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Sun Ra Mixtape Participants



The Sun Ra Mixtape Series features some of the most progressive and visionary artists in the Philadelphia region, as well as the additional participation of artists from around the globe. This diverse group of individuals come from various arts disciplines, musical genres and creative communities. They represent the visual and media arts, poetry, theater, dance and of course, music. We want to extend a song of thanks and gratitude to each and every artist involved in this project. The following provides some information on the participating artists.







The artists participating in this mixtape series are listed in alphabetical order by Last Name.



A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z




Fred AdamsFred Adams is a Philadelphia-based trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator. He is one of those rare Jazz musicians who feels equally comfortable and creative playing straight ahead Jazz, or Avant Garde Jazz. He is the founder and musical director of Philadelphia Heritage Art Ensemble: a musical collective dedicated to researching, preserving and performing the music of Philadelphia saxophone legend, Hank Mobley and trumpet icon, Lee Morgan. Adams has worked with Jimmy Merritt, Odean Pope, Al Grey, James Blood Ulmer, Charles Gale and spent 22 critically valuable years as a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra.





Booking Contact | Facebook | YouTube


Saudah Al AkbarSaudah Al-Akbar is a Philadelphia Jazz vocalist. At age of 14, Jazz legend, Max Roach, provided her with a scholarship to the Jazz in July Workshop at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. There she studied with jazz masters such as Sheila Jordan, Dr. Billy Taylor, Dr. Yusef Lateef and Max Roach.  Saudah received her BA from Berklee College of Music. Ms. Al-Akbar has performed in many venues including Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Free Library Of Philadelphia, Irvine Auditorium, American Philosophical Society, Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center and the Arch Street Meeting House.





Facebook | YouTube1 | YouTube1



M AndrewsMichael Andrews is a incredibly gifted Jazz vocalist, who is often compared to the likes of Johnny Hartman, Arthur Prysock & Joe Williams. Andrews sings a wide variety of music including Standards, R & B, Spirituals, Jazz and Show tunes, and enchants with his velvety smooth bass-baritone voice. Andrews has performed as a feature artist with Big Bands such as; The Midnight Sun Orchestra, The Jazz Lobsters Big Band and The Clef Club Community Big Band. He has performed at venues such as The SugarHouse Casino (Philadelphia), The Philadelphia Clef Club, Dante Hall (Atlantic City), Mohonk Mountain House (the Catskills, NY) The Washington National Cathedral (Washington, DC), The Madame C. J. Walker House (Indianapolis, IN) The Coconut Grove (Phillipines), The Virginia Opera House and many summer festivals.




Website | Twitter



faridFarid Barron is a native Philadelphia Jazz pianist and the son of two musicians. While still in high school, Barron came to the attention of Wynton Marsalis, who would recruit him for his septet and later, after Barron's tour of duty with the Air Force Band of the West, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Recommended by Shirley Scott, Barron cut his teeth working as house pianist at Philly's legendary, Ortlieb's Jazz Haus, where he worked with the likes of Mickey Roker, Bobby Durham, Jimmy Oliver and Johnny Coles among others. Highlights of Barron's career include performances with Clark Terry, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Donald Byrd and Jimmy Heath. Barron is the current occupant of the piano chair in the Sun Ra Arkestra. 





Instagram | Booking Contact



Lotus BarronMy name is Lotus Barron and I am a high school senior at Mastery Charter Thomas Campus. I have recently earned the Gates Millennium Scholarship and I will attend Drexel University this fall to study business. My singing career started when I was fifteen years old; I performed Bessie Smith's St Louis Blues at Chris' Jazz Cafe alongside my father, Farid Barron. Ever since then I have performed in many places like the Prime Rib, the Union League and the Art Museum. I am very excited to see what the future holds for me!











Instagram | Booking Contact



Lenny BelascoLeonard Belasco was born, raised and still lives in the Germantown community of Philadelphia. He has spent a large chunk of his life in public school classrooms inspiring students to acquire a love of literature and an ability to express themselves.His personal inspiration has come primarily from a blend of poetry and jazz. As a child, he was greatly influenced by his Uncle Mort, a drummer and teacher who introduced him to a lifelong love of drummers and playing drums.Lenny has recently turned a serious eye on his poetry; revisiting, re-envisioning, revising young/old manuscripts, while at the same time investigating new territory. Joining poetry and jazz together in this unique project has been a welcome challenge.





Booking Contact


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BiDoubleB.i.DOUBLLE [Pronounced BEE-eye-Doo-Bell-E-All] is a rapper, poet and songwriting, performing artist from The Bronx, New York. He is a member of Aspiring Musicians & Music Artists. Using his unique rhyme scheme and lyrical skills, B.i.DOUBLLE shares his perspective of life by way of music.















