The New Generation

Two back-to-back shows, each different, featuring a younger generation of cutting edge talent in jazz, dance, gospel, spoken word, contemporary soul and more, closes out Black Brooklyn Renaissance, Black Arts + Culture, 1960 - 2010, a yearlong project celebrating the contributions of artists of the African Diaspora in Brooklyn.

Friday, February 11, 9 - 10:30pm (Doors open at 8pm)
30 Lafayette Ave. (Ft. Greene)
Peter Jay Sharp Building

Participating artists include Talu Green, Climbing PoeTree, Guillermo E. Brown, Michela Marino-Lerman, and Singers with a Testimony (S.W.A.T.). This concert will be Emceed by Tah Phrum Duh Bush.

Co-presented by BAC and BAMcafe Live. Free!

Saturday, February 12 9- 10:30pm (Door open at 8pm)
30 Lafayette Ave. (Ft. Greene)
Peter Jay Sharp Building

Participating artists include Somi, Kid Lucky, Enoch Smith Jr. Trio, Tah Phrum Duh Bush, Francine Ott, Laurie M. Taylor, and Kenya (Robinson) in collaboration with Sara Hart. This concert will be Emceed by Tah Phrum Duh Bush. BAMcafe

Co-presented by BAC and BAMcafe Live. Free!


When Somi was growing up, her mother told her that the rain, ever unpredictable, could be as much a blessing as a challenge. That notion has stayed with the charismatic singer and songwriter all her life and now provides a metaphorical focus for her third album, If The Rains Come First. (ObliqSound), a stunning collection of self-penned story-based songs, a meditation on opening ourselves up to life's blessings and challenges much in the way that we accept the rain and all that it brings. The Boston Globe says Somi's new album, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard World Chart, 'glistens with the sheen of an almost impossibly perfect cosmopolitanism." Singing in English and three East African languages, Somi's vocal delivery is subtle yet the power she exerts is enormous. Her artistic evolution is indisputable. Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, the African and Jazz legacies are always crucial to her sound. Often compared to the likes of Miriam Makeba, Sarah Vaughn, Cassandra Wilson, and Cesaria Evora, her new album also features the legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a longtime Somi fan and mentor. JazzTimes magazine describes her live performance as 'the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves,' Billboard calls it 'all

Kid Lucky
Kid Lucky is a beatboxer, emcee and spoken word artist. Since 1996 Kid Lucky has been considered one of the most cutting edge beatboxers in the world. He shows his talents with "Mixed Vocal Arts," a one man show that fuses beatboxing, rapping, Vocal Percussion, singing, spoken word and vocal sound effects into one vocal style. The entire piece is created in the same fashion of Miles Davis's ground breaking album "Kind of Blue" with a structure filled with improvisation and freestyle. As a solo a cappella artist Kid Lucky has collaborated with numerous of vocalists from all over the world including Stevie Wonder, Rahzel, Eklipse (France), Baba Israel (NYC/UK), Tik Tak (Poland), Cossiga (Czech Rep), Bee Low (Berlin), Hobbit (UK) Roce (France) and more. He has also performed at top venues all over the word including Madison Square Garden (NYC) Archa Theater (Prague), Mama Shelter (France) and many more.

