On July 21, 2018, Kupferberg Center For The Arts held a Wonderful World Festival in honor of the world-renowned jazz musician, Louis Armstrong. Among the performers on the setlist, were the eight member brass ensemble, The Soul Rebels. A band known for their knack for infusing genres such as funk, rock, and soul, as well as innovative song covers that have led to many collaborations, including acts like Metallica and Green Day. As New Orleans natives, they live and breathe the sound of jazz and they sure proved it with their performance in that evening. Before we got to view their electric show, we got a chance to sit down with percussionists and founding members of the group, Lumar LeBlanc and Derrick Moss. Check out the audio below (accompanied with the soulful trumpet of Armstrong himself in the background).
MoMA Dances to Katalay’s Afrobeats
Everywhere you go, one can see the influence of African music on today’s society. From the dances to the food, New York City has a new crush on Africans. One musician, Nkumu Katalay has been at the forefront of this new African movement whether by performing at the Shrine in Harlem or leading a troop of dancers at the African Day Parade.
Nkumu Katalay & The “Life Long Project” Band is a collective group of musicians with musical roots based on the urban sound of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and also influences from all types of music from the African Diaspora. Nkumu leads the band with amazing vocals, however, Nkumu is also a talented dancer, choreographer, and social activist. He always promotes Africa in a positive view.
On Thursday, July 12th 2018, Katalay perform his stylistic music and dance for the crowd at The Museum of Modern. As always, Nkumu brought life and energy to his audience urging them to get up and dance along to irresistible music. Don’t know how to dance? No problem, Nkumu brought a troop of beautiful and talented dancers to guide the audience.
Some of the audience members had the following remarks about the concert.
Kiano: “I thought that the show was wonderful. The energy that he gave to the crowd, between him and his singers, and how everyone interacted. It was great. I enjoyed the dancers. They brought so much vibrance to the show. Just watching them outside, It was a great day! Great way to spend a Thursday!”
Jeraldine: “I loved the show. I think it was fun, and I got to dance. I love the music. I got to move.”
Stella: “The show was amazing. I follow Nkumu. I think he brings Africa to NYC, or rather to America. He is very authentic with his music. He is very inclusive to all people. His music is the original Lingala music to which I grew up listening, so it’s nice having him in NYC. He makes you not miss home.”
And Nkumu added his own view about the concert.
Nkumu Katalay: “Performing at the Museum was a good opportunity to get the Congolese message out. The message is to get people to recognize Congo in a positive level. Because Congo provides the vibration that humanity needs, but many times the mainstream media does not recognize it that way. We see it as a tool or as an object. But we don’t look as it as an essential lifeline for humanity. So, what we bring at the artistic level is to really hammer on that message that Congo is humanity. The Mother of Humanity”
When crowd had left, MoMA seemed rather empty. However, no venue could forever contain the majesty of Nkumu Katalay & The “Life Long Project” Band.
On Thursday night, break out up and coming artist, Bayli Mckeithan, brought the fire to her performance at the new Mondrian Hotel for her album release party. The 24-year-old is no stranger to the industry, formerly known as lead singer of The Skins, a crew of New York School of Rock classmates whose debut EP ‘Still Sleep’ put them on the map.
Born and raised in Bed Stuy and a LaGuardia High School alum, Bayli spent the last few years performing with her band, The Skins, opening for acts such as Albert Hammond Jr. and Jake Bugg. During this time, Bayli continued to collaborate with artists’ Justin Tranter, The Heavy, & D.R.A.M., recording and carefully fine-tuning her sound into a singular vision.
Her debut solo album, “MYOB: Or Whatever” (“Mind Your Own Business”) is all about moving beyond the judgement of others and focusing on celebrating yourself. It was craftdly produced by Alex Hope, who has worked with singers, Troye Sivan and Tove Lo and co-written with Justin Tranter who has written for Justin Bieber, as well as Selena Gomez. The track exemplifies her genre defying sound, “MYOB: Or Whatever,” is her first song as a solo artist.
At Bayli’s exclusive DJ set and performance, the crowd raved in excitement as she took center stage, climbing up onto the lounge table and started her set. The energy only continued to pulsate the room as the Brooklyn artist pulled out her guitar and rocked the night away. The crowd couldn’t get enough, and they lost it as she started the single. They sang and dance uninhibitedly to the heavy bass and energy inducing performances.
Dancehall culture has long influence modern music in the U.S.A., England, and now many African Countries. However, sometimes, Dancehall has been misunderstood as something dirty that the teens do when they go to the clubs. Bruk Out!, a documentary about dancehall, changes any misconceptions about Dancehall, its origins, and what it means to many of the dancers who take part in its community.
The film took a major look into the Dancehall scene from a woman’s prospective. Director, Cori Wapnowska, captured a side of the whole dance craze with an endearing approach that focused on several dancers on their way to the Dancehall championships in Jamaica. Each dancer went through many difficulties to live the life style of a Dancehall Queen while dealing with prejudices from their families and society.
