The Echo Of Keno Evol
The Echo of Keno Evol is the debut collection of spoken word pieces from Antoine “Keno Evol” Duke, developed over the past years in audio format and released as a CD. This will also be his first project under a new stage name "Keno Evol." The project captures the details of his experiences living on Portland Avenue in South Minneapolis.
He says “With this project I really strived to capture the essence of two things: 1. a street that sits outside of my apartment with all the noises, smells and characters I am an audience member to on a daily basis and 2. Inside the actual apartment, encompassing both the noise, silence and dialog you hear and feel living inside.” In addition to performances by Keno Evol, the event will feature other artists who have influenced and supported his work, including Tish Jones, Alissa Paris, Antonio Duke, Lamar Collins, Donte Collins, Crystal Spring and Tottiana Adams.
As an artist, performer, poet , educator, spoken word artist, dancer, and director, Keno Evol (Antoine Duke) is indeed a man of many hats. Born in March of 1993, the 19 year-old has received grants, founded companies, and competed nationally as a spoken word artist. He founded No Projection, a company that teaches literacy through spoken word and social justice theater, and is also a founder of Shaking Fences Hip Hop Dance class, Gages Photography and Dopeimgeclothing. He was recently awarded a VERVE grant to create a one-man show he has been developing entitled "RAGS.” He is currently working for Pillsbury House Theatre, where he founded “8 Stages,” a program that uses theatre and spoken word to teach youth how to prevent a culture of violence.
Keno Evol chooses Social Justice Education through theater and art because he believes that in addition to teaching creative and powerful practices, art can educate us on how to become better human beings. He says, "Art allows you to listen to the world around you and take in other perspectives, which is not easily done, especially in today’s society."
He got his start in the performing arts the first time he saw Michael Jackson on television. As he watched in his living room he was hooked to dance, creating and performing anywhere he could. Since then he has attended conferences and performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Washington DC, Arkansas and Minnesota. He has gone on to teach spoken word and theater in schools, including Washburn, Brooklyn Center, and MNIC high schools. He aspires to found his own Organization "Urban Speaks" which will teach spoken word and social justice theater to youth around the Twin Cities.