slung shot to the top 3 on the CMJ Hip-Hop charts. Soon after signed a licensing deal with Riptide Music. He continues to produce music and has recently released a CD with a collective of local bay area artists he put together called Color Me Black. Dre teaches writing and violence workshops around the Bay Area from elementary age to College age.
Patrick Ohslund is an internationally touring poet and the Executive Director of the spoken word and film making educational non-profit Digital Storytellers. Last Summer his duet poetry group, Jackhammer Serenade took first place at the poetry slam at the Desert Rocks music festival and performed a 30 min opening set for The Wailers. Last winter he was the featured artist at the Guatemala City Poetry Slam, all in all in pretty good year. Prior to that he has toured across the east coast, mountain states and Southern California featuring and spotlighting at such venues as The Nuyorican poets cafe NYC, Mercury poetry cafe, Denver Co. and Da Poetry Lounge Hollywood Ca. When trying to not get lost in foreign places he leads weekly writing workshops in Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco. Most recently he did a 32 show in 42 day tour with the spoken word troupe, I Love Haters! Currently he is conducting international research for a Masters Thesis on the educational impact of spoken word poetry. He was raised by an artist and a spy, has lived in various experimental living communities and does everything he can not to lose his keys on the daily.
Jason Bayani is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology, Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology: Learn Then Burn, and other publications. As a member of 7 National Poetry Slam teams, he’s been National Poetry Slam finalist and represented Oakland at the International World Poetry Slam. He is also one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze, and has been an organizer for the Asian and Pacific Islander Poetry and Spoken Word Summit. His first book, “Amulet” was published in 2013 through Write Bloody Press and has garnered acclaim in literary magazines such as Zyzzyva and Glint.
Wonder Dave, Web Czar
Wonder Dave is a writer and performer from Minneapolis MN. He’s toured the country performing at poetry venues, schools, cabarets, science fiction conventions, burlesque shows and bowling alleys. He was the recipient of the Jerome Foundation’s Verve grant for spoken word artists in 2007. In 2010 Dave, as part of the Minneapolis Slam Team, appeared on the Group Piece Finals stage at the National Poetry Slam. In 2011 he was part of the top 20 semi-finalist Berkeley California slam team. Past acting credits include “The Awesome 80’s Prom” at Hennepin Stages, “Verbatim Verboten” directed by Michael Martin and “The Sweetest Swing in Baseball” at The Mendocino Theatre Company. Dave’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in the Legendary, Orange Room Review, Breadcrumb Scabs, Pedestal, Shit Creek Review and Assaracus Magazine. He is the curator of That’s What She Said! an all women’s Variety Show. Dave can regularly be seen as the Inhibition Elf at Tourettes without Regrets. Follow his exploits on twitter @TeamWonderDave and tumblr.
Three Blind Mice, House Band