Jon Goode
Gig Seeker Pro

Jon Goode

Band Spoken Word Comedy


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"CNN:Jon Goode: A Man of His Words"

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- In a small independently owned coffee shop on the corner of one of Atlanta's urban pockets, a group of would-be poets come together at open mic night for an evening of poetry and rhymes.

Emmy-nominated spoken-word poet Jon Goode appears in CNN's "Black in America" series.

It's one of the monthly gatherings at Urban Grind coffeehouse that has lured talent as spoken word emerges from the underground.

Artists such as Tommy Bottoms, Goldie, Chas, Nukola and TheresaThaSongbird take turns at the microphone testing their poetic skills. These bohemians of varying talent coin rhymes about subjects ranging from AIDS and prostitution, to high gas prices and the pangs of unrequited love.

But it was the emcee who got the most props that night.

Jon Goode rounded out the evening to much laughter and applause with a lyrical diatribe about his mom and the nostalgia of his youth:

"Kids will be kids but moms will be moms, you can did what you did and mom's gonna show you right from wrong.

'But Billy mom let him stay out for an extra few.'

'I don't give a damn what Billy momma do, I will beat you, I will beat Billy, I will beat Billy momma too!'

That's how my mom used to do."

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Goode studied economics and finance at James Madison University in Virginia. His Southern-laced vernacular alludes to a rural upbringing. His bookish style -- starched short-sleeve button up with tie, wire-rimmed glasses and a straw boater hat -- is straight out of a Harper Lee novel. Watch Jon Goode perform live »

Black in America
CNN's Soledad O'Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men in America -- 40 years after the death of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Watch tonight, 9 p.m. ET

see full schedule »
Friends liken him to "a civil rights leader that listens to rap music." Goode's spoken-word performances are drawn from a collection of personal stories, most of which are true, he says.

The seasoned wordsmith rose through the ranks to deliver his rhymes to the spoken-word mainstream. He's done writing stints and made appearances for Nike, Nickelodeon and CNN's "Black in America."

But it was after an appearance on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" that Goode really started to get noticed.

Goode says the trek to renown was not easy. For several years, he sent the same demo tape to HBO, hoping to get picked up on "Def Poetry Jam." They told him he needed to be more animated, theatrical.

It was not until he filled in on a radio show that he was noticed by an HBO executive, who asked Goode for another tape. Goode passed along the same one he had been sending for the past four years.

Tthe HBO executive "took it home and said, 'that was dope,' " Goode recalled.

One writing gig led to another, and Goode was able to quit his corporate job and make a living from poetry. In 2006, he received an Emmy nomination for a skit written for the Nick@Nite Black History month campaign.

Don't Miss
In Depth: Black in America What did you think about Black in America?
Born of the smoke-infused speakeasies of 1950s and '60s underground San Francisco, California, the art of spoken word was popularized by beatnik writers such as Jack Kerouac.

And music critics have called the Last Poets -- political black poets and musicians who rose from the 1960s civil rights movement -- an early influence on hip-hop music.

In recent years, spoken word has evolved into a byproduct of rap music adopted by the urban community. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons popularized spoken word with his "Def Poetry Jam" series on HBO, drawing special performances from big-name celebrities such as Dave Chappelle, Alicia Keyes and Kanye West.

Educator and hip-hop linguist Michael Eric Dyson, who also performed on "Def Poetry Jam," says spoken word has given an intellectual voice to urban culture and poetry a new accessibility to an American audience.

"The revival of oral magic in black culture over the 25 years with the popularity of hip-hop has sparked the renaissance of spoken word and given it a new platform in black America," Dyson said.

"Usually it's more political and culturally conscientious than the hip-hop that is currently invoked," he said.

Goode agrees that spoken word is hip-hop in its most stripped-down form and a pill that's easier to swallow when it comes to appreciating poetry.

"I like spoken word because it only requires you and your voice.

"Hip-hop artists need all these beats and all this production," he said.

But Goode is quick to remind aspiring poets that success does not happen overnight. He encourages writers to "have a plan" before they quit their day jobs.

It's a message he passes along to the young people he meets when he's on tour performing at black colleges or mentoring elementary school children.

"I try to speak to young people ... and try to get them to move forward," Goode said. - CNN | Dana Rosenblatt

"Love and Revolution: The Poetic Musings of Jon Goode"

Jon Goode is a man of conviction. Some may not automatically conclude this watching one of his stage performances. Admittedly, he does not necessarily command the stage like many of his contemporaries.

He is not spreading his wings and flying across the stage, animating his voice, claiming virility that he can never live up to, or raging his anger against the contradictions of life at the top of his lungs. Instead, Goode is a quiet storm as he stands in front of a microphone and simply spits his truth. Goode’s work expresses an honesty and sincerity that comes from his love of poetry, his people, and his community. “Even if there ain’t no money in it…I would still be writing it. Even if there was nowhere to perform, I would write and probably perform it to myself in the mirror,” says Goode. This passion allows him to create work that resonates with those with a doctorate degree, those who live life transiently, and everyone in between.

