A list of performers by day is here.
Court 13 (New Orleans) • Saturday
Court 13 is a grass roots, independent filmmaking army—a collective of artists and animators of junk that seek to tell huge stories out of small parts. The Court made its first film, "egg," when its creators were still in college. Shorts like "Jettison Your Loved Ones" and "Death to the Tinman" (Ray Tintori, director) also came out of Wesleyan University to play at festivals such as Sundance and Cinequest.
The Court truly found its roots in New Orleans in the spring of 2007, when it created "Glory at Sea" (Benh Zeitlin, director) a short film about a community responding to loss in the wake of a near-apocalyptic storm and flood. "Glory at Sea" received 15 festival awards, including the Wholphin Award at South by Southwest, Best Short Film at the New Orleans Human Rights Film Festival, and the Best Short Fiction Film at the New Orleans Film Festival.
In 2010, Court 13 commenced production on its first feature film, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," after being accepted and going through the Sundance Institute's Directors, Screenwriters, and Producers Labs, respectively. "Beasts" also received the NHK International Filmmaker's Award, and was a recipient of a generous post-production grant from the San Francisco Film Society and Kenneth Rainin Foundation.
Michael Gottwald, director of the Bilocal film project, is proud to call himself a founding member of Court 13.
Michael Bristow (Seattle) • Friday
Michael Bristow has been involved in all kinds of music for over 30 years. A gift of a guitar from his cousin led Michael to Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and the Byrds in 1965. He played bluegrass guitar in college and beyond, switching to electric bass with the Northwest’s leading Cajun band, How's Bayou. In addition to his work as a founding member of How's Bayou, he has performed in a wide variety of bluegrass, rock, and country bands.
Michael is a skilled performer and teacher of Hawai'ian slack-key guitar and ukulele. In addition to his recorded work with How’s Bayou and others, he has released a CD of Brian Wilson’s music transcribed for solo guitar, and an ukulele CD of 60’s pop and originals. At Bilocal, Mike will be performing with Karen England.
Karen has visited Louisiana many times since 1978 and, with the help and encouragement of Dewey Balfa and others, has become a highly regarded Cajun fiddle player in her own right. Her affinity with Cajun music has as much to do with the art form as it does with the people, whose warm, generous spirit instills Karen with a sense of kinship and belonging that continues to inform her playing and enrich her life. At Bilocal, Karen will be performing with Michael Bristow.
Jonathan Evison (Seattle) • Saturday
Jonathan Evison is the author of "All About Lulu," which won the 2008 Washington State Book Award, and the forthcoming novels "West of Here" (2011, Algonquin) and "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving" (2012, Algonquin). He is the executive editor of "The Nervous Breakdown" and a chief contributor to the lit blog "Three Guys, One Book". In 2009, Evison was awarded the Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.
Anne Gisleson (New Orleans) • Saturday
Anne Gisleson is a New Orleans native and chair of the writing program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Louisiana's arts conservatory for high school students. Her writing has appeared in The Believer, Oxford American, The Mississippi Review and other magazines and has been selected for inclusion in several anthologies including Best American Non-Required Reading, Best Music Writing, Life in the Wake: Fiction from Post-Katrina and Paul Chan's Waiting for Godot in New Orleans: A Field Guide.
Gisleson also helps run Press Street, a non-profit collective that promotes art and literature in the city through events like the 24 hour community arts extravaganza Drawathon and collaborative publication projects. Press Street also operates the downtown gallery Antenna, which hosts art shows, readings, workshops, free screenings and other activities. She lives with her husband artist Brad Benischek and their two sons in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans.
Robin Holcomb (Seattle) • Saturday
Pianist, composer, singer and songwriter Robin Holcomb has performed extensively in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia as a solo artist and the leader of various ensembles. Living in the Lower East Side of New York in the 1980s, she was a founder of Studio Henry, a venue for maverick composers, and the New York Composers Orchestra. Living in Seattle since 1989, she continues to compose and record songs and music for solo piano, chamber ensembles, dance, theatre and film.
