RBMA Presents ‘A Night Of Improvised Round Robin Duets’ – May 14th

round-robin

Join an amazing cast of musicians for A Night Of Improvised Round Robin Duets with Red Bull Music Academy on May 14 at Town Hall in NYC!

The format? Simple. One musician starts a solo improvisation lasting five minutes. Another musician then joins for five minutes of duo improvisation. After those five minutes, musician #1 leaves the stage and musician #3 joins musician #2 for another five minutes, and so on and so forth for two hours.

The music will span electronic, soul, jazz, rock, and everything in between! It’s gonna be a night to remember, for sure.

Event Details
RBMA Presents A Night Of Improvised Round Robin Duets

Wednesday, May 14
8PM

Advance Tickets: $30
Purchase tickets

Town Hall
123 W. 43rd St.
New York NY

Throwback Thursday: George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars @ Palladium – June 25, 1991

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein takes it back to the Groove Academy first year anniversary at Palladium in 1991. Featuring George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars, the Brand New Heavies, and Blowfly, it was nothing short of an incredibly memorable night. Were you there? Tell us what you remember!

This was our first anniversary concert for the Groove Academy. Groove Academy was the concert division we set up pre-Giant Step where we presented artists from the funk and soul era. Over the course of our run as Groove Academy, we put on shows with acts like the JB’s, Bobby Byrd, and Bootsy Collins, so to have George Clinton & The P-Funk All Stars for our first anniversary was kind of like reaching the motherland – or should I say, Mothership.

We decided to go big and chose the iconic Palladium in New York as our venue, which is now a PC Richards and an NYU dorm. The venue held about 3000 people.

The line up also included Brand New Heavies, who we’d recently done a debut show with a couple months earlier. As a special guest, we had Blowfly. Blowfly is Clarence Reid from Florida who would dress up in a mask and cape and perform X-rated versions of well-known songs. To note, he is also a well-respected writer of tracks for Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, and Gwen McCrae, amongst others.

Blowfly was the opening act. We didn’t really have the budget to bring his band out, so we asked the Brand New Heavies if they’d be the backing band; they said “yes,” but to be honest they didn’t know much about his act. They all had a quick chat pre-show where Blowfly explained he would be doing his version of certain soul classics like Otis Redding’s “Sitting on The Dock Of The Bay” and KC & The Sunshine Band’s “That’s The Way I Like It.” I think the only member of the Heavies who actually knew about Blowfly, his unique XXX rated lyrics, and that he was a respected songwriter in his own right was N’Dea Davenport, the singer. 


We started off the show, and Blowfly came out with the Brand New Heavies as the backing band. Blowfly started a monologue, which of course was extremely X-rated with talk about people’s private parts and all sorts of rude stuff. It was part of his show, but I don’t think the Brand New Heavies really understood that. So, as he was talking, telling everyone to go eff themselves and speaking in a misogynistic way about women, the Brand New Heavies were getting more and more embarrassed by being on stage with this guy who they didn’t really even know. And as he’s talking, the band one by one leave the stage out of embarrassment.

Read the rest after the jump

Jose James Gives an Endlessly Brilliant Performance at Highline Ballroom

 

Last night, Jose James packed a full shoulder to shoulder crowd at the Highline Ballroom in NYC for his No Beginning No End album release show. An eager and attentive crowd would go from standing still in awe to happily grooving, switching in intervals throughout the performance – Jose surely knows how to captivate.

The first half of the show was naturally focused on the new album and material, with Jose gliding across stage and outpouring the euphoria of the moment he felt through that gorgeous voice of his. Then, with a tender and somber Amp Fiddler cover that many assumed would be the final encore, Jose transitioned in a whole second half of the show.

“Park Bench People” was his segue into his older catalog, a song he performed with a proud nostalgic fervor and familiarity as the crowd lit up in cheers with similar sentiments. Jose also sprinkled much of his performance with charming human turntable interludes, “scratching” and “mixing” the song with just his voice. The ante got upped towards the end of the show where he invited Taylor McFerrin to join in on the human turntablism with his impeccable beatbox – the pair were visibly in another land as they vibed back and forth.

Jose also took the time to announce to the audience that him and his wife are expecting a baby girl. The glowing father to be then dedicated a song to his two ladies. It was a beautiful night all around.

Purchase No Beginning No End on iTunes | Amazon

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New Release: Lakecia Benjamin – ‘Retox’ + Free MP3

 

Funk and jazz saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin tomorrow releases Retox. Expect to hear nothing less than music that is rich, soulful, and full of life.

The album shows the versatile artist as a composer, lyricist and bandleader. There are also some awesome features from Amp Fiddler, Krystle Warren, Maya Azucena, Chinah Blac. Hear more about what went into the album and Lakecia’s thought process in the video below.

Also, folks sample some of the liveness with a free MP3 below for the horn-driven celebratory jam, “Get Down.”

And! See all the action live at the album release show tomorrow (June 12) at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC.

Lakecia Benjamin – “Get Down” [MP3]
 

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Enter our contest to win Retox.

Purchase Retox on Amazon

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