From someone who’s been writing poetry for fourteen years, and performing it for six, and using himself as an example, Jon waxed about some of the ins and outs, as he sees it, in the poetry scene. And according to Jon Goode, poets first start out writing about two themes: love and revolution. Case in point, the first poem he performed in Atlanta at the Yin Yang café, which according to him had “one of the most corny titles ever was entitled, The Revolution.” Ironically, love and revolution are bookends that hold up the tomes of spoken word for this young Atlanta-based poet from Oakgrove-Blackwell, a neighborhood on the south side of Richmond, Virginia. Love of family, self, and definitely poetry. Revolution; change for the community, the world, his people. These themes dripped from every empathic word spoken by Goode.

In other words, Goode is good. He is one of a handful of contemporary spoken word artists’ who unashamedly acknowledges a relationship between art and politics, or admits there is a thing called artists’ responsibility. Goode also recognizes that people are complex and often riddled with major contradictions, so his work avoids becoming too preachy. Instead, Jon’s words become the pacemaker for a sometimes temperamental and ailing (he)art. He becomes the mechanism that keeps all other parts balanced and functional. For him, there is more than one way to see a situation, so he tries to create the delicate balance of speaking about difficult topics while not being too alienating.

It doesn’t hurt that Goode is quite funny. There were many moments during our interview when he not only cracked the author up, but himself as well. Goode understands the value of laughter. Goode gets inspiration from the likes of Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney and Dick Gregory – funny men who choose to address important social issues with their voice. Goode wants to use this art form to “…attack issues.” He believes that “even within these complex social issues, no matter how dark and ugly they are, there is a humor…and if you can find the humor…it’s just absolutely wonderful.” However, he doesn’t want to be seen as “just funny.” As he explains, “the other trick is, people can not or should not get lost in the humor. People will say: Jon is funny. As if to say that’s it; like there is no point…and I think that is unfortunate.” Seeing Goode as simply funny is quite a misfortune, because it denies the honesty and sincerity of his work.

Jon speaks truth – his truth – for the love of poetry, and for the promise of a better tomorrow. Admitting that he is opinionated, he tries writing for the common man. Explaining his work, he says: “It’s not moonbeams, and star beams, and third charkas. It’s really everyday talk.” Spoken like a real grassroots revolutionary, he says, “I write for the everyday person…hopefully I say stuff to make you think, to inspire you, to call attention to an issue.” The result of such realism brings promise to an art form that has recently had some cultural critics/cynics suspicious of its increased popularity. Likewise, Goode – who is also a DJ – reflects and says,“…I am very afraid poetry is going to go the way of hip hop…as it starts to get more and more commercialized, it’s going to lose it’s bite…I just don’t want the message of poetry to end up being diluted in this race for a dollar.” Goode offers a prescriptive. He says: “I would love to heal the world, but I am going to start from where I am from, and maybe we can expand from there…if everybody could go back to where they are from, and work on where they are from, then we’d be straight…put your money back home. Fix where you are from.” Simple truths, from a simple man, about real problems.

Speaking of problems, his spoken words usually deal with “issues,” as he says. Jon unashamedly recalls the harsh realities of living with an alcoholic father in Pop Loves Scotch (one of his personal favorites). In Tracks and Trains, a deeply he - Rheal Culture: Rhea L. Combs


Still working on that hot first release.



Star of CNN's "Black in America"- HBO Def Poet- BET Lyric Cafe-Emmy Nominee

Jon Goode is a National Award Winning Slam Poet and comedic writer.
The talented wordsmith uses a smooth and laid back delivery with a unique
blend of humor and wit to make entertaining and poignant observations on
everyday life issues from nostalgic childhood memories, to dealing with cancer.

The Atlanta native has performed for countless clubs, colleges, and
universities and his poetry has been featured on HBO, BET, TV Land, CNN and
Nick@Nite. Jon’s comedic talents have landed him commercial work with
McDonalds and Nike, and his writing and starring role in TV Land’s Black History
Month Campaign earned him an Emmy Nomination and Promax Award.

Jon's performance is a perfect blend of comedy and slam poetry that leaves
an indelible impression on any audience. Book Jon Goode for Welcome Week,
A Comedic Performance, A Poetry Slam, As a Host or MC, Black History Month,
or A Poetry Workshop.

|TV and Radio Credits|

-CNN's Special 2008 Summer Report "Black in America"
-McDonalds 365 Black radio commercial (voice over)
-Nike Urban Survival Guide (writer)
-Nick @ Nite Black History Month 'To Me' interstitial (performance)
-Nick @ Nite Black History Month 'Famous Amos' interstitial (performance)
-Nick @ Nite Cosby Show 'Lisa Bonet' promo (voiceover)
-Nick @ Nite Cosby Show 'Brooklyn Brownstone' promo (writer)
-Nick @ Nite A Different World commercials (writer)
-HBO Def Poetry Jam Season IV
-BET Lyric Cafe 2007
-The program SPOKEN on The Black Family Channel Season 1

NACA Showcases

NACA South 2008
NACA Northern Plains 2009
NACA West 2010