20th Anniversary Celebration of UpSurge!

Audience Comments From the  20th Anniversary Celebration of UpSurge!

Nat and Zigi…the 20th Anniversary event was spectacular! I just got home and am still moving to the beat. All I can say is you and Zigi are a class act ‘fo real…always have been…always will be.

Totally great tonight.   The Obama song was on the mark.  OOO.   And the army of artists! Too late for us old folks to party afterward, but both of us loved it.   Needs to be a new album.  Yeah, huge process, need money…….  still. Thank you guys so much, and photos will take a few days to process.

Hi Raymond and Zigi, I just got home from your heart filling 20th anniversary event. I hope you are doing a 20th Anniversary CD with everything on it that you and everyone did tonight….including the group poem reading….Wait! guess you have to make it a DVD so we get Zigi dancing with her Mom….every minute of tonight including the break! Destiny! the man-with-one-harmonica-that-sounded-like-six! You did 3 Michael Moore movies in one night. what power. And the flow from tough to soft…well–I don’t have your way with words but you KNOW! Jesus Christ!

I had never heard FEMA before! help! I just finished CORE disaster training and hope to work with folks in W. Oakland to pull together a team so we never have to call FEMA. I have been through 2 other trainings and believe me the white hill residents are organized to snag all the resources. We’ll take care of our own and you’ll take care of our hearts…the poem Zigi read about what you do…. Do you have a book of poetry published? A children’s book with a CD! I see a big future finally for the Truth.
Thank-you and bless you.
Sandra Decker

What an amazing, inspiring, uplifting, thrilling, motivating, powerful evening!   Thank you. thank you, thank you!!! I am full up and overflowing with the spirit of all that is transformative and groovy.  love you, Barb


I know you pulled it off in grand style the celebration of your results from your hard work and effort .  Walk tall , be proud you deserve it , you are the best at what you do ! That is not your motivation yet still no one foes it better just the same! I mentioned Doug would be missed and I meant to mention Raymond’s mom in that mix!

I am happy for the success and acknowledgment of Upsurge! That is soothing for me and share pride in being among you two and the other contributors of the Upsurge! sound!  Post some pictures , share some stuff online , promote , promote and promote the celebration for the rest of the year ( and beyond ) 

I hope you had fun , just a great time with laughter and tears of joy.
Respectfully, Richard

Zigi and Raymond (please forward),Had to leave early (about 9:35), but loved your celebration last night. Thanks for the inspiration!

All went well last night and a good turn out, so thank-you walk-ups and procrastinators! Loved the slide show montage with the radio show audio….. I was thinking how (great? cool? effective?) it would be to put a N. O. montage together on YouTube to your FEMA! sound track. And/or the Upsurge! 20 yr montage on YouTube as well…

What a fantastic event and emotional I did cry once. wish I had felt a bit better. It meant a great deal to me….There are so many memories to cherish. It was the best performance I’ve been to in a long time. You were great, Zigi was great…I loved her dancing with her mother…Zigi is so smooth, cool….and professional, the venue was beautiful and Destiny Muhammad tore it up at the end. Like I said before…it was spectacular.

Raymond and Zigi.. Thanks so much for letting me share in the celebration of your 20th Anniversary.. Wow.. Y’all really know how to put on a show…damn… We were so happy to be there with you at F ‘n S on your anniversary.  We loved having the experience of UpSurge and were knocked out both by the messages of your poetry and by the quality of the musicians.  You should be so proud of what you do…

Mary Ellen (& Bob)  

LOL – congratulations for 20 great years — time sure flies when we’re having fun!!

Dear Zigi and Raymond,

        Thank you for such a beautiful moving experience. Your anniversary celebration was something I will always remember. Your presencing of Daniel always touches my heart. Upsurge really speaks to the heart of our times. I wish the whole world could hear you.  Much love and gratitude, Kate

ps—I saw someone videotaping—is there any chance it might go up on youtube or somewhere on the net where people could access or link to it.  I’m on facebook with friends all over the world and I know they would love you and pass the video on. I put the notice of the anniversary on facebook and Christopher Cafiero in germany and John Winters commented. Also,  Bill and Laura  and Vicki sent their love ,  even tho they couldn’t come. pps.  The song that Destiny sang (Love’s in need…) has been huge in my own healing  since Daniel’s death. I’ve listened to Stevie Wonders’ version probably hundreds of times and been so deeply moved each time,  but never so powerfully as when Destiny and Upsurge performed.  There’s a way that song has always helped me connect to my grief about loosing Daniel,  but even more to my and our collective grief over the cycle of violence. Hearing people talk about wanting revenge, wanting to kill in response to the killing is heartbreaking beyond words. For me, on a very deep level it’s what keeps the cycle going.  Love is the medicine.  Thank you for giving us that. Kate

Readers’ Pick for Best Poet or Spoken-Word Performer: UpSurge!


“Free-pushing jazz band with
two strong poets out front…”
—East Bay Express