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Carl Hancock Rux is a writer and recording artist who crosses the disciplines of poetry, theater, film, music, and literary fiction in order to achieve what one critic describes as a “dizzying oral artistry…unleashing a torrent of paper bag poetry and post modern Hip-Bop music; the ritualistic blues of self awakening.” Rux’s critically acclaimed debut CD, Rux Revue (Sony Music), was voted one of the top ten alternative music CDs of 1998 (New York Times). His sophomore CD, Apothecary Rx, was released on Giant Step Records in 2002 to similar plaudits from publications ranging from the NY Post and the LA Times to Paste and Ink 19. Apothecary Rx was listed in Philippe Robert’s “Great Black Music: Un Parcours en 100 Albums Essentiels” as one of the greatest black music albums of all time, along with records by Billie Holiday, Howlin’ Wolf, Max Roach, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, John Coltrane and Nina Simone. Rux’s third CD, Good Bread Alley, was released in 2006 by Thirsty Ear Records. With his powerful eleven-piece band, Rux has brought down the house at festivals like Transmusicales in Rennes, France and Central Park Summerstage and at venues from the Jazz Café in London to the new Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal.
His plays and performance works for theater have been produced and or commissioned throughout the United States and internationally at venues including The Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Robert E. Fischer Center for the Performing Arts, PS 122, the Kitchen, HERE Arts Center, New Victory Theater, Lincoln center (Serious Fun & Outdoors Festival), Aaron Davis Hall, the BAM Harvey Theater (Next Wave Festival), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Mass MOCA (Mass.), the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas (Seattle, Washington), Theater X (Milwaulkee, Wisconsin), University of Ghana at Legon (West Africa), Ebenezor Experimental Theater Festival (Sweden) Maison des Arts (Creteil, France), and the Victoria Theater (Singapore) among others. Plays include “Geneva Cottrell, Waiting for the Dog to Die”, “Mycenaean”, “Chapter & Verse”, “The No Black Male Show”, “Smoke, Lilies & Jade”, “Singing In the Womb of Angels”, “Yanga”, “Song of Sad Young Men” and the libretto for two operas: “‘The Blackamoor Angel” and “Makandal”, which will have its premiere at Harlem Stage in 2013.
His film credits include “The Grand Inquisitor” (as The One) directed by Tony Torn, “Brooklyn Boheme” (documentary) and “Migrations” directed by Nelson George; and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: a film About Gil Scott-Heron” (documentary).
Rux is the subject of the Voices of America television documentary, “Carl Hancock Rux, Coming of Age”, recipient of the CINE Golden Eagle Award (Larry Clamage/Richard Maniscalo producers), was host and programming director of the WBAI radio show, “Live from The Nuyorican Poets Café”, contributing correspondent for XM radio’s “The Bob Edwards Show” and frequent guest host on WNYC’s “Soundcheck”. Rux co-wrote and narrated the radio documentary, “Walt Whitman; Songs of Myself”, awarded the New York Press Club Journalism Award for Entertainment News, and broadcast annually since 2005.
A published poet, playwright, novelist and essayist, Mr. Rux is the author of the Village Voice Literary prize-winning collection of poetry “Pagan Operetta” (Fly By Night /Autonomedia Press), the novel “Asphalt” (Atria/Simon & Schuster; Washington Sq. Press paperback) and the OBIE award winning play “Talk” (TCG Press). His newest book, “The Exalted”, will be performed in excerpts as part of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA’s ‘Who Is the Poet In Your Life?’ program in March 2013.
Carl Hancock Rux has also worked as a writer and frequent guest performer in dance, collaborating with Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women, Jane Comfort & Co., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Martha Clark. Rux received a BESSIE© award for his direction of the Lisa Jones/Alva Rogers dance musical, “Stained” and originated the title role in the Robert Wilson/Bernice Johnson Reagon folk opera production of The Temptation of St. Anthony, which had its world premiere at the Paris Opera (Garnier).
Mr. Rux is the recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Prize, and the Bessie Schomburg Award, the Village Voice Literary Prize, Fresh Poet Award, National Endowment for the Arts/Theater Communication Group Playwright in Residence fellowship, NEA Leadership Initiatives Meet the Composer Grant, the Kitchen Theater Artist Award, Rockefeller Map grant, Creative Capital Artist grant, New York Foundation for the Arts Gregory Millard Playwright in Residence fellowship, NYFA Prize, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) Arts & Artists in Progress Award and was shortlisted for the United Artist Fellowship.