Spoken word artist, poet and songstress Ursula Rucker coming to Kelly Strayhorn


PITTSBURGH—Kelly Strayhorn Theater will present Ursula Rucker’s “My Father’s Daughter” on Friday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. at its theater. Tickets are Pay What Makes You Happy.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, spoken word artist, poet and songstress Ursula Rucker graduated from Temple University’s journalism program and has been enchanting audiences with her talent since 1994. In her latest work, “My Father’s Daughter,” Rucker delivers a memoir and epic poem that juxtaposes her life with her mother’s. Raw and soulful, Rucker’s concisely wrought texts blend with projected video imagery, offering a reflection of the women’s intertwined lives and powerfully illuminating a personal story of survival.
Rucker is recognized as one of the premiere spoken word artists in the recording industry today. She has collaborated with an array of artists and producers including King Britt, 4 Hero, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Josh Wink and most notably The Roots. The Grammy Award-winning band called on Rucker to craft “The Unlocking,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Return To Innocence Lost.” She has performed alongside Gil Scott-Heron, Mos Def, Macy Gray and opened for the late Nina Simone.
“This is really my first full one-woman show and it’s my very first live epic poem/live memoir,” says Rucker. “It’s been over 20 years that I’ve been holding it inside and wondering how I was going to manifest it and how it was going to come to be. I look at this as a precursor to a memoir about my mother’s life, written in book form—this is the live version.”
Featuring live accompaniment by guitarist Tim Motzer, “My Father’s Daughter” charts Rucker’s life journey and the struggles that have shaped her into the woman she is today. “I was working with my musician and friend, Tim. We were in his basement working really hard—it’s very highly concentrated, very emotional, very raw. I feel like every time it’s advertised, it should say at the bottom, ‘come with a pack of tissues.’”
KST hosts a post-show discussion with Rucker on Friday, Nov. 20 following the performance.
Rucker will also leading a writing workshop, open to the community, during the week leading up to the performance.
Complete details are available by calling 412-363-3000 or visiting www.kelly-strayhorn.org.
(Release courtesy of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.)
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