Martin Luther McCoy pka Martin Luther or Martian Luther,is a dynamic soul singer with a heavy rock sound. www.youtube.com/martianluther He seamlessly traverses the soundscape of classic soul/rnb and hip hop while maintaining his singer songwriter roots. He speaks and sings from his heart and has gained a world wide audience for having one of the most engaging voices of modern times.Martin has continued to release music on his own label Rebel Soul Records and is now ready to release his third studio LP entitled 'Love Is The Hero'. His previous releases http://martinluthermccoy.bandcamp.com/have gained critical acclaim and international recognition over the years. ''Martin makes music beautiful.''He has toured with The Roots as a member of their ensemble and has shared stages with the likes of Jill Scott and Dave Matthews and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and many others. He made his cinematic debut as a lead in Julie Taymor's Beatles tribute film 'Across the Universe' and has made cameos and appearances on both the large and small screen.http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2028439/"M.L. is for music lovers and that's who I make music for. I love my people. Our stories have more relevance than we know. The world watches and learns from us so I am doing my part to bring the legacy of this great culture into an even greater future.''AMERICAN GOLD - 2012 REBEL SOUL RECORDS
Diamano Coura West African Dance Company is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, education, and appreciation of traditional West African music, dance, theater, and culture. Since its inception in 1975, Diamano Coura, under Director Dr. Zak Diouf and Artistic Director Naomi Washington, has implemented its mission through ongoing workshops, performances, youth programs, touring engagements, lecture demonstrations, community outreach, and creative partnership programs with renowned artists and performing companies. In addition, Diamano Coura strives to portray West African music and dance specifically as forms not simply for entertainment or exhibition, but rather, means by which communities educate, communicate, organize, and preserve their ancestral past. Diamano Coura, in the Senegalese Wolof language, means "those who bring the message."While the directors, Naomi and Zak, are respectively from Liberia and Senegal, Diamano Coura embodies an entourage of carefully trained male and female senior company dancers, actors, singers, acrobats, musicians, stiltwalkers, and visual artists from Mali, Senegal, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Gambia and the United States. Diamano Coura also embodies a junior company of 15 members and does outreach to over 500 youths between the ages five and seventeen within the San Francisco Bay Area. The Junior Company is a part of Diamano Coura's Youth and Arts-In-Education Program. Exemplifying the importance of the arts in education Diamano Coura's Junior and Senior Company have performed and made a strong impact on youths in the Los Angeles School District Young Audience Project, San Diego School District Artist-In-Residence Project, as well as countless young people in theSan Francisco Bay Area school districts.Diamano Coura has also performed extensively in major theater houses and universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe while also being invited to tour internationally:In 1977, touring the West African countries of Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali;In 1990-91, touring the Netherlands and Belgium. In 1993 Director Zak Diouf and Artistic Director Naomi Washington were invited to work with the San Francisco Ballet's Val Carniporili in creating "Lambarena", a collaboration of West African dance and European style ballet to the music of Johan Bach and traditional music of Gabon. This work premiered in San Francisco in 1993; New York, NY in 1994; Salt Lake City, UT in 1995; Seattle, WA in 1996; West Palm Beach, FL and Singapore in 1998. With the success of this creative collaborative project, Naomi and Zak, on behalf of Diamano Coura, were invited to consult and choreograph for the Singapore Ballet in 1998 and in South Africa in 1999. Also a part of Diamano Coura's community outreach and Creative Partnership Program, the company was invited to partake in the making of the independent film, Follow Me Home, which was well received by other artists, film critics and audiences. In its performance repertoire, Diamano Coura has regularly presented in works at the Epcot Disney World in Florida, the Black Dance Experience, the Ethnic Dance Festival in Sand Francisco, the Bay Area Dance Series, the Houston Arts Festival, the Atlanta Black Dance Festival, the Olympic Cultural Festival and Collage de la Cutures Africaines in Oakland. Collage de la Cutures Africaines is a collaborative effort conceived and hosted by Diamano Coura which brings together renowned artists, performing companies, and businesses from throughout San Francisco Bay Area and around the world to celebrate music, dance, history, artwork, and cultures from countries of the African Diaspora.
