Obituaries

Jayne Cortez, 78, poet and performance artist

NEW YORK — Jayne Cortez, a poet and performance artist whose work was known for its visceral power, its political outrage, and above all its sheer, propulsive musicality, died Dec. 28 in Manhattan.

She was 78.

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Her death, at Beth Israel Medical Center, was from heart failure, said her son, jazz drummer Denardo Coleman.

One of the central figures of the Black Arts Movement — the cultural branch of the Black Power Movement that flourished in the 1960s and 1970s — Ms. Cortez remained active for decades afterward, publishing a dozen volumes of poetry and releasing almost as many recordings, on which her verse was seamlessly combined with avant-garde music.

She performed on prominent stages around the world, including New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Museum of Modern Art, and Carnegie Hall.

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