Saturday’s Cabaret

Jack Callan and Edith Stevens

Jack and Judith will perform ‘stand up’ poetry at “Dinner, CABARET and All That Jazz” this Saturday at The June Bug Center.  Hours are 6-10PM.  Tickets can be purchased below. 

Little did Jack Callan and Edith Stevens know that after reading their poems for a “Night of Sharing” event at Old Dominion University on the Virginia Beach campus, that they would be married six months later.  Jack, a Yankee from Brooklyn, New York, described himself as a navy brat growing up in Florida in the Confederate South, a dyed in the wool liberal, civil rights activist, defender of gay rights, the oldest of seven kids in a family of neocons.  He described Judith as a southern tomboy from Petersburg, the middle child in a family of four other conservative siblings, “so my wife and I are the only liberals out of two big families who have to put up with us because we don’t keep our mouth shut about things that matter.”  

Known locally for reading at Open Mic Floyd and organizing Little River Poetry Fest, Jack and Edith have also read at Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University. As Vice President for the Poetry Society of Virginia, Jack initiated the first interracial poetry event at Norfolk State University and the previously white only Poetry Society of Virginia.  This poetry team have also read in Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania and at the annual Rural Retreat Poetry event sponsored by the Association for Research and Enlightenment. Since 1971 Edith has facilitated an ARE program to send books to prisoners across the United States, first in English and now also in Spanish.  Judith also taught yoga for more than 20 years on the strand at Virginia Beach before attending Quaker Meeting each Sunday morning. 

Jack’s writing is often inspired by the works of other artists, painters and performers, a process he describes as ekphrastic.  The fourth year for the Little River Poetry Fest is scheduled for 7–9 June 2019.  Bringing their wit to the quirks of Southwestern Virginia experiences.  

Yaser Barakat

Raised in Jabalia, the largest refugee camp in Gaza, Yaser Barakat made his first musical instrument at age 6, a ‘showbaba’ metal flute to accompany the traditional Palestinian Dapke dance. He received his first oud, a large bellied Palestinian lute, at age 14 from his brother.  In two years he was choreographing Dapke dances and playing oud with the top ranked North Jabalia Band.  His acceptance into the Academic Music College of Jordan at age 20 led to performances at museums in Mosul and Baghdad.  Soon after immigrating to the United States his music aired on WDAI in Brooklyn, New York.  These performances led to invitations to perform for two Palestinian events at the UN.  In Manhattan he played drums with Senegalese and Brazilian musicians.

Yaser’s older brother is a noted painter with his own gallery in Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine. Another brother is a movie director in the West Bank. Two sisters live in Gaza, one teaches art and the other works for Palestine News TV. 

Yaser now composes original music in his Salem, Virginia studio with a 17 track system.  He has been awarded two US patents for original drum designs and Hydroelectric wind column turbines giving presentations at renewable energy expositions in Dubai and Minnesota.

His performance at the The June Bug Center next Saturday evening (from 6-10PM) will be accompanied by Deadwood Bettou, an Aramaic speaking musician from northern Iraq playing guitar and drums.

Buy your tickets  for the Cabaret here:


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