Oh What A Night

While it is now several days later, I can still feel how the words cascaded over my being; swept me up in a torrent of phrases and thoughts; exposed me to the power of imagery and creativity through literary genres, empowered me to ponder my place in sentences, paragraphs, stanzas, commas, and more.

Oh What A Night.

As the music, the Blues, inspired me to conjure up the raw beauty of life rich in experiences, nuances, emotions, expressions, and self-discovery. I skipped through half and quarter notes, rode the beat, tapped my feet.

Oh What A Night

Of musical history and its impact as the words carried the image and sound catapulted the words to levels of understanding and feeling my mind expand with knowledge of musical legends.

Of red dresses, powerful women, horseflies and a bluesman just trying to get to work.  Of dragons and fable, of subtle words riding gracefully atop the fun and perils of childhood.  Of Harlem and gentle phrases evolving and weaving through Morcant’s dream.

Oh What A Night as audience members socialized, engaged the presenters, toasted each other, conversed, had fun, shimmied to the music.  And gave meaningful applause to each reader and the musicians, and capped the evening with a rousing appreciative standing ovation.   

Oh What A Night of raising funds, and meeting old and new friends; of enabling aaduna to continue to move forward with public events to showcase poets, writers, and artists and provide honoraria and keep the technical apparatus and publishing platform viable in the face of rapidly changing current technology.  And this spirit enriches the volunteer efforts of editors and administrators who toil to put out a quality literary and visual arts journal with no compensation.       

Oh What A Night of words from Howard Nelson, Cyd Charisse Fulton, Austin C. Morgan, Rachael Ikins, Doug Curry, and Jackie Warren-Moore.  Of music from Stevie Wolf (vocals and guitar,) Jimmy Lacey (bass guitar,) Jimmy G and Bernie Williford (keys.)

Oh What A Night of coordination and service from Lisa A. Brennan, Carrie O’Grady, Joe Liccion, Eileen McHugh, Kirsten Wise, and Christina Calarco-Lukins.  We appreciate our aaduna board members, Walt Aikman, Sheila Applegate, Billye Chabot, Eli Hernandez for their support and presence at the event and we give thanks to aaduna board members, David Bergan and Ellen Blalock for their support as well. 

Lisa also a Board member photographed the event to document what a night can be! Enjoy the pictures and video clips of the evening following this message.  

And the audience.  I personally thank you for your support, encouragement and willingness to grasp words and music, hug the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance and continue to walk on this path of discovery with us.  aaduna is YOU and YOU are aaduna.  Thank you for “What A Night.”

- bill berry, jr.

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At 6:30PM, Stevie Wolf & Company played lively Blues Music as event guests arrived at Theater Mack, in Auburn, NY.  (Have a listen below or visit:  https://youtu.be/9TfpUd5DnH0 )

This event was SOLD OUT and at full capacity again this year!!!!!

After raining all day long, by 5PM the skies cleared to a balmy, beautiful evening for aaduna's spring 2017 fundraiser!!!

In Spirit of the Harlem Renaissance ~ We captured the BLUES through words and music. Oh WHAT A NIGHT!

This evening’s program was dedicated to aaduna spring 2017 anniversary contributor, Jerry Vilhotti who’s beloved wife of 60 years, Dorothy C. Vilhotti, “Dotty” passed away one year ago. (5/25/2016) Listen to bill berry's dedication right here:


In 2015, Howard Nelson mesmerized the sold out aaduna fundraiser audience with a poem that paid homage to Soul Brother # 1, James Brown. This year, Nelson rocked the aaduna 2017 fundraising event with his poetry combined with carefully selected music that left the audience cheering for more!

Howard has read at every aaduna fundraiser, a distinction he shares with Cyd Charisse Fulton who also graced the stage at Theater Mack on Thursday, May 25th along with Rachael Ikins, Doug Curry, Jackie Warren-Moore, and Austin C. Morgan.

Enjoy a video clip of some of Howard's music selections from the evening. HE NAILED IT YET AGAIN !!!!!!!!!


She captivated the audience at the historic Seward House Museum where she read her works for the first time in Auburn, NY. (October 2011)

She became Auburn’s adopted poet when she crafted original poems inspired by the legacy of Harriet Tubman after visiting her gravesite, and then, a year later, she delivered those verses at Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church on the afternoon of the 100th anniversary of Tubman’s death. (3/10/2013)

She created the poem “Freedom Fruit” in honor of the Tubman centennial for the students of Genesee Elementary School and their project, “Apple Trees for Harriet Tubman.” And read this poem at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

She has the distinction of being a featured reader at every sold out aaduna fundraiser.

Cyd Charisse Fulton came back to her adopted city on May 25th re-appearing at Theater Mack for aaduna’s 2017 fundraiser, “In Spirit of the Harlem Renaissance…Celebrating the Blues through Words and Music.”

ENJOY a video snippet of Cyd's work from the evening: https://youtu.be/DeWntFWqWyo

From Indiana to New York, Jasper to Auburn. From a digital presence to a real-life moment. Austin C. Morgan is an aaduna contributor who penned two captivating stories for the journal, and currently serves as a contributing editor. With that bit of information, we understand the “magic” of any online entity is that relationships are formed with people who you may never actually meet but professional partnerships and friendships still flourish. And then one day, everything is aligned and the digital becomes the reality.

On Thursday, May 25 at Theater Mack, as part of aaduna’s spring 2017 fundraiser, Austin Morgan delivered!

Enjoy this video snippet of Austin's reading taken from his work, "Morcant's Dream."  https://youtu.be/icmgLPaNIPE

Doug Curry is a poet who weaves words to create tantalizing magic and engaging themes. More importantly, his Blues immersed poems are thunderous and hit the mark with each stanza. Doug Curry is a BLUES man. He rocked. He did not disappoint us at aaduna's fundraiser on the night of May 25, 2017!

Enjoy a video clip of Doug presenting his poem - Horsefly  https://youtu.be/bSoohv7d6r8

Jackie Warren-Moore is an inspirational poet, writer, teacher, director, social activist and all around consummate creative individual who can easily expand the consciousness of those who hear her wax eloquently in words. Words that articulate the human experience in ways that are easily understandable.

Jackie "WOWed" the crowd at the aaduna spring 2017 fundraiser.

Listen to Jackie present one of her pieces right here: https://youtu.be/tk6tn1YDRfI

An award winning poet and artist, Rachael Z. Ikins read an excerpt from her 2016 book, "Totems, Tales from the Edge of the Woods." Ikins has published 6 chapbooks and her artwork has appeared in one-woman and group exhibits throughout the region. aaduna is pleased and honored that she participated as a featured writer in its May 25 fundraiser.

Enjoy this video clip excerpts of Totems:  https://youtu.be/mOkWDBChJQQ

(Left to Right)  Rachael Ikins, Austin Morgan, Cyd Charisse Fulton, Jackie Warren-Moore, Doug Curry, Howard Nelson, bill berry, Jr.

Oh WHAT A NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.

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  1. The best night on the planet!!!

    1. With you! Thank you Cyd for yet another magical evening in Auburn


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