Blues Arrival: Stories of The Queer Black South & Migration


blues arrivalAudaciously Speaking & QCC present
Blues Arrival: Stories of The Queer Black South & Migration
June 8
Audacious IAM

Tickets: $12-$20 (sliding scale NOTA)
Brown Paper Tickets Link for 7pm show:
Brown Paper Tickets Link for 9:30pm show:
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What do you know about the Black Queer South?

Blues Arrival is about to take you on a road trip of southern Black Queer culture, identity and migration. Our stories are what connect us. Blues Arrival gives us the opportunity to take part in the stories of a marginalized community to create awareness and share knowledge about Black Queer culture in the South. Featuring Trey Amos, Dazie Grego, Vernon Keeve III, Valerie Troutt’s MoonCandy Live House Ensemble and more.

This artistic compilation allows its audience members to gain a collected appreciation of the journey and survival of the 21st Century Queer Black Southern migration to progressive cities while seeking liberation and self-expression.

Through storytelling, spoken word and performances, we give a voice to so many that have been silenced. In one night, Blues Arrival explores the intersections of identity, religion, race, and migration never before heard stories from the anticipated published anthology.


Audacious IAM

Audacious IAM | Producer & Cast Member

Audacious IAM. BOLD, DARING, and COURAGEOUS all are often used to describe writer, artist and educator Audacious IAM. Birthed through the intoxicating waters of the Mississippi Delta she arrived in the Bay Area and definitively made her mark on the literary world. Growing up in Ruleville Mississippi, she discovered through life’s hurdles that there is power in words.  Falling in love with the word early in life allowed her to first take stage at the age of twelve while being inspired by her favorite author Nikki Giovanni.

Life has led her to travel around the world from Mississippi to Africa spreading her positive messages of uplift and outreach. Often described as infectious, Audacious provides experiences through her revolutionary style of poetry. She has shared her words in venues such as The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (Dallas), The University of Texas at Arlington, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Arlington, Texas, Heart and Soul Center of Light (Oakland, CA), Mills College (Oakland, CA) and Las Positas College (Livermore, CA) just to name just a few.

Audacious IAM is the creator and founder of Audaciously Speaking, a creative arts organization that seeks to inspire, stimulate, and cultivate community through the use of words and language; while fostering fine-art experiences through written works, writing workshops, public speaking, and poetic stage productions.

Audacious is currently a faculty member at OSA (Oakland School for the Arts) and co-founder of Pr3ssPlay Poets & Productions (Poetry and Theatrical Performance Collective). She holds both her BA degree from Rust College (Holly Springs, MS; 2003) and her MFA Degree from Mills College (Oakland, CA; 2013).



A.I. |Cast Member

A.I. Born and raised in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX, A.I. is a poet, rapper, photographer, actress & activist. She first began performing spoken word while attending Carter High, under the influence and direction of educator Darius Frasure. It was here that she met many individuals that would go to become great influences and comrades in her art.

In 2011, while attending the University of Texas at Austin, A.I. truly began to discover and redefine herself as an artist. After performing and competing at numerous venues, she organized and hosted the Treehouse Open Mic on the university’s campus. She would later go on to qualify for the 2011 Dallas Slam Team, a spot she gave up after also being crowned as the slam champion of the Austin TheySpeak Slam Team the same year. At Brave New Voices, A.I. placed 3rd of 75 in the MC Olympics and wrote a piece that was hand selected to be showcased on final stage.

A.I. graduated from Prairie View A&M University in May of 2013 with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Theatre. At PVAMU, she became a vital part of the Women’s Track & Field team as well as a member of the Charles Gilpin Players theatre company. Following graduation, A.I. served 2 honorable years in the Navy working in nuclear power.

Currently, A.I. is working on filming/directing a documentary series titled “#ihopeyoulisten” to spotlight growing artists around Texas. The series is set to follow up precious releases such as spoken word albums “Antisocial Butterfly” and “the healing.” and the 2015 mixtape “Hearts.Grow.Wings.” Through the many facets of A.I.’s work, she simply hopes to inspire beautiful individuals around the world to bring and promote a positive change.