Pianist. Emcee. Producer. Bandleader. Sideman. Music historian. Kev Choice wears many hats, and all of them fit. Blessed with prodigious talent, plus the skill and dedication to his craft to pull it off, the Oakland-based artist is redefining what it means to be a musician in this day and age. Not too many classically-trained pianists who hold Master’s degrees in jazz can rock microphones with blazing-hot 16s.
Yet such versatility comes natural to Choice, whose diverse array of influences ranges from Prince to Rakim to A Tribe Called Quest to Stevie Wonder to McCoy Tyner to Chopin and Ravel.
“I grew up in the Hip-Hop era,” he explains. “I had love for Hip-Hop before I even knew what classical music really was.” Hip-Hop, he says, “was always the music that helped me express myself the most,” while “Classical music gave me a broader understanding and appreciation for music beyond Hip-Hop.”
Choice remembers being “heavily into vinyl” as a young child, which helped him to develop his ear for music. He began playing piano at age 11, and was soon recognized as a prodigy. As a teenager, Choice played in classical and jazz ensembles as part of the UC Berkeley Young Musicians Program, and continued his studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans)–where he graduated with a (BM) in music– and Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)–where he graduated with a (MM) in music.
Post-grad school, Choice became an in-demand sideman, recording and touring with the likes of Michael Franti and Spearhead, Lyrics Born, Too $hort, Ledisi and Goapele. In 2007, Lauryn Hill asked him to be her musical director, a gig which took him to 12 countries. Hill, he says, “was very influential in my musical development as an artist ” – exposing him to Ethiopian and world music, rock and reggae.
Working with L-Boogie, Choice reflects, “showed me that I was capable of anything and that I should always be pushing myself musically, never get comfortable in your abilities, and always speak and say what you feel in your music without compromise.” He’s since added to his international resume by touring Europe with The Coup, and has also worked with Dwele, Martin Luther, Amel Larrieux, Omar, Joi, and Souls of Mischief.
But Choice isn’t just a sideman. As a solo artist, he’s opened for Robert Glasper, Mos Def, Digable Planets, DJ Quik, and J Davey. He leads a jazz-hip-hop-funk big band, the Kev Choice Ensemble, in addition to producing and performing his own material, which includes original jazz and classical compositions as well as classical- , jazz-, and funk-inspired hip-hop.
Choice has composed hip-hop sonatas and recorded rhymes to classical melodies, recorded a new song per day for an online series called The Daily Dosage, and has recorded several solo projects, including The Bailout and The Inauguration mixtapes, which highlighted his lyrical skills as well as his musical talents.
Being able to read and play music gives Choice an advantage over average emcees and producers, he says. “I can communicate my musical ideas in multiple ways… I can take a beat that I make, and write it out for a band or an orchestra, or any configuration of instruments.”
As an emcee, Choice has superb flows, and consistently conscious, intelligent subject matter– reminiscent of a West Coast version of Talib Kweli or Nas. It’s tempting to sleep on his vocal abilities, given his musical excellence – until you’ve seen him freestyle on stage, nonchalantly ripping verse after jaw-dropping verse.
Performing live, he says, is “a way to take people on a journey. I want people to feel highs and lows, experience emotions, and relate to the things I’m saying in the music. I want people to see the amazing musicians in my band play at a high level and have us touch them with our musical gifts individually as well as collectively. I definitely always look to reflect my diverse musical influences in a show. I try to combine classical, jazz, soul, funk, rock, drum & bass, electro, and all types of music, in a Hip-Hop context. I like to stay current with my show, constantly adding new elements, trying new things, and trying to take it to a higher level.”
