- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
- ISTOOK: IRS “wants to throw us in jail,” says tea party leader
- Easter woes: Chocolate costs soar, becoming ‘unaffordable’ luxury
- Michaels craft chain confirms hackers hit 3M customers
- Special Forces’ suicide rates hit record levels — casualties of ‘hard combat’
Poet-performer Jayne Cortez dies in NY at age 78
NEW YORK (AP) - Jayne Cortez, a forceful poet, activist and performance artist who blended oral and written traditions into numerous books and musical recordings, has died. She was 78.
The Organization of Women Writers of Africa says Cortez died of heart failure in New York on Dec. 28. She had helped found the group and, while dividing her time between homes in New York and Senegal, was planning a symposium of women writers to be held in Ghana in May.
Cortez was a prominent figure in the black arts movement of the 1960s and `70s that advocated art as a vehicle for political protest. She cited her experiences trying to register black voters in Mississippi in the early `60s as a key influence.
A native of Fort Huachuca, Ariz., she was raised in the Watts section of Los Angeles. She loved jazz since childhood and would listen to her parents’ record collection. Musicians including trumpeter Don Cherry would visit her home and through them she met her first husband, Ornette Coleman, one of the world’s greatest jazz artists. They were married from 1954 to 1964.
Her books included “Scarifications” and “Mouth On Paper,” and she recorded often with her band the Firespitters, chanting indictments of racism, sexism and capitalism. Its members included her son, drummer Denardo Coleman, and several other members of Ornette Coleman’s electronic Prime Time band, guitarist Bern Nix and bassist Al McDowell.
Cortez, who described herself as a “jazz poet,” performed all over the world and her work was translated into 28 languages. At the time of her death, she was living with her second husband, the sculptor Melvin Edwards.
TWT Video Picks
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- Immigration still on hold: Boehner's office
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- PRUDEN: When a bored president just 'mails it in'
- Nancy Pelosi washes immigrants' feet in humble Holy Week act then promotes on Twitter
- BRUCE: Obama deliberately emboldening America's enemies
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.