Her work has been called "remarkable" (CMJ), "stunning" (Option), "entrancing" (Billboard) and "sensitive, descriptive, adventuresome and full of soul" (Washington Post). "Hers is an unsettling, utterly original vision." (Entertainment Weekly) According to The New York Times: "Ms. Holcomb has done something remarkable here: she has created a new American regionalism, spun from many threads - country, rock, minimalism, Civil War songs, Baptist hymns, Appalachian folk tunes, even the polytonal music of Charles Ives. The music that results is as elegantly simple as a Shaker Quilt, and no less beautiful."
Her most recent recording is The Point of It All (Songlines), a collection of songs and instrumental collaborations that confound categorization with Talking Pictures (Ron Samworth, Peggy Lee, Bill Clark and Dylan van der Schyff) and Wayne Horvitz.
Dedra Johnson (New Orleans) • Friday
A native and current resident of New Orleans, Dedra Johnson received her MFA from the University of Florida-Gainesville, where she was a finalist for the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Award for College Writers. She also earned undergraduate degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Southern Mississippi. Her stories have appeared in Product and Bridge. Her novel, Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow (Ig, 2007), was a finalist for the 2006 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award. Some of her post-Katrina online writing appears in A Howling in the Wires: An Anthology of Writings from Postdiluvian New Orleans (Gallatin & Toulouse, 2010).
Denise Jolly (Seattle) • Friday & Saturday
Denise Jolly is a writer, performer, educator and community builder. She is currently Co-Executive Director of Seattle Youth Speaks and a member of Salt Lines Spoken Word Collective. She has served as co-host and facilitator of the Seattle Poetry Slam, Poetry Curator for The Round (a live multidisciplinary collaborative arts show), member of Eleventh Hour Productions Board of Directors and Vice President of Stronghold Productions. Denise was the 2009 San Francisco Grand Slam Champion and member of the 2009 San Francisco Slam team who ranked 3rd in the nation. She has performed, taught, and/or collaborated in venues as large as Coachella and as small as Cook County Detention Center, Cleveland High School, and Seattle Youth Speaks writing circle. She likes doing great things with amazing people and being moved by art, community and how the two work together.
Ben Kasulke (Seattle) • Friday
Ben Kasulke is an award winning Director and Director of Photography based in Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York. Ben graduated from the Northfield-Mount Hermon School and received his BS in Cinema Production from Ithaca College following additional study at the Filmová a Televizní Fakulta Akadmie Muzickych Umní in Prague.
Ben's professional experience includes employment as an Instructor at Northwest Film Forum, a film archivist with The Image Treasury, programmer with London's Raindance Film Festival, and as a staff projectionist with the Olympia Film Society. While employed as the staff cinematographer for the Seattle based Film Company, he was fortunate enough to work with award winning filmmakers Guy Maddin and Lynn Shelton. Kasulke has also worked in music video and performance documentation with various acts including Andrew Bird, Einsteurzende Neubaten to Built To Spill.
In 2006, he received two awards for his Cinematography on Shelton's "We Go Way Back" from the Slamdance and Torun Film Festivals. The Seattle Stranger shortlisted Kasulke for its Genius Award in Film in 2007. In 2009 Ben was fortunate enough to lens the Sundance Special Jury Prize winning "Humpday" which eventually went on to win the John Cassavetes Award at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards. Kasulke's work has been screened at multiple film festivals including the Toronto, Berlin, Sundance, and Cannes Film Festival Director's Fortnight. His feature film work has been released by Zeitgeist Films, IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, and The Criterion Collection.
