New Jazz Age First Friday with Vanessa Johnson and Bernie Williford

[Left to Right] Lisa Brennan, Manager/Visual Arts Editor/aaduna, Inc., Courtney Rae Kasper, Visitor Experience Manager/NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center, bill berry jr., CEO/Publisher/aaduna, Inc., Tamara J. Madison, writer/poet, Vanessa Johnson, Jazz Age Performer, with Bernie Williford, Keyboard

Auburn's First Friday events are always a special time for residents and visitors who are exploring the downtown scene. The city-wide initiative enables folks to drop in and out of a variety of different activities.  

At the recently opened New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center, Syracuse-based poet/writer/performance artist Vanessa Johnson and prolific keyboardist Berny Williford kicked-off aaduna's "Jazz Age" theme which is an outgrowth of the previous 4 years long "spirit" of the Harlem Renaissance. While the unexpected winter weather affected local and visitors involvement, the spirit and
spontaneity of Vanessa's poetic and lyrical exploration and Berny's wizardry with his original compositions made the two-set performance a joyous affair especially within the context of the ERHC. Vanessa's sense of realistic and poignant American history, centuries-old women's struggles for equal rights and the overall progressive societal protest movements involving African Americans wrapped her interpretative words in a fusion of history and creativity.  

Johnson was superb. Williford was masterful. 

And the NYS ERHC has an interest in re-presenting these folks in an outside platform next spring/summer when the weather is attuned to the movements of people who are affected by its nuances.

Enjoy Video Clips of the Jazz Age First Friday event:

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