Meet the Board: J. Ivy

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Chicago Chapter

 J. Ivy is an Award Winning Artist, Author, Voice-Over Talent, Motivational Speaker, Actor, Peabody & Clio Award Winning Performance Poet.  His breath-taking performances have led him to appearances on Russell Simmons' HBO Def Poetry, NFL's Sunday Night Football, B.E.T.'s Ali: The People's Champ, a commissioned performance for NBA Legend Michael Jordan, workshops for Deepak Chopra, and musical creations with The RZA, Estelle, Miri Ben-Ari, Carl Thomas, Lil Mo, Slum Village, J Dilla, John Legend & Kanye West on his classic song "Never Let Me Down," with Jay-Z. Following his projects "Here I Am," "Diggin' In The Papes," and his book, "Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain," J. Ivy is set to release the audio book & album, "My Daddy's Records," February 2016.

What was your first live music experience?

I feel like the luckiest person ever because my first live music experience was seeing Michael Jackson on the Victory Tour at Comiskey Park. The energy was indescribable. Electric is the closest word that may have a chance at comparing to the feeling. 

The quote I live my life by is…

"Dreams Don't Come True, They Are True." This is a quote I wrote when I realized the power and magic of living out your dreams and purpose. 

If you could write one new law that everyone had to obey, what law would you create?

My would be The Must Speak Act...haha! But for real, I feel if we all spoke to each other, at least more than we do now, we would see how connected we all are, we would see one another's humanity, we would lean more on our compassion for the next man and woman which would lead to more peace, more music, more good times.

What is your favorite thing about the Chicago music scene?

Chicago has the most talented people in the world. I love the realness but even more than that I love the different styles and flavor used to convey our creativity. Everybody here is so different but so dope in their own right. 

What is your favorite GRAMMY moment?

Seeing Kanye walk up to that stage with Chicago on his back to receive the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for The College Dropout was my favorite moment. . It was especially sweet because I had the honor of being on the album and a part of history. 

Why did you choose your profession?

My profession of poetry chose me. I never once said, "When I grow up I want to be a poet," but when I was exposed to it, when I got a standing ovation the first time ever being on stage, after my English teacher MADE me do a show, I fell deeply in love with realizing my gifts, with realizing I had a voice that could create change. From there, I just followed my heart. 

What are your 2 favorite albums?

2 is SO, SO hard but I would have to say Michael Jackson Thriller and A Tribe Called Quest Low End Theory. But Common is my all time favorite MC and The Jacksons Can You Feel It is my all time favorite song. That's the one I want played at my home going celebration when the Good Lord calls!

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Chicago Chapter Executive Director - Sarah Jansen


President - Mark Hubbard

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