Megan Kelso (Seattle) • Saturday
Megan Kelso began in comics with her 1993 Xeric award winning comic, Girl Hero. She continued the series until all six issues were compiled in the Highwater books publication, Queen of the Black Black in 1998. She has continued in comics, with the release of her environmental minded comic, The Lost Valley in 1999. In 2006, Fantagraphics released a collection of 15 of her short stories in Squirrel Mother. And in 2007, the New York Times Magazine ran her weekly narrative comic strip, Watergate Sue. Over the last decade she has worked on her graphic novel, Artichoke Tales, released this year on Fantagraphics.
Alex Kuo (Seattle/Anacortes) • Friday
Alex Kuo has published more than 350 poems, short stories, photographs and essays in serials in the last 50 years. His most recent books are White Jade and Other Stories and the novel Panda Diaries. His Lipstick and Other Stories won the American Book Award. His big doppelganger novel and political manifesto The Man Who Damned the Yangtze will be out in March 2011, as well as A Chinamans' Chance: New and Selected Poems.
Les Chattes Créoles (Seattle) • Saturday
Les Chattes Creoles play spicy Creole and Cajun dance music from South Louisiana. Lucy Reuter (accordion, vocals, fiddle), Claudia Anastasio (fiddle, rubboard) and Dave Lang (guitar, vocals) are veterans of Seattle’s long-thriving Cajun and Zydeco music scene. Individually, they also play with bands including Whozyamama, How’s Bayou and the Riptide Ramblers.
James Nolan (New Orleans) • Friday
James Nolan's most recent book, Perpetual Care, was awarded the 2007 Jefferson Press Prize and the 2009 Next-Generation Indie Book Award for Best Short Story Collection. The manuscript of his novel Higher Groundwon the 2008 William Faulkner-Wisdom Gold Medal. His collections of poetry are Why I Live in the Forest andWhat Moves Is Not the Wind, both from Wesleyan University Press. A regular contributor to Boulevard, his poems, stories, and essays also have appeared in The Southern Review, Georgia Review, Poetry, Shenandoah, Utne Reader, North American Review, the anthologies New Orleans Noir and The Gastronomica Reader, and theWashington Post, among many other places.
Nolan has translated Pablo Neruda's Stones of the Sky (Copper Canyon) and Longing: Selected Poems of Jaime Gil de Biedma (City Lights). He is the author of Poet-Chief (University of New Mexico Press), a study of the Native American poetics of Whitman and Neruda, and a collection of his personal essays, Fumadores en manos de un dios enfurecido, has come out in Spain (Enigma Editores). He has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and two Fulbright Fellowships, and has taught literature and creative writing at universities in San Francisco, Florida, Barcelona, Madrid, and Beijing. Recently he was Writer-in-Residence at both Tulane and Loyola Universities in New Orleans, where he now directs the New Orleans Writing Institute at the Arts Council. A fifth-generation native of the Crescent City, he lives in the French Quarter.
Asia Rainey (New Orleans) • Saturday
As an award-winning spoken word artist and vocalist, Asia Rainey has been invited as a featured and guest performer at countless events, festivals, benefits, and educational institutions around the country. She has shared stages with artists such as the Last Poets, Mos Def, Suheir Hammad, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Charmaine Neville, and many more. Asia has appeared in several theatre productions, as a recording artist (Jena Six Project, No Rainbows for the Colored, Her Name is New Orleans, Poet's Collabo), in television (writer, special co-host of Between the Lines), and recently in film, in a lead role of Flood Streets (www.thehatcherymedia.com). She is presently working on both her second book and a new CD which will include her original music and spoken word, and is completing two original poetic stage plays (Shut Up and Fly; Neutral Ground).
Zachary Richard (New Orleans/ Cajun country)
The beloved Cajun musician was originally booked for bilocal, but had to cancel just weeks before the performance because of illness. New Orleans legend Coco Robicheaux will perform in his place.
Coco Robicheaux (New Orleans) • Friday
New Orleans legend Coco Robicheaux has faithfully delivered his mojo soul to devoted listeners in tiny joints and massive stages for decades. He has performed across the US and Europe, at every New Orleans French Quarter Festival since 1995, and for ten consecutive years at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Coco Robicheaux was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame at the House of Blues in New Orleans on Oct. 24, 2009.
