Vibes Night

By Edgar Otero '20

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Sponsored by the Black and Latinx Student Union and the Days-Massolo Center, Vibes Night 2017 saw the members of Vibes, Written and Spoken (VWS) showcase their talent to the Hamilton community. The second annual Vibes Night celebrated the stories people had to share, and provided an avenue for students to come out and support their peers in an encouraging atmosphere with enthusiasm and positivity.

Original music, poetry, and spoken word pieces were on display from VWS members, who expressed some of their deepest emotions and struck a chord with the open, receptive listeners. There was a variety of original student work that took many forms, including rap, singing, and even guitar- and piano-playing. Among notable student performances was the debut of an original song by Michael “Ricio” Matt ’20 featuring Christopher Albino ’20, a stunning original duet between Jack Martin ’19 on keys and Ricardo Millien ’19 on vocals, and an interactive love poem by Kyandreia Jones ’19.

The audience was in for a treat with guest performers Perry “Vision” DiVirgillio and Kavindu “Kavi” Ade of slam poetry duo Mending Masculinity. The pair of spoken word poets and educators seek to create dialogue centered on masculinity and healing, and have toured over 25 international cities and over 70 colleges and universities. They perform poetry based on a diverse array of subjects including multicultural identity, sexuality, and education. They also teach workshops that serve to cultivate identity, community and artistic expression. They dedicate themselves to using their poetry as a vehicle for advancing social, economic, racial and gender justice.

Each brought a unique perspective on the paths they took in building their own identities. Kavi identifies as a transgender, queer, black individual, able to speak from many different perspectives on identity. He was comfortable with being vulnerable and shared stories about the difficulties he faced while learning to love and accept himself in a world that has a hard time doing that. Vision, identifying as cis-gendered, was unafraid to peel back his own layers and share his deepest personal struggles with a receptive, supportive audience. He also spoke about his journey to self-love and acceptance, touching on themes of street harassment, relationships, and race in his poetry. Among the pieces he shared were a couple of authentic letters that he wrote to himself, in which he expressed gratitude for who he is despite what the world may have to say about him. The dynamic duo entertained the attendees with their witty remarks, and were also in constant humorous conversation with the crowd throughout the night. Snaps, claps, and enthusiastic shouts of support were ever-present as the celebrated poets delivered impassioned accounts of the wisdom gained from their life experiences.

Vibes Night was an outlet for the artists on campus to express themselves and share their art with the world, fostering a community on campus that appreciates and respects the voices of all. With renowned guests Vision and Kavi stealing the show this year, the spectacle proved itself to be an event that the all members of the Hamilton community can look forward to year after year, guaranteeing a platform for creativity, art, and self-expression to take the stage.

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