Guillermo Brown When it comes to music, Brown is something of an omnivore. Whether it's calypso, out jazz, hip hop, or electronica, Brown is all ears. As a solo artist and in his work with artists such as Spring Heel Jack and Matthew Shipp, he has attempted to combine free and traditional jazz playing with electronic music, hip-hop, and ethnic styles. Brown was born into a musical family in New Haven, CT in 1976. He grew up around jazz, hip-hop, and rock, and he became involved with ambient and techno after hearing DJ Spooky. Brown replaced Susie Ibarra in the David S. Ware Quartet before the recording of Ware's Surrendered in 2000. He also played on 2001's 'Corridors & Parallels,' the first Ware album to feature Matthew Shipp on synthesizer. In 2001, Brown also played on Rob Reddy's 'Seeing By the Light of My Own Candle' and Roy Campbell's 'It's Krunch Time,' as well as on 'Masses,' an album that featured many New York free jazz musicians improvising over backing tracks created by the electronic duo Spring Heel Jack. In 2002, Brown appeared on DJ Spooky's 'Optometry;' Shipp's jazz/hip-hop album 'Nu Bop;' and he played with William Parker's big band, the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. Brown also released his solo debut, 'Soul at the Hands of the Machine,' an album even more eclectic than those on which he had previously appeared. In 2008 his work "Electro Prayer 5.0" was included on the compilation album Crosstalk: American Speech Music (Bridge Records) produced by Mendi & Keith Obadike.

Enoch Smith, Jr
ESJ Trio Members: Enoch Smith Jr. (piano), Noah Jackson (bass) and Sangmin Lee (drums)
Enoch Smith Jr. arrived in New York in the winter of 2000 after leaving the Berklee College of Music for greener pastures. During his time at Berklee, Enoch was instructed by seasoned pianist Dean Earl (Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt). You could also catch him playing regularly at Wally's Jazz Cafe, an esteemed right of passage for Boston area music students. In addition to his musical collaborations, E.J. has composed film scores for 2 award-winning independent films. In 2008 he performed with 'Everybody Loves Raymond' star Patricia Heaton and his church choir on ABC's The Rachel Ray Show. In 2010 his CD debut'Church Boy' was received with much acclaim. Shortly after moving to Brooklyn for a 'new genesis,'he was asked to play the Barbados Jazz Festival. He has shared the stage and performed with the likes of Dionne Warwick, Dianne Reeves, Freddy Cole, Rachelle Ferrell, Roy Hargrove and Stanley Jordan. Always remaining service minded and spiritually grounded, Enoch Smith Jr. currently serves as the Minister of Music & Arts at Calvary Baptist Church in Paterson, NJ.

Climbing Poe Tree
Employing art as their weapon, their medicine, their voice and their vision, Alixa and Naima are the soul sister performance duo Climbing PoeTree. With roots in Haiti and Colombia, Alixa and Naima reside in Brooklyn and track footprints across the country and globe on a mission to overcome destruction with creativity. In seven self-organized national and international tours hitting over 500 stages from Oakland to Atlanta, South Africa to Cuba with artists such Erikah Badu, Alicia Keys, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Danny Glover, Avery Brooks, The Last Poets and Dead Prez, Climbing PoeTree's soul-stirring performance interweaves spoken word poetry, story-telling and award-winning multimedia theater to expose injustice, heal from violence and make a better future visible, immediate and irresistible.

Rasaan-Elijah 'Talu' Green
Talu Green (Djembe Drummer, Ensemble) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At a young age, he exhibited his passion for African percussion music after visiting several African countries. His musical training gained him acceptance in Long Island University's Music Department at age 14. Talu has performed in the Afropop Worldwide Gala, Russell Simmons's Diamond Empowerment Fund Benefit, Dance Africa and FELA! Off-Broadway.

Michela Marino-Lerman
Marino-Lerman first appeared on Sesame Street at the age of 5. In February 2002 she was showcased on the cover of Dance Teacher magazine with Gregory Hines. In 2005, she was named by Dance Spirit Magazine as one of the 20 hottest tap dancers under 20 and in 2008, Dance Magazine named her as the only female tap dancer in its '25 to Watch in 2008.' In 2008-2009, she was featured in the show hit 'Wonderland,' an all tap show set to Stevie Wonder's music and also in Chris Scott's show W-L-U-V. In 2008 she appeared on CBS's Secret Talents of the Stars with Grammy award singer Mya, performing the choreography of Emmy award winner Jason Samuels Smith. Since 2007, Michela has been a featured performer at NYC's hottest nightclub, The Box. She has also been commissioned by the American Tap Dance Foundation and HarlemStage to show her new work entitled Tapsploitation. Michela has taught in numerous schools, studios, and programs throughout the NY metro area. As a performer, teacher, director and choreographer Michela is dedicated to spreading the art of tap around the world. Visit her on facebook or myspace.

