Bloody Well Wright

The Black Nativity pastor samples Cornell, Sabzi, and Jesus (naturally).

With her Total Experience Gospel Choir, now in its fourth decade, Pastor Patrinell Wright has traveled as far outside the choir room as Neumos to collaborate with Common Market. They've also gone into the studio to record a stirring cover of Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose." And for the 12th year, Wright's leading Intiman Theatre's performance of Langston Hughes' Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play. (A transcript of the entire interview is posted here on our blog Reverb.)SW: You were a pastor's kid who graduated to being a pastor yourself.PW: Yeah, but I wasn't that strict on my kids. My kids don't even go to church now. They're adults. They've been trained to do the right thing, and if they don't want to adhere to what they've been taught, that's on them. I did my part.Are you trying to convert people with Black Nativity?By no means; we shout out to as many denominations as we know of. We're hoping that everybody will understand that it is actually a plea for peace and unity... to get people to understand that the only thing that divides us, I think, is ignorance.How has the show changed over the past decade? I noticed a reference to Obama last night.Last year was absolutely off the charts with emotions because of the election— because he is African American, and who would have thunk it that in my lifetime I would have seen it. I'm still jubilant. I'm still in awe.Why is it called Black Nativity and not just Nativity?It's the Nativity story through the eyes of black people. We added the dance and up-to-date music for the relevancy of today, but the story line is the same, just as Langston Hughes wrote it.This is your last year in this venue. No room at the Intiman?We never dreamed that it would be this popular in Seattle. This is not a religiously popular town, by no means. To tell you the truth, this is our 12th year, we're just now getting the black audience. On the 10th anniversary, more black people showed up that year than I'd seen in all the years prior to that.You've collaborated with Common Market. How do you like hip-hop?I like hip-hop. It's the young people's way of expressing their love or disgust with what's going on in this country. I listen to it because I want to hear what they're thinking.Did you find spirituality in Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose"?Oh, yes. The lyrics to that song, they cross over. Hypocrisy is the key there. A lot of people who profess to be something that they're not, is the wrong example for our young people to see.ckornelis@seattleweekly.com

 
comments powered by Disqus