Ursula Rucker reflects on the idea of home in “Soil”; see her at the African American Museum on Friday

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Ursula Rucker | Photo by John Vettese

Bringing together a host of legends such as Chaka Khan, Andy Bey and Marvin Gaye collaborator Leon Ware, Dutch producer / composer Stephen Emmer’s latest project has a diverse guest list and a global focus. Proceeds from the album, Home Ground, will benefit international charity War Child, whose work provides support for children who have been traumatized and displaced by violent conflict.

The album’s standout track, “Soil,” features Philly spoken word heroine Ursula Rucker. Emmer lays down a delicate bed of music for Rucker’s resonant voice to explore. The track comes complete with jazzy piano chords, thematic strings and a skittering kick and snare pattern that suggests hip-hop. Stepping confidently into a powerful vocal performance, Rucker plays with the idea of home. Not just home as a physical space, but home as a feeling of safety, love, community and family. “What is home? Not just house or country or place home, home like heart home, soul home… We all just nomads, looking to be rooted in something….real.”

Friday, July 14th, Rucker brings this thoughtful, fiery poetic style back home to Philadelphia for the Ultimate Supa Sistas event which is a part of the African American Museum’s Phil Aesthetic series celebrating the Black Arts movement of the 60s and 70s. The event Ultimate Supa Sistas, is curated by Rucker and includes guest performances from two legendary poets, Jessica Care Moore (Black Women Rock! CEO) and Black Arts movement pioneer and Philly-born national treasure Sonia Sanchez. Although they are not blood relatives, the trio share a familial bond as creators that will be transmitted from the stage to the audience. “This is like family,” says Rucker. “Jessica is my sister and Mama Sonia is my artistic Mother and my mentor…it’s going to be a pretty big deal.”

The Ultimate Supa Sistas comes to the African American Museum in Philadelphia on Friday, July 14th at 8 p.m. Tickets to the all-ages event are $15, more information is available here.

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