Francine Elizabeth Ott
Ott, a native of New Orleans, began her formal training at 15 with the TKD Dance Academy under the direction of Tanis K. Dasher and Michelle Gibson. She received her B.F.A in Dance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and studied at many dance intensives, including the American Dance Festival and Jacob?s Pillow, where she received scholarships. She has worked and danced with Karen Arceneaux/Genesis Dance Company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Brian Green, Tony Kundu, Kwame A. Ross and Kelly White. She has taught for the Howard University Summer Dance Intensive, USD Repertory Workshop, Family Dynamics After-School Program, the Beacon Center, the Better Brooklyn Community Center, and at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. Her work has been showcased with Camille A. Brown and dancers at Joyce Soho, E-Moves 10-9/Harlem Stage, Universal Dance Movement at Aaron Davis Hall, Black Expressions: Dance at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. 2008, This Woman?s Work 2007, Herbert Von King Park/Summerstage, The Harlem School of the Arts Theater, A Story of Her Steps/Bric Studios, Dance Harlem ?06-?08, and Dixon Place. She has assisted Camille A. Brown in works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Urban Bush Women and LaGuardia High School. Francine is currently a member of Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company.

Kenya Robinson
Robinson is a self-taught artist from Gainesville, Florida. Inspired by a rich social community, her work is influenced by the use of mass consumer items and technologies as art material. A resident of New York City, she is expanding her studio practice to include site-specific installation, printmaking, sound and performance. Her debut exhibition, HAIRPOLITIC: The Pursuit of Nappiness, was at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in 2008. A past recipient of a Brooklyn Arts Council Regrant, her performance work has been featured at P.S.1, Third Streaming and RECESS Space. She is an alumna of The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's WorkSpace program and the Triangle Arts Workshop. Her work has been recently acquired by the Deutsche Bank Collection.

Singers with a Testimony (S.W.A.T.)
First envisioned in the mind of Reverend Clinton M. Miller of Brown Memorial Baptist Church (Brooklyn, NY), S.W.A.T. was assembled to effectively demonstrate Christ's love through song, and deed. Each singer and musician was selected to form a family of young ministers with a heart to serve God and to serve as an example of what Christian life is all about, constantly striving for excellence through the power of Christ and walking in His gifts of grace and mercy. Through thoughtful song selection, consisting of traditional and contemporary gospel, freshly updated standards and original songs, the group seeks to convey the importance of a meaningful, personal relationship with Christ.

Tah Phrum Duh Bush
In the early 2000s, Tah Phrum Duh Bush emerged as one of Brooklyn's articulate hip-hop representatives. The "Bush" that Tah refers to in his stage name is the Flatbush section of Brooklyn where he grew up. Tah brings a recognizably northeastern flow to the table. Tah would never be mistaken for a west coast or southern rapper; his rhyming is very much a product of his northeastern corridor upbringing. While some of the northeastern corridor rappers who have emerged in the '90s or 2000s have been influenced by west coast and southern gangsta rap, Tah has favored an alternative rap aesthetic rather than a thug life/gangsta aesthetic, which is not to say that his music is not edgy. Tah co-founded Urban Artbeat in NYC, a program that runs music and art-based workshops in schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

Laurie M. Taylor
Laurie holds a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University and a Certificate in Dance Training from Ballet Creole School of Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada. She dances with Nicholas Leichter Dance and tours frequently with Urban Bush Women. Laurie has choreographed for Darin Atwater's "Soulful Symphony," in partnership with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and many others. She sees it as a privilege to create and perform as a means of spiritual, cultural and social transformation and hopes that audiences are inspired in the process. Follow her on twitter @lauriemtaylor

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