After seeing this film, I must say that I was rather impressed. Cori weaves a interesting story that is a tribute to her amazing presentation style and film skills. The film changed my views on the dancehall dance style. For the first time, I saw a film that humanized the dancers instead of just presenting them as objects of desire as seen in every music video.
At the end of the film, the audience applauded. Cori had crafted a winner. Go see the film. Go buy the film. Go support Cori. Bruk Out! was one of the most enjoyable films I have seen all year, and I am not just talking about the dancing.
Also, we happened to have a dancehall queen in attendance. DHQ BRAT of Queen Moves. Check her out as she does a headstand at the Bruk Out premiere. Her website and information can be found below. The image set.
Below you will find a link to an interview with Cori Wapnowska and ReggaeCity. Read about the film maker’s view on the film and more. Special thanks to Reggae-City providing reggae news on the East and West Coast.
Comments section can be found at the very bottom of the webpage.
Hailey Knox opened the night at the Mckittrick Hotel. Her voice had a light and upbeat quality to it. This matched her up beat music style. She infused many different styles into her music with a bit of hip hop and rock mixed to together. However, Hailey reveal her true talent with her amazing guitar skills. She covered several popular songs with ease while also putting her own spin on the different covers. Hailey is definitely a young talent who we will see more of on the music scene.
It wonderful to have the opportunity to view Elise LeGrows at the McKittrick Hotel. It’s not often that you see a great performance from a singer without the help of their band joining in on the performance. Elise alone carried this concert to the very end on her own talent. Her voice was sultry, strong, and assertive. Showing her confidence, she easily transitioned her voice from bass notes to high notes. She definitely had a presence reminiscent of the girl groups of the 50’s and 60’s who were not afraid to be bold. Each lyric Elise sung, emulated feelings and emotions that captivated the audience members in attendance. Not one person moved during her set. It was obvious to the see that Elise puts her whole soul into her music by accenting every note with sultry moves of her hands and her hips. She lead the audience on incredible journey of ups and downs as she belted out her sad story. Her ability to captivate the audience was amazing, because she did not have move an inch from the very spot where she first stepped at the beginning of the song. Definitely, Elisa carries the air of a professional songstress who has sung for years in clubs, bars, and who know where else. She is definitely not afraid to make you love her and her music.
Links to their respective sites can be found below. Enjoy the images!!!
One of the sure signs that the holiday season is upon us is the marching of the Macy’s Day Parade down The Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave in New York City). This year, I got a up close view of the parade thanks to my new press pass.
This parade truly is a spectacle to behold. From amazing clown performers to high school bands and cheers leaders and to famous musicians and actors, the parade was littered with happy and joyous music and tom foolery.
Now even though there we many famous celebrities in attendance, the stars of the parade were of course the giant balloons that march down the avenue. In attendance were Olaf from Frozen, Charlie Brown, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and Pikachu to name a few.
You can learn more about the Macy’s Day Parade by visiting the website below. However, you are here to enjoy the images. So listen to some holiday music and enjoy.
Very rarely do I get to see talent in its purest form. As part of new Art Renaissance transforming lower Westchester County, Andrew performed at the Pelham Art Center. Unfortunately, I only caught the last twenty minutes of his concert, however, I was not disappointed. This concert had all the makings of an opera performed in New York City’s world famous music houses.
Andrew Chukwuka Egbuchiem debut as soloist in 1999. Since then, he was a singer in Residence at Singers of United Lands Project. He toured Kenya, Switzerland, Chech Republic, Poland, Latvia, and now Pelham, NY.
Below you find some of Andrew’s music with some pictures of Andrews and his musicians after the concert.
How did I meet Carol Borges? Well, it was dark smokey night in the Jazz Club. I was looking for trouble, and she found me. In all the clubs in this dang city, why did she have walk into mine? I should not have had all that Whiskey in a Teacup.
Ahhh well, it did not happen like that actually. I was sitting watching a band play, and Carol came over to say hi. I have to admit I was really impressed with Carol’s voice. She has that old jazzy flavor that has been missing in music for a while. She has the voice, she has the moves, and she has the look. I am sure she will be an infinite Star!
Below you will find some of Carol’s music, and her info on her website. Please support Carol who is a student of the music program at CITY COLLEGE of C.U.N.Y. school system.
So press play on the video and look at some images.
On a dark and spooky night, hundreds of spectators lined up to see the one and only Village Halloween Parade. The parade participants put on a show that was worthy of Broadway. There were dancing Wonder Women, your favorite neighborhood Spiderman, creepy ghouls and goblins, and event Michael Jackson. I don’t know about how you feel, but he sure does scare me.
An earlier terrorist attempt did not put a damper on this crowd. They were going to show the world that New York City will not hide in fear. Congratulations to all the participants of the parade. By God’s grace, I will see you next year.
Ohhh!!! Is that a Tiger in the featured image?
Ohhhh sooooooo scary!!!!!!! J curls!!! What were they thinking!!!!
Song – Moon Eclipsed the Sun by Evolfo
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