Music is what fuels Choice’s aspirations. Like a jazzman of old, he’s known for a rigorous work ethic which places him in a constant cycle of rehearsal to show to studio. Rarely is he not involved in multiple projects concurrently – his current endeavors include a live KCE album; a studio EP of all-original material; a hip-hop opera; and independent film and TV scoring. As a bonafied composer with hip-hop chops, entering such Quincy Jones-like territory would seem like more of a natural evolution than a stretch for Choice.
Currently based in his hometown of Oakland, Choice has also spent considerable amount of time in the South and Midwest, attending college in Louisiana and Illinois and living for awhile in Atlanta. “I may travel and dip to different places from time to time, but The Town will always be home,” he says. “I grew up in Oakland so I definitely have a strong connection to the city and community.“
Today’s state of black music, particularly mainstream rap, is a concern for many, including Choice, who imparts, “the subject matter is often very offensive, and centered around money, sex, drugs, and other subjects that aren’t positive… I definitely feel we need more of a balance again.”
Choice aims to not only return hip-hop to the cultural standards it once had, but surpass the genre’s creative peak by adding new layers of musical nuance into beats, rhymes, and swaggadoccio. His artistic vision, he says, is to be “an artist that combined Hip-Hop with a type of musicality that has never been done” and to “make conscious Hip-Hop music that is also accepted on a mainstream level.”
The absolute truth is that hip-hop in particular and black music in general, desperately needs a Kev Choice: a true musician, cultural historian, and urban griot dedicated to cultural expression and the art of making quality music. Sometimes, the most unique, original Choice is the best Choice one can make.
SoL DeVeloPMeNT A Hip-Hop/Jazz/Soul ensemble based out of Oakland California is the soundtrack to the movement for justice, freedom and hope. As both educators and artists Sol Development uses the power of music to help convey positive messages on improving self and improving society. Led by MC Karega Bailey, an award winning poet and educator, the collective has been lauded by the likes of The Source Magazine, Okayplayer, Revolt TV and AllHipHop among others. The collective performed at #MLKNow which received half a million views and featured the likes of J. Cole, Bilal and India Arie, They have also been featured artists at The Blue Note NYC, Justice or Else and Broccoli Music Festival in Washington D.C.
Coming off of their #DisruptHopelessness Summer Tour that had stops in New York, Washington D.C, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Los Angeles etc. Stay connected to this crew to see what's next and get ready for their first official album release coming soon.
“Their brand of community healing is necessary in a time where our performers in front of the camera neglect to speak on what’s going on behind it.”– Okayplayer
"Get familiar with these talented souls now before it is too late." -The Source Magazine
They’re not the Jackson 4, they’re JAX .
This Haitian African American sibling band has a sound as rich as their cultural heritage. Steeped in soul, hiphop, reggae, pop and rock, these youngsters not only play instruments and harmonize melodies, but compose and perform music with a message. Following in the footsteps of Bob Marley, Sly and the Family Stone, and Lauren Hill, JAX brings back musicianship in the form of anthem like songs.
JAX grew up in an artistic family. All 4 were child models. They even co-wrote and put on their own theater production in 2009, when the youngest was only 4. After a few years at the Destiny Arts Center, and the Oakland Youth Choir, the youth enlisted the help of their father, Ajayi Jackson, and family friend, Jennifer Johns, to create a band. Since their first performance at the Life is Living Festival, Oakland (2013), JAX has been on KPFA, won the JCCSF Battle of the bands (2015), and most recently, rocked Oakland’s Art & Soul Festival, featuring a cameo with Tony Toni Tone.
