"Iya Ibeji" Phavia Kujichagulia
“Iya Ibeji” (mother of twins) Phavia Kujichagulia is a Djialli Ba/Griot - oral historian/musician who utilizes spoken word and the performing arts to reveal history and teach humanity. She is one of the musicians and cultural artists highlighted in the Arcadia Publishing book series, Images of America: Black Artists in Oakland (2007).
This spoken word artist dynamically orchestrates African music, Jazz, and pop into a hypnotic rhapsody. Her performances include the World Drum Festival, National Black Expo, the John Coltrane Festival, and Nelson Mandela’s 1990 USA Tour. Between 1990 and 1999, Phavia Kujichagulia was the cultural director and co-leader of E.W. Wainwright's African Roots of Jazz. Her production piece, The Story of Jazz, has received national acclaim. Renaissance woman, Phavia Kujichagulia has also been recognized as one of the “Kings & Queens of Black Consciousness,” along with Dr. Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez, Marvin X, and Amiri Baraka. Her latest feature CD, The Human Race (Kujichagulia Records), is available online.
The Story of Jazz (African-American Classical Music)
“Phavia Kujichagulia’s performance piece The Story of Jazz, is a musical production about the roots of American music – the oral history of struggle, pain, freedom and exultation. Phavia Kujichagulia is a modern Griot, a wondering minstrel on a mission to teach, entertain and celebrate our common heritage and humanity.” - The Sacramento Bee
“The Story of Jazz performance is more serious in its intentions than many groups now producing gold albums.” - The Los Angeles Times
"Sensation overload, jazz poet, journey agent, renaissance woman! This scientist of word and sound sings and swings.” - Matrix Magazine
“Phavia Kujichagulia is politically and poetically right-on with a thoughtful feminist, humanist, Afro-American point of view.” - Bay Area Music Magazine
“Talking about Phavia Kujichagulia requires a certain amount of restraint. It would be easy and entirely appropriate to say she is a renaissance woman in the tradition of the 20th century’s first true eclectic, the late Paul Robeson. She is a musician, composer, poet, dancer, educator, and author. It’s been said that politics and art don’t mix; fortunately Phavia Kujichagulia hasn’t fallen for that bit of chimera.” - Fresno Bee
“After experiencing Phavia Kujichagulia, you’ll understand why we’re asking Sanchez, Walker, Angelou, Jordan and the rest of the heavyweights to move over and make room for another member of the First Team.” - Black Culture Magazine