Music » Music Stories & Interviews

Carmens de la Calle Heats Up With Monthly Themed Poetry Event


Nationally-recognized and published poet, singer and songwriter Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson has been hosting poetry events at one of San Antonio's most recognized black-owned restaurants, Carmens De La Calle.
  • Jazz and Poetry Flyer/Facebook
The event, Jazz and Poetry with a Purpose, Jazz and Poetry for short, is held on the last Thursday of every month at Carmens, located at 320 N Flores. The shows begin at 8 p.m.

"We've been hosting at Carmens since 2015," Sanderson said. "I attended a friend's birthday party and was asked to perform with the band. The owner, Paula Sullivan, recorded my performance and later I asked Paula if I could host learning that she needed one."

Every month there's a new theme for Jazz and Poetry. Last month's theme paid respects to Dr. Martin Luther King's Letters from a Birmingham Jail, a series of letters that Dr. King wrote while imprisoned in Birmingham, Alabama for trespassing and boycotting. The letters were to help continue the fight against the unjust laws that plagued the black community.

"The theme was called 'Open Letters To Humanity,'" Sanderson said. "We asked people all over San Antonio to write a letter addressing: Dear America, Dear Texas or Dear San Antonio. The letters can be seen posted in the windows as you walk into Carmens.

This month's theme is "Mysteries of Womanhood" to celebrate Women's History Month. "We want poets to create with a specific purpose in mind," Sanderson said. "The events are inspired by the art of the Harlem Renaissance, the balance between jazz, improve, and spoken-word. The musicians compliment the the poetry and words. Lina Sea will be helping me host that night."
  • Andres "Vocab" Sanderson/Facebook

Sanderson and Sullivan plan to create a podcast series for Spotify entitled "Jazz Cookery." The podcast will host San Antonio music artists with upcoming or newly-released material, giving them the opportunity to talk about their projects and record a live performance.

"Jazz and Poetry is a unique experience," Sanderson said. "The flavor and mood changes with every show. We're making a moment happen. People leave happy and charged with each performance, especially the poets."
The next Jazz and Poetry with a Purpose event will be held March 28 at 8 p.m.
Get our top picks for the best events in San Antonio every Thursday morning. Sign up for our Events Newsletter.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.