Shana Tucker with Jaki Shelton Green & Nicole Mitchell

Headshots of Nicole M. Mitchell, Shana Tucker, and Jaki Shelton Green.

Black Feminist Theoretic Poetic Musings: a Live-Streamed Multidisciplinary Concert
Saturday, March 13 at 7pm
Post-show Q&A moderated by Natalie Bullock Brown

NOTE: Please register by noon on March 13 (the day of the event). This event will take place via Zoom. If you do not have a Zoom account, please sign up for a free Zoom account in advance of the event.


Join NC State LIVE for Black Feminist Theoretic Poetic Musings, a multi-disciplinary performance centered in the narrative of 3 artists who will share poetic and musical perspectives of their lived experience navigating this country and world as Black women. 

Led by Shana Tucker (NC State LIVE social justice artist-in-residence and beloved cellist and vocalist), and featuring renowned jazz flutist Nicole Mitchell, and North Carolina Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, who will share poems from her book breath of the song. This event will be streamed live from the Kennedy-McIlwee Studio Theatre in Thompson Hall.

Natalie Bullock-Brown, a teaching assistant professor at North Carolina State University and a renowned documentary filmmaker will be moderating the post-show conversation. Light design, video composition/arrangement, and electronic scoring is by Ben Hovey. Featured photography and video for the evening is provided by Jade Wilson. Additional footage is sourced by students of Natalie Bullock-Brown’s “Black Feminist Theory” class.

NC State LIVE is strongly committed to making our programming accessible to people of all abilities. If you have an accommodation request, please email Liza Green, associate director at


Shana Tucker: Cellist. Singer-Songwriter. Arts Advocate. Teaching Artist. Collaborator. Cultural Conduit. In each role, Shana Tucker is a builder-of-connections, whether she’s associating STEM concepts with backbeats or engaging a packed house through candid song-storytelling in performance. Currently in residence with NC State LIVE as part of our social-justice residency, you can also connect with Shana through the Bodystories, a restorative workshop, which she co-facilitates with Murielle Elizéon of Culture Mill. Learn more and sign up for Bodystories here.

A Long Island, NY native, Shana studied cello at Howard University in Washington, DC, where she took her first dive into improvisational performance and honed her singer-songwriting skills. She later received her degree in Violoncello Performance from CUNY-Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, where she studied with master cellist Marion Feldman. Shortly after the release of her debut CD, SHiNE in 2011, Cirque du Soleil recruiters heard an NPR interview with Shana about her ChamberSoul songwriting and performance style, they invited her to be cellist/vocalist for their show, KÀ in Las Vegas, where she performed for five years before returning to North Carolina.

A sought-after collaborator, Shana performs and records with legendary jazz saxophonist/composer Bennie Maupin, jazz flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell, Grammy-nominated NuSoul collective The Foreign Exchange and countless others. Recent North Carolina collaborations include performing a cello/vocal duet with soprano Andrea Edith Moore for Singing on the Land, a project presented by the NC Department of Cultural Resources and Come Hear NC that coordinates musicians to perform acoustically at historic sites across the state; They Are All, an exploration of living with Parkinson’s Disease, presented at American Dance Festival 2019 with Culture Mill choreographers Murielle Elizeon and Tommy Noonan; Continuing To Tell, a multidisciplinary public-space performance presented by Proxemic Media that highlights the history of Civil Rights in Durham, NC; and Kamara Thomas’ Country Soul Songbook series, also featuring Rissi Palmer, Kym Register and Phil Cook. 

Jaki Shelton Green is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. When he appointed her in 2018, Governor Cooper stated that “Jaki Shelton Green brings a deep appreciation of our state’s diverse communities to her role as an ambassador of North Carolina literature. Jaki’s appointment is a wonderful new chapter in North Carolina’s rich literary history.”

Her collegiate and professional experiences include currently teaching Documentary Poetry at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, Visiting Professor for the Carlow University MFA Program, Lenoir-Rhyne University Writer-in-Residence, Duke University Teaching for Equity Fellow, 2019 Barnard College Africana Studies Department Lewis-Ezekoye Distinguished Lecturer, 2019 UNC Chapel Hill Sonja Stone Memorial Lecturer, Taller Portobelo Artist Colony Portobelo Panama, University of Panama, Department of Cultural Resources for Brazil, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Distinguished Visiting Writer, North Carolina Turkish Association, Alhambra Cultural Center in Marrakech Morocco, NC Symphony, NC African American Cultural Heritage Commission.

She is the owner of SistaWRITE and co-partner with Dream Yourself Awake and Vertikal Creative Ventures providing writing retreats and travel excursions for women writers in Sedona Arizona, Ocracoke North Carolina, Agadir Morocco, and Tullamore Ireland.

Nicole M. Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having been repeatedly awarded “Top Flutist of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association (2010-2017). Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late 90s, and her music celebrates contemporary African American culture. She is the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Sonic Projections and Ice Crystal, and she composes for contemporary ensembles of varied instrumentation and size, while incorporating improvisation and a wide aesthetic expression. The former first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Mitchell celebrates endless possibility by “creating visionary worlds through music that bridge the familiar with the unknown.”

Some of Nicole’s newest work with Black Earth Ensemble explores intercultural collaborations; Bamako*Chicago, featuring Malian kora master, Ballake Sissoko, made its American debut at Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival in September 2017, and Mandorla Awakening with Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi) and Tatsu Aoki (taiko, bass, shamisen), was just recently released on FPE records (Chicago) last spring. Recently she celebrated a compositional premiere with Procession Time, a suite inspired by the work of Harlem Renaissance artist Norman Lewis, that was performed by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and conducted by Steve Schick in October 2017. Mitchell has also recently been interested in multidisciplinary work, through the incorporation of original video art with her music (Mandorla Awakening I and II, Interdimensional Interplay for Solo Disklavier and Prerecorded Flute).

In January 2018, Mitchell was recently the Artist in Residence at New York’s Winter Jazz Fest, where she performed four suites of her compositions, including Art and Anthem (for poet Gwendolyn Brooks), Maroon Cloud (inspired by her writing “What Was Feared Lost” from Arcana VIII edited by John Zorn), Pteradatyl, a new trio with vocalist Sara Serpa and Liberty Ellman, and her latest Afrofuturist suite, Mandorla Awakening, which was cited as a top jazz recording in the New York Times and the LA Times for 2017. As a composer, Mitchell has been commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago, the Stone, the French American Jazz Exchange, Chamber Music America (New Works), the Chicago Jazz Festival, ICE, and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Mitchell has performed with creative music luminaries including Craig Taborn, Roscoe Mitchell, Joelle Leandre, Anthony Braxton, Geri Allen, George Lewis, Mark Dresser, Steve Coleman, Anthony Davis, Myra Melford, Bill Dixon, Muhal Richard Abrams, Ed Wilkerson, Rob Mazurek, and Billy Childs, and Hamid Drake.

Mitchell is a recipient of the Herb Alpert Award (2011), the Chicago 3Arts Award (2011) and the Doris Duke Artist Award (2012). She was a Professor of Music at University of California, Irvine, teaching composition and improvisation in the graduate program of Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology for several years. Now, she is the new director of jazz studies in the University of Pittsburgh’s Deitrich School.


Join cellist and educator Shana Tucker and choreographer and community organizer Murielle Elizéon on March 16 and 20 for a series of storytelling workshops for NC State students and members of the surrounding community to come together – in a healing digital space – to explore your own stories. Learn more and sign up here.

The words "Body Stories" painted on an orange background layered on top of photos of dancer Murielle Elizéon and cellist Shana Tucker

This project is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.