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Musicality of Poetry


Winston Damon's eclectic musicianship almost defies categorization, but you can say one thing about the artist: he's great at accompanying poets. The Guild Complex kicks off its sixth annual Musicality of Poetry (MUPO) festival with the well-known Damon, who goes by the moniker Stone of Ulele. A sea of influences -- from rock to Hawaiian music -- helps the multi-instrumentalist adapt to the disparate beats of open-mic poets, who are welcome to join him on-stage. After the open-mic set, dub-poet Inka Alasad joins Damon for a rhythmic duet. The evening sets the tone for a two-month celebration of music and poetry, with weekly events at the Guild Complex (and a few at the Museum of Contemporary Art), including a late-January appearance by Chika (see photo) reading Japanese death poems. With major funding from The Sara Lee Foundation, this year's festival takes on an unprecedented scope, with appearances in the weeks to come by Kurt Elling, Sterling Plumpp, the Last Poets and Public Enemy's Chuck D and Professor Griff.

The MUPO festival opens January 7 with Stone of Ulele and Inka Alasad at the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division, 773.278.2210. 7:30pm, $7, $3 open-mic readers; members and volunteers free. (Sam Jemielity)



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