Facebook | YouTube | Instagram



Dan BlacksbergDan Blacksberg is a Philadelphia trombonist and a 2012 Pew Fellow in the Arts. He is a leader of three projects: Daniel Blacksberg Trio, Deveykus; the Hasidic doom metal band and New Music duo; Archer Spade. He has worked with Anthony Braxton, Gene Coleman, Joe Morris, and Danilo Perez. Dan is also one of the few musicians in the world who performs and teaches traditional klezmer on the trombone. Dan has participated in festivals all over the world, such as the Klezkamp, Klezkanada, Lowell Folk Festival, the Krakow Fesitval of Jewish Culture, and Yiddish Summer Weimar. In 2017, Dan will release Radiant Others, the first klezmer CD ever to feature trombone as the lead instrument.





Website | Facebook | Twitter



FiidlaOwen "Fiidla" Brown is a Philadelphia-based, London born vocalist & violinist. He has performed Jazz, Pop, & R&B, on major stages around the world. After an initial tour with Sun Ra, Fiidla performed with George Duke, Gil Scott Heron, and many other groups. He recorded with Hip Hop artists Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Common, as well as with Mary J Blige, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass and Anthony Hamilton. Fiidla’s most recent collaboration with Emmy award winning tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith, "Transformation", drew standing ovations at Lincoln Center and Martha's Vineyard in 2014.  Fiidla has advanced degrees from Temple University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is recognized as a leading vocal technique and performance coach and was featured on BET, MTV, and VH1.




Booking Contact | Facebook | Twitter


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Bushmeat: Artist, author, activist, and educator Thomas Stanley performs as Bushmeat. His Anti-Predator-Drone-Tone-Science interventions are rich with broad musical references, sardonic humor, and a genuine love for human beings and their evolving condition away from war and waste and towards some kind of collective renewal. Stanley recently authored and published The Execution of Sun Ra, an elaboration upon ideas embedded in the work of the enigmatic 20th Century jazz icon. He is also co-author of an oral history of George Clinton and P-Funk, a founding member of the volunteer curatorial collective Transparent Productions, and a weekly music programmer on fm-radio station WPFW.






Website | Facebook | BandCamp | SoundCloud | Twitter


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Samarai CelestialSamarai Celestial [originally named Eric Walker] was a dynamic drummer with the Sun Ra Arkestra during the 1980s. Born in 1954 in Savannah, Georgia, Samarai would take up drums at age 13. Arrested for passing out Islamic newspapers, an embittered, Eric took to the life of a wandering musician upon his release. During this migration, he met Sun Ra and become a member of the Arkestra. Because of his enthusiasm, Sun Ra gave him the name, Samarai Celestial. He was featured on six albums by the Sun Ra Arkestra and two albums by pianist and Jazz Messenger, Donald Brown. Samarai Celestial also recorded two albums as a leader, Isis Sun ‎and Cosmic Gold Millenium, both for Carrot Top Records. On November 28, 1997 at age 43, he died of heart disease.






About Samarai Celestial | Discography



CemprolaMike Cemprola is a saxophonist, who has been a busy member of the Philadelphia music scene since he arrived in 2002. He has performed and/or recorded with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Norman David and the Eleventet, the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, Dan Monaghan's Quartet, Gunshow Quartet, and a host of other creative ensembles in the area. He has also performed as a sideman with Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, the Four Tops, in addition to dozens of musical theater productions. Cemprola attended the University of the Arts, earning a BM and MM in music. He continues his association with UArts now as a faculty member, teaching private lessons, classes, and coaching. He is also member of the faculty at Camden County College.





Website | Booking Contact | Facebook



MClaytonDr. Matthew Clayton is a saxophonist, composer, recording artist, music scholar and educator from Philadelphia. He has been featured at Carnegie Hall, famed New York jazz clubs the Village Vanguard and Birdland, as well as the Academy of Music. Dr. Clayton has performed with Grover Washington, Jr., alongside the late legendary Count Basie trombonist Al Grey, and as a soloist at a winter jazz festival in Paris, France, in addition to countless other venues. He is on the faculty of the prestigious Nelly Berman School of Music, and is the Director of Jazz Combos at the University of Pennsylvania.  His debut album, On The Move, was released in the fall of 2014.









B CollinsBernard Collins is a prolific, poet and visual artist, who has been active in the Delaware Valley spoken word scene for many years. He has collaborated with dancers, choreographers, visual artists and musicians in the past. His work is at times humorous, enlightening and challenging to the status quo. He has a BFA from Temple University Tyler School of art and a MFA from The University of Pennsylvania both in visual art. He has collaborated with a fellow poet, Sandra Turner Barnes to create a children’s book titled “Beyond The Back Of The Bus” based on the life of Rosa Parks. He has authored several chap books and is currently working on a new collection of poems, as well as recording several pieces with music.






Website | Booking Contact | Facebook | Twitter



J ConstanceJacqueline Constance is a Philly based singer and songwriter, who blends her command of R&B and Hip-hop into a swirling emotional stew. With a warm, yet strident voice she creates daring and fiery stories in sound. Not one to wait for a musician to make her magic happen Jacqueline also produces some of her own material. Armed with just a mic, her digital sampling, foot pedal and a small mixer, Jacqueline turns breaths, sighs and words into funky orchestral pastures for her lyrics to frolic through. Born and raised in the Mt Airy section of Philadelphia, Jacqueline attended the legendary CAPA High School, which spawned such artists as the Roots, Boys to Men and Amel Larriuex. She has performed at such notable venues as The Hard Rock Cafe, World Cafe Live and The Kimmel Center.





