Young, fiery spoken word artist Jasmine “Jazz” Hudson has been rocking East Bay mics since the eighth grade. From her first writer’s workshop at the West Oakland Library — where her father sent her to “curb that mouth of hers” — she has performed everywhere from the streets of Oakland and Richmond to the national stage, often with her son Nassor at her side.
Her work has appeared before Mos Def, Susan Taylor, Michael Eric Dyson and in high school classrooms all over the SF Bay Area. Jazz has also shared her work in social justice arenas such as rallies for Oscar Grant, Black August events, and Soulciety’s Empowerment showcase. She is also a former Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Slam Finalist.
In 2011, she self-published her first chapbook, “Small Minds Say Small Things“.
She currently works as an arts educator in Oakland, CA.
Jazz Hudson is a beautiful poet gracing stages, providing consciousness to her listeners by sharing her perspective about the issues of today’s society, while attracting them to her words of wisdom and life-altering experiences. She uses her words as a catalyst to raise awareness of the detestable acts of the unconscious mind and how it can be crippling to those who accept fraudulence as their truth to live by.
She often expresses the importance of agape love of self and others, while speaking of the transition on reaching this heightened state of mind to exist in a society such as this. She allows her words to resonate in the minds of those who sip from her cup of truth to be taken with awe by its lessons of trial and error. She allows her poetry to depict the wonders of the world, taking the audience on a journey through the miles of Jazz!
Read Jazz’s poetry here.
The first time I ever saw this talented woman perform, her words were captivating, her energy was amazing, as she painted stories with scripture and rubbed her pregnant belly. She is dope. Since then I have seen her perform at countless events and I am always immensely impressed. Some people’s spirit shines through so beautifully when they bless a mic. No matter if she is spitting poetry, teaching a workshop, or singing like song birds do, she brings love, grace, and phenomenal talent to everything she does.
Jazz has a unique ability to capture the essence of any character that she is casted for. Her poetry and stage rocking background has given her the knowledge of what it takes to identify with the role that she is partaking in. In her latest work, she is featured in an empowering movie: The Art of Love, by amazing film producer Bayaan Bakari.
Jazz’s uncommon versatility gives her the ability to command the attention of any audience, whether on stage or on camera — taking observers on a ride through her selected character and thoroughly expressing those emotions. More videos here.
Jasmine “Jazz” Hudson could be best described as a modern day rebel who has a good cause… Her punch in your face poetic words deliver an empowering message that has managed to cause quite a riot. In her young career, this single mother, community activist, poet, writer and actress brings to her audience a “Tour de Force” of words that announces the harsh realities of growing up in America and the ongoing struggles that many of today’s youth are still facing, particularly those in the black communities.
Jazz travels around the country presenting workshops to at-risk teens to make them critical thinkers of the decisions they make, and how those decisions will affect their lives. She is known to break through barriers of the most hard-hearted youth to help them deal with internalized issues that are central to their personal development.
She creates a platform and safe place for young people to openly express how they feel, while working to acknowledge the reasons why they may feel the way they do. Her tactics to reach people are harmless, yet thought-provoking. She uses her own experiences to allow them to see that we all have flaws and hidden trauma that we don’t readily address.
Jazz is one of the most effective speakers of this generation; helping many youth heal from past experiences in the midst of giving them knowledge to utilize has become her weapon of choice. Facilitating workshops and sister circles is her expertise. Her words help to build leaders out of many; transforming the lives of our generations and those to come has been her passion, ever since being a young girl!
Jazz is available for in-class, after school, or conference workshops.
Past topics covered by Jazz include:
- Sexism in Hip-hop
- Who am I?
- Health Education
- Creative Writing
- Spoken Word
Jazz has taught me that it is nearly impossible to affect your surroundings without being honest with self and therefore your writing. As she would say, “what comes from the heart reaches the heart.”
- Mentee Joshua Merchant, 20 years old
98% of all mentored youth complete their high school education and enter adulthood with tools and assets that lead to success and fulfillment.
In order to truly change our community for the better, we must all take an active part to be the change we wish to see in the world. Making a personal investment in changing someone else’s life and being a posivite influence is something that’s helped my personal growth as well as the larger community. If it wasn’t for the mentors I had in my life, I’m not sure I would be the person I am today.
I met Jazz at the age of 14 while I was attending Leadership Excellence’s Camp Akili. Around this time, my life was taking an interesting turn because my family had just been split up due to domestic abuse and I as the oldest of my siblings, I was forced to be more responsible in helping my mother in the household, both financially and morally. I can honestly say that Jazz has been there as a huge support and teacher throughout my developmental years and especially when I became pregnant at 15 years old. Jazz came to my first doctor’s appointment as well as did a lot of talking with me about being a young mother and how to approach my situation in the healthiest way possible.
She gave me books on pregnancy and early childhood life, taught me how to construct my diet as an expecting mother, and gave me advice on how to persevere through school and stay on top of business. Anytime I needed Jazz she was available to support me, and I named her godmother of my son. I can honestly say that as a mentor, Jazz gave me a big push when my life became hectic and overwhelming by continuously advising me in the right direction. She definitely played a huge hand in my graduation from high school and attendance at San Francisco State University as well as being a present mother for my son.
Mentors such as herself are necessary in the community for at-risk and troubled youth such as myself and others like me.
- Mentee Maua Nzingha Nyamekye, 17 years old