The animated performer known for his commanding stage presence and story-telling mastery has enjoyed several stints in the acting world. Coco is featured most recently in HBO's Treme, and previously in "Good Times San Francisco," George Lucas' "More American Graffiti," and various commercial work.
Also a visual artist, Coco created a bronze bust of Professor Longhair after he passed away. The bust greets visitors at Tipitina's where it sits inside the entrance; lesser known is how Coco's donation of it helped inspire a permanent Professor Longhair Foundation and memorial.
Coco is an integral thread in New Orleans' and Louisiana fabric and heritage. He performed on the "Coast to Coast" tour to raise funds after the BP oil spill in the Gulf. A lifetime advocate of accessible health care, he donated his song "Louisiana Medicine Man" to a fundraising CD for the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic.
Riz Rollins (Seattle) • Saturday
Riz Rollins spent his first 25 stormy years in the city of his birth, Chicago. 25 years of trouble, heartache, and ordinary pain led him to move to Seattle and he's been feeling much better thank you very much. A world-renowned DJ, Rollins currently is celebrating his 20th year of being an on-air host for KEXP 90.3 FM, where he is the originator of that station's electronic + program called "Expansions." He also hosts a weekly variety show. In this same 20-year period he has also enjoyed some notoriety as a writer, publishing first in The Rocket and The Stranger, featuring in the Jack Straw writers program, and contributing to NPR's "This American Life" and so many other events that he couldn't possibly recount them all.
David Rutledge (New Orleans) • Saturday
David Rutledge is now in his twelfth year of teaching English at the University of New Orleans. He has taught American literature, Shakespeare, New Orleans literature, among other classes. His book on Vladimir Nabokov, entitled Permanent Mystery, will be published next year by McFarland Press.
Rutledge is the co-editor and a contributor to Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? (Chin Music Press, 2006), a post-Katrina anthology that celebrates the culture of the city. The book release party at the Saturn Bar, in February of 2006, was the most remarkable evening in his eleven years of evenings in New Orleans.
He has also edited and contributed to Where We Know: New Orleans as Home, the second collection of New Orleans essays and stories from Chin Music Press/Broken Levee Books (2010). It explores the joys, difficulties and challenges of choosing to make New Orleans home.
Swil Kanim (Seattle (Bellingham/Lummi Tribe) • Friday
Swil Kanim is a world class virtuoso violinist, storyteller, popular keynote speaker and actor. He intertwines his music with storytelling, poetry, and audience interaction. He starred as "Mouse" in Sherman Alexie’s highly acclaimed movie The Business of FancyDancing. In April of 2008, Swil Kanim was invited to perform for the Dalai Lama at Key Arena in Seattle for The Seeds of Compassion event and in November of that same year Swil Kanim performed four "sold out" shows at the Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. This year he was asked to open for the entire summer concert series at the Tulalip Amphitheatre, which included The Temptations, Blake Shelton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Billy Idol, Chicago and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Jamar Travis (New Orleans) • Friday
Jamar Travis is a youth poet from New Orleans. Jamar was first introduced to spoken word by National Slam champion Karama Sadaka. He represented New Orleans at Brave New Voices, a national event of youth poets, from 2007 through 2010, serving as team captain 2009-2010. Says Jamar: "The experience changed me not only as a writer but a person, and forced me to see the importance of life, love and faith."
Molly Wizenberg (Seattle) • Friday
Molly Wizenberg writes the monthly column "Cooking Life" in Bon Appetit magazine, and her first book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, was a New York Times bestseller. She is the voice behind Orangette (www.orangette.net), named the best food blog in the world by the London Times. Her work has also been published in Best Food Writing 2009, Town and Country, and on NPR.org, PBS.org, NYTimes.com, and Gourmet.com. She lives in Seattle, where she and her husband Brandon Pettit own the restaurant Delancey.