Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Party @ the Rosenbach

Date / Time

  • September 28, 2017
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States

The tradition of the rent party dates back to the Harlem Renaissance, when communal gatherings of artists and musicians fed the outpouring of blues, jazz, and poetry for which this period is known. Hosted by poet Yolanda Wisher, this quarterly series celebrates the literary past with a classic Prohibition-era cocktail, readings by contemporary poets, and music performed by her band, the Afroeaters.

Tonight’s theme is “Ask Your Mama,” after a little known work in Hughes’ opus, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.  “Ask Your Mama,” a serial poem with notes for instrumentation in the margins, has been performed by the likes of opera singer Jessye Norman, rapper Ice T, and Philly’s homegrown hip hop band, The Roots. The poem is a avant-garde marvel of creative radicalism and revolt. Hughes demonstrates the breadth of his knowledge of musical forms and traditions as well as his cosmopolitanism. He was clearly well-traveled and well-informed about the social, economic, and political forces of his day.


Jim Dragoni (Guitar)

Sirlance Gamble (Percussion)

Dick Lourie (Poet, Saxophone/Trumpet)

Trapeta B. Mayson (Poet, Vocalist)

Mark Palacio (Double bass)

Monnette Sudler (Guitar, Vocalist)

Yolanda Wisher (Curator, Poet, Vocalist)