DJ Lady Ryan | Cast Member

DJ Lady Ryan | Cast Member

DJ Lady Ryan. Upon her arrival, Lady Ryan connects instantaneously to her audience. Her music rides the crowd’s nostalgia effortlessly weaving old songs with the new. Due to her charm and immeasurable talent, she has easily become a Bay Area favorite, DJing and singing at major LGBT events like San Francisco and Oakland Pride Stages since 2007 and many clubs in both cities. Currently, she holds residence in Oakland’s’ premiere club Parliament, along with The New Parish, Bissap Baobab, Jupiter in Berkeley, and The Cellar in San Francisco.

Lady Ryan is unique in that she is known for her eclectic taste in tunes and spellbinding voice. From Jazz to Hip-Hop to House and World Music, the flux of distinctive sounds she so graceful sets beside one another make for a brilliant movement within the crowd. Lady Ryan is determined to ignite a fire within the industry and continue to carve her name into its history.

“One of the main reasons that I absolutely LOVE singing and dj’ing is for the incredible exchange of energy that happens on the dance floor and in our hearts. I am an antenna. I tune in to you and you to me. I watch the subtle head nods; I feel the swell as the music takes people to new heights. When I sing I look at you in the eye, your soul to mine and heal you and heal me. This is my gift that I have to have the courage to share. I do and I will and I GIVE THANKS.”


 Mona Webb

Mona Webb |Director and Cast Member

Mona Webb. Teaching Performance Artist Ramona “Mona” Webb serves as the Executive Director of the Eden LGBTQ Youth Foundation. The mission of the Eden LGBTQ Youth Foundation is to serve as a community, cultural and funding source for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in the Greater Bay Area through grants, scholarships and initiatives. Mona Webb also serves as Artistic Director of Project ABLE and Lyrical Minded415, which is an Art Based Learning for Equity seasonal course implemented in various San Francisco Bay Area school districts. For the past nine years Mona has served as Slammaster, Coach and Host of San Francisco’s The City Poetry Slam, and has been performing on the national poetry circuit for over a decade.

Webb serves on the host city committee that produced the National Poetry Slam Festival in Oakland in 2014 and 2015. She was honored to be nominated to host the 2014 festivals final production at The Scottish Rite Auditorium. Ramona curated and hosted this year’s National Poetry Slam Stage at the Art & Soul festival in Oakland.‬‬‬ Mona is a conservatory-trained artist who writes and performs in “docu-ritual- drama theater and is currently the Director of the production of The State of Black Bodies by The Pr3ss Play Poets. Mona Webb’s recent Queer event hosting appearances include Eden Pride Events, Five Ten Events, Social Life Productions, Oakland Pride’s Main Stage, Oakland Prides Women’s Stage, San Francisco Prides Women’s Stage, Spectrum Queer Media events, Revolve and Queer Fashion Week. Mona seeks to create new platforms for all avenues of artistic expression in all that she produces.


Shampale Fenesssa

Shampale Fenesssa | Co-Editor and Creative Assistant

Shampale Fenessa is the author of Alphabet Love. She is published in Souls of My Young Sisters, a collection of essays about empowerment for women by women. Shampale attended undergrad at Voorhees College, a private historically black college (HBCU) where she reigned as Miss Voorhees College 2009-2010 and a graduate of the Mills College MFA Program (2013). She is a middle school English teacher.


Valerie Troutt

Valerie Troutt | Musical Director and Cast Member

Valerie Troutt is one of few young modern singers creating stylistic change in the vocal jazz tradition. Some of her accomplishments include Song of the day NPR April 2006, touring as a member of Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, being a resident artist at the Red Poppy Art House of San Francisco, Performing at the “Best of the East Bay Festival 2009” and accompanying the Embodiment Project at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show 2011.

Currently Valerie is the lead vocalist with “The Congress” a JazzSoul ensemble lead by trumpeter Marcus Cohen. She is the music director of both “MoonCandy” live house music ensemble and dancer Nicole Klaymoons “Embodiment Project’s, House of Matter”. Valerie is not just a singer songwriter but a leader in the Oakland arts community opening doors for those willing to create, develop and present progressive change.

Earning her BFA in Jazz studies at the New School University in New York. This Oakland, California girl has established herself as a consummate composer with soul tinged songs that are dynamic and noteworthy. Her songs are energetic yet heartfelt offering a taste of expression and freedom crossing many musical genres. Her ability to create an astonishing repertoire of diverse songs will make her one of the important singer-songwriters of the 21st century. Dianne Reeves comments on her first musical encounter of Valerie stating, “Valerie is energetic, spontaneous and ready.” Valerie Troutt is certainly a fearless force to watch for in the years to come.




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