Photo: Alex Woodward

Amiri Baraka & Henry Grimes


A dialogical meeting of Baraka’s radical poetry and Grimes’ free jazz syncopation.

Amiri Baraka stands alongside a handful of others, (Baldwin, Douglass, Ellison, Hughes, Hurston, Wheatley…) as one of the great African-American literary figures. Founder of the Black Arts Movement, he is America’s great radicalised poet transcribing the tragic as political despair, the broken rhythms of blackness: radicalism set to work.


Henry Grimes was central in defining the bass sound of free jazz on monumental recordings and performances with Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor… and he remains central today. His is a sound of syncopation and anarchic organization, spanning bone dry sawing to rich harmonic shading.

  • Audio

    Credits / license
    • CC BY- ND 4.0

    • CC BY- ND 4.0

  • Video