Sai, 16 (Piano / Vocals) Aman, 15 (Bass / Vocals) Sudan, 13 (Guitar / Vocals) Ayo, 11 (Drums)
Contact Info for JAX : Ajayi Jackson : Manager firstname.lastname@example.org (510)866-4473
Website : jaxtheband.com
Candice Antique travels time living the past, present and future through her music. As the lead singer and producer of all vocal beatboxing soul band Antique Naked Soul she takes fans on a visual journey to the 1950’s and 60s while highlighting and preserving an art made famous in the 1980s. As a solo artist, Candice Antique steps into the future with AfroBeat and dancehall rhythms pulsating under soulful vocals and she demonstrates her production skills doing live beat making of original music on stage. Candice Antique has shared the stage with Talib Kwali, The Roots, Yasiin Bey aka. Mos Def, Nneka, Ladi6, Les Nubians, Fantastic Negrito and many more incredible artists.
TownFuturist: Intimate Sessions - Antique -"I Love Being Black"
I Love Being Black ft. Antique
DOS FOUR (LEYDER CHAPMAN) Lead singer and song writer Leyder Chapman was born in Holguín, Eastern Cuba and raised in Havana. He left his family and career as a professional basketball player on the Cuban National Basketball team to pursue his American Dream. In 2001, bound for the Goodwill Games in Australia with a layover in Los Angeles, he chose to remain in the U.S., knowing he would not be able to see his family or country for at least five years in exchange for the freedom to pursue a life of his own choosing. Chapman's talent for performing started at a young age. Even though he excelled in athletics, he was always dedicated to his love for music and dance, and continued to develop his skills as a lyricist and composer. At the age of nine, he began performing in various talent groups in and out of school: dance troops; theater clubs; chorus; and playing percussion. He wrote his first song, "Yo Te Amo Verdad" at the age of fourteen. When Chapman arrived in Oakland, California he able to fully commit his time to creating music. Music was Chapman’s true passion which moved him to found SAOCO, a band specializing in the fusion of Cuban rhythms with popular Reggaeton. It was at this time that Chapman’s name as a musical artist, Dos Four, was formed. SAOCO released their first CD, "La Farandula" in late 2005. In 2008 they released a follow-up album titled the “2nd Round.” Needing creative room to breathe and explore his own style, Dos Four re-arranged his focus onto his solo career and since 2008 he has released a number of albums such as "Ochanlayeo" in 2008, “Changana” in 2009, “El Original” in 2010, "Dos Mil y Una Tonga" in 2011, and "La Vida Real" in 2013. Dos Four is the lead Singer/Rapper as well as Composer, Arranger, Producer, and Lyricist. He has been inspired by many such as Candido Fabré, Los Van Van, Tego Calderon, Jay Z, Young Jeezy, and Tupac. Fusing Cuban style rhythms with the Urban beats is Leyder's way of honoring and staying connected to his home country of Cuba while also creating a new home here in the U.S. He enjoys sharing his music and talents with his fans and friends and his love and passion for music and his culture is what continues to drive him forward.
The RUBaDUBz pay tribute to the greatest reggae legends of our time. This LIVE BAND plays classic ROOTS, ROCKERS, & RUBaDUB music to up lift your soul.
Reggae music tells the narrative of love, liberation, unity, justice, upliftment and empowerment of all people. Although this “one love” music originates in the heart of Jamaican culture, its impact has permeated communities all over the globe and inspired multi-generational healing. In honor of this powerful music, the RUBaDUB Posse (aka the RUBaDUBz) pays tribute to the greatest reggae legends of our time. The RUBaDUBz are a 5-8 piece, female fronted, live reggae band that performs songs going far back to the roots of reggae. Their live show features classic tunes from the rocksteady, roots, dub, rockers and lovers rock era all the way to dancehall and contemporary reggae. The RUBaDUBz’ repertoire includes legendary artists and bands such as Bob Marley and the Wailers, Steele Pulse, Gregory Isaacs, Jimmy Cliff, Toots & the Maytals, Marcia Aitken, Barrington Levy, Sister Nancy, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, Dawn Penn, Estelle, Third World Band and Sade to name a few.