Win Tickets to The 19th African Film Festival

19th NY Annual African Film Festival

Presented under the banner theme 21st Century: The Homecoming, this year’s New York African Film Festival will screen contemporary and classic African films that explore the notion of home and homeland, from the legacy of music legend Miriam Makeba (subject of our Opening Night film, Mama Africa) to disaporic visions like the New York-set Restless City, which comes direct from its acclaimed premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In addition, to mark the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC), NYAFF will pay homage through performances by artists working in music, dance and film.

Don’t miss this eclectic sampling of some of the most popular dramas, documentaries and experimental works currently unfolding on screens across the African continent. Series programmed by Richard Peña for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Mahen Bonetti of African Film Festival, Inc.

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February Next Step Contest Honorary Mentions

 

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As the submissions for our March Next Step contest come to a close tomorrow, we want to share some of our favorite submissions from February in this “honorary mentions” post. Y’all made it rough last month – here’s to another great month!

Our February Next Step Contest Honorary Mentions:

DC based “soul garage” band Black Alley. In the video above, the young group rips covers of Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Nirvana in their poignant dedication to “Club 27.”

Psaul, a collaboration between Swedish singer/songwriter Paul Mac Innes and producer Stray. The sound is pop sensible electro-soul with a retro vibe. Below, you can get down to the sunny “Change” and on Soundcloud catch a super funky cover of Chaka Khan and Rick James’ “Slow Dancin’” featuring the dynamic Karma Stewart.

New York based singer, songwriter, and producer Cilla K. has certainly got something special. With a darling lilting character to her voice that makes you feel at home and a jazzy soul sound that’s playfully offbeat, her vocal style is airy and refreshing like Amel Larrieux, her production hinges on that ever-nostalgic Esthero vibe, and her left-field play with music touches on Sonnymoon. Her most recent release, New World Lullabies, feels just like it sounds. Listen to “You Know Me Better” below and let your worries fall away.

And again, you can still submit to be considered for March!

Don’t miss Backpack Jax and Kimberly Nichole after the jump!

Next Step February Winner: Krystale

 

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It’s a good thing when our decision making for selecting a Next Step winner becomes more difficult. February was a great month for entries – so much so that we’re going to have an honorable mentions post next week! Canadian-Dominican singer/songwriter/producer Krystale inched out ahead of the rest and struck us with her amazingness, though. Congratulations, madame!

Krystale’s parlor style future jazz and soul vocals coax you into your own personal illusions of swanky fancy times (even in your socks and sweats) on her 2011 Reboot EP. Think a jazzier Norah Jones with a little sprinkling of Fiona Apple. Just watch the live performance for “Caught Up” above and let yourself unravel to its spell.

And the lady isn’t without versatility. Below, you can also find a more recent single of hers called “Sweet Tooth,” a slinky playful track that hinges more on the R&B side with a hard hitting track compliments of Montreal beatmaker Kaytradamus. Vocals reminding us a bit of Anne Wise from Sonnymoon here – you know that’s a win already.

Look out for Krystale’s debut full length album to drop this year – we’re gripping our seats.

Purchase Reboot EP on iTunes | Amazon

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Giant Step Presents A Secret Party with DJ Questlove at WMC 2012 – Win Entry

Giant Step’s parties during Winter Music Conference are legendary – from the Sunset Soiree’s at Raleigh, Sagamore, The Hotel, and most recently our five year residency at The Delano. This year, we are throwing an intimate Sunset Soiree with an exclusive WMC appearance from DJ Questlove and Yameen Allworld plus DJ San Gabriel (Berlin).

Enter our contest here for a chance to attend our secret party in Miami during Winter Music Conference with DJ Questlove.

Esperanza Spalding Releases ‘Radio Music Society’

Grammy winning jazz bassist, vocalist, and composer Esperanza Spalding today releases her newest album, Radio Music Society. Twelve sparkling songs are accompanied by eleven conceptual music videos, which Esperanza uses to express the inspiration and story behind each tune. All of the videos are available with the digital download and the deluxe version.

The guest list is impressive as well. On the album are jazz legends Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette and Billy Hart, as well as Q-Tip, Algebra Blessett, Lalah Hathaway, Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke, amongst others.

And let us say that watching Esperanza live is truly an experience of its own – catch her on the road beginning April 18. Tour dates after the jump!

Finally, you must watch the gorgeous video trailer for the album as well as the music video for “Radio Song” (which is also a free download below) after the jump!

Enter our contest to win Radio Music Society!

Purchase Radio Music Society on iTunes

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Watch the video for “Radio Song” & the trailer for Radio Music Society + tour dates after the jump