Published On: Wed, Apr 4th, 2007

Opening Night: Capicu Poetry Showcase

On Friday March 23rd 2007, the highly anticipated Capicu Poetry Showcase made history at Area 51 Bar and Lounge in Williamsburg as host PapoSwiggity, one half of The Capicu Players, opened the stage to a wave of trailblazing wordsmiths on opening night.

At 7pm that night a line began to form outside Area 51, a lounge known for its hot Hip Hop and Latino parties but tonight was special. “Tonight’s crowd is looking for a different experience, these people came to feed their soul” says Jose Candelario, contributing host and Williamsburg resident…and from what I can see Capicu did not dissapoint setting the stage for a new dynamic in the Willamsburg neighborhood.

The other half of the Capicu Players, Urban Jibaro is outside greeting people and getting them to sign the guestbook for the evening and quickly realizes he has a married couple from Jersey, some girls in town from California, a few Long Islanders, some representatives of the Barrio scene as well as some Bronx natives ready to join Brooklyn in this cultural celebration. With over 190 people in attendance, it is time to put the “fichas” on the table.

Once inside, the vibe is great…the bar is jumping and the scene is your average after work crowd getting ready for what the weekend has in store…that is until the stage lights up. From the DJ booth, Urban Jibaro greets the crowd and starts talking about the concept of Capicu, how he and Papo conceived and breathed life into this event that was about to jump off.

After a brief moment of silence for the late Reverendo Pedro Pietri who was being honored that very night as his archives were handed over to Hunter College. The Urban Jibaro changed gears and introduced the master of ceremonies…the mayor of and Founder of Espacio Latino, PapoSwiggity took the mic and set the tone for the talent about to grace the stage. The first poet to take the stage was Jaime ” El Maestro” Emeric, who currently produces a show in Carlito’s Cafe in El Barrio which is a popular venue for Nuyorican poets as well as many community activists.

Once that happened, the Capicu Players introduced a diverse collective of poets who took the stage (not in any particular order) Ultimate Boricua, Poet Excellence, Yubelky Rodriguez, G Positive, Chilo (Grito de Poetas, 21 Poetz), Essence, Cye, Adele Ramos, Rich Villar (Acentos), Yvonne Lui, Light, North (Division X), August, Wiz, Andre, Lawrence White, Miss Def Poet (GS Poetry), Joey Grizz (GS Poetry), Bernice Sosa-Izquierdo, comedian Alba Sanchez (HBO Latino) and last but not least hip hop poet Ill Famed blessed the stage in honor of Woman’s History Month with her new single, “Keep Ya Head Up”. During the intermission, Area 51 Lounge served complimentary dinner that consisted of arroz con gandules, baked chicken, roasted pork and pastelillos. During dinner you also had the opportunity to see a small sample of Josh Goldstein’s Bodega Art that was on display near the bar.

The night ended on such a strong note…Urban Jibaro grabs the mic and asks “do you want more Capicu?”, a follow up to his intro where he addressed inquiries of Capicu becoming a regular event…”we will do it again…but only if you tell us you want it”. After the crowd’s intense response, it was clear that this event will become a staple at Area 51 Lounge and the Williamsburg neighborhood. In a comical send off, Urban Jibaro joins PapoSwiggity to bid adieu to the crowd…and in the words that we all know from Def Poetry Jam, said “Thanks for coming out, good night and God bless” paying tribute to Russell Simmons for laying the foundation for this type of event.

The Capicu Playas walk off stage knowing they played the first of many winning hands….

To be continued…

Juan Doe

Staff Writer

Opening Night: Capicu Poetry Showcase