We believe we are stronger as a united community. We hope to share philosophical and ethical values that affirm human freedom and progress. We stand for dignity, worth, and equal rights of all people; that we must care for and respect the world that is our shared home. This evening we express these values with the words we sing and the breath we share.
On Saturday, June 30th we sang together in the name of love and tonight we unite to sing for conscience, hope and protest. This sing-along is a demonstration that our alliance is our strength; that we will make our voices heard from through the City of Angels and beyond.
Now More Than Ever brings an accomplished local ensemble, I See Hawks in L.A., together with our special guests Nailah Porter, Roger Guenveur Smith, Ivan Kadey, and Mari Riddle to lead us in song and share their perspectives on music as an opportunity for personal and communal expression of shared values. We invite you to sing-along as the lyrics are displayed on a big on-stage screen.
I See Hawks in L.A.
One of our town’s most authentic, homegrown musical voices, I See Hawks in L.A. was formed in 1999 by Rob Waller and brothers Paul and Anthony Lacques during a philosophical discussion and rock throwing session in the East Mojave desert, and they wrote their first songs during an Echo Park front porch session. The band writes and performs music that harkens back to the soundtrack of the 60s and 70s that inspired and gave voice to generations of activists and is as relevant today. The Hawks are regarded for their musical celebrations and lamentations of earth and ecosphere, odes to the endless highway, and ironic social commentary.
Porter is a North Carolina native artist, educator, and activist who works for equity at the intersection of race, culture, and gender. She believes in music as a powerful vehicle for sharing truth and promoting peace, and its ability to connect us to our humanity. As an attorney, with a background in public policy, she served as In-House Counsel and Legislative Analyst for the Police Foundation, a Washington, D.C. law enforcement think tank, where she worked on important public safety-related measures, including the Brady Bill, the Assault Weapons Ban, and the Hate Crimes Bill. Nailah now serves as the Equity Coordinator for the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative (OEI.) She also an adjunct professor in the Los Angeles Community College District.
Roger Guenveur Smith
Roger is an American actor, director, and writer, Guenveur Smith, who will lead us in Redemption Song. Smith’s oeuvre, on and for, big and small, screens and stages, is consistently poignant and powerful. His IMDb is filled with work on some of the most iconic movies and TV shows of our lifetimes. Theater, however, fuels his spirit and Grand Performances is privileged to present Frederick Douglass Now in this summer’s series (Friday, July 27) with Los Angeles Dance icon, Lula Washington.
Ivan is the co-founder of South Africa’s first integrated (race and gender) punk band, National Wake. As an architecture student in apartheid-era (late 1970’s) Johannesburg, South Africa, he formed the group with brothers Gary and Punka Khoza. A Jewish orphan born in Jo’burg, Kadey and his brothers created National Wake in 1978 inspired by the Soweto uprising. National Wake played punk, reggae, and tropical funk, but also incorporated ska and African rhythms. The band's trademark tune "International News" decries state censorship and the atrocities of the Angolan War of Independence.