SoundCloud | Booking Contact | Instagram | Twitter


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Gary DannGary Dann is a drummer, music and video producer, audio engineer, and aerial photographer. In 2011, he established The Boom Room; a recording, rehearsal, multimedia studio and private event space located in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. Dann has toured the world with the Grammy-award winning Hip-hop pioneers Digable Planets and since 2005 has engineered, co-written, and co-produced records with Cee Knowledge and The Cosmic Funk Orchestra. Dann is also the drummer for the music collective Worldtown SoundSystem, in 2010 toured as the drummer for legendary Hip-hop duo Camp Lo and played drums, engineered, co-written, and co-produced for the singer, Jaguar Wright.





Website | Booking Contact | Worldtown SoundSystem | SoundCloud



El DavidEl David is a spoken word artist, music producer, author, visual artist, community advocate, director of World Music band, Machete Movement, and Co-Founder of ELKAT Productions; an independent artist production company. His literary works include two anthologies, "America's Brainchild" and "The Bandana Republic." As an artist/music producer, El David has released two Rap albums, "Adult Guntemperhairy Musesick 4 Da Streets" and "Sedition." He has also released the poetry albums, "Legendary", by Emanuel Xavier; and "America's Brainchild. El David co-hosts a monthly open mic series called, “Smokin’ Word & Drum” with Machete Movement Co-Director Katalina.






Website | Facebook | Booking Contact | Machete Movement | ReverbNation


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DORDefenders of the Republic (D.O.T.R.) is a collaboration between two Philly artists, June Lopez & Taji Ra'oof Nahl aka TR7. Over the years, they have  supported each other's endeavors, which led to D.O.T.R. Both TR7 and Lopez have been consistent contributors to the art scene for over 30 years. As the Defenders of the Republic, they decided that it would be beneficial to collaborate utilizing each others skills in both audio and visual artistic expressions. The concept of the Defenders of the Republic is based on societal make up which are security, spirituality, cultural, economic and academic. D.O.T.R. uses artistic means to expound upon these five principles that make up the republic.





Facebook | Booking Contact #1 | Booking Contact #2



Nasir DickersonNasir Dickerson is a Camden, New Jersey-based tenor saxophonist and a key member of the Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble; famous for its electrifying drummers, sensational dancers, exciting masquerade and acrobatics. Dickerson is a BFA and MFA graduate of the University of the Arts and presently, serves as a music teacher at the Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy, in Camden, New Jersey. Since 2002, he has worked with his own group; Nasir Dickerson and the Renaissance Messengers. He has produced two albums: Journey to the Fatherland and The Revealer. Nasir Dickerson actively performs with many legendary acts such as, the Philadelphia Legends of Jazz Orchestra, Stylistics, Intruders and Urban Guerilla Orchestra




Instagram | Facebook | Booking Contact | CDBaby | SoundCloud



KDiehlKevin Diehl is a Philadelphia-based drummer, percussionist and composer. He cut his teeth on the 1970s New York City Loft Jazz scene. There, he worked and studied Afro-Cuban drumming with Jerry Gonzalez. Returning to Philly, Kevin worked with Tyrone Hill and studied Bata drumming and Lukumi music with Nichola Rivera. He became a permanent member of Rivera’s Lukumi group, “Ochan La Ocha.” In 2000, Kevin Diehl formed Sonic Liberation Front (SLF). The ensemble realizes the parallels between Lukumi song composition and that of Jazz and Loft Jazz musicians. SLF has worked with Marshall Allen, Odean Pope, Billy Bang, Kahil El Zabar, Sunny Murray, Michelle Rosewoman, Thurman Barker, and Chad Taylor. SLF has toured festivals throughout North America and won critical acclaim for their five internationally distributed albums.


Website | Facebook | Booking Contact | Twitter | SoundCloud



L Dixon Lamont Dixon aka Napalm Da Bomb, has been a prominent presence on the Philadelphia poetry scene for many years. He demonstrates what he describes as "vibepoetics" - an eclectic mixing of multiple artistic genres to provide dramatic language arts education. Dixon appears on various jazz CDs including: Awaiting The Spirit, The Po-Jazz Connection, African Rhythm Tongues and In The Now. In 2007, he released his CD, Pigments of My Imagination. “Napalm's” poetry has also been published in many magazines and anthologies. His latest book of poetry is Come Ride My Poems. Dixon performs regularly with his band The Jazz Poetics. Lamont served as co-executive producer for the Phila. segment of HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam.





Artist Bio | Booking Contact | YouTube



P DovePheralyn Dove lives in a state of perpetual gratitude. As a poet, she has appeared on stages in her native Philadelphia, New York City, Paris and Rome. Dove portrays 17 characters in her one-woman show, Little Girl Blue, which is a multimedia odyssey of a Black woman’s journey from victim to victor. A graduate of Hampton University, Dove is the author of Color in Motion, a book of poetry with a foreword by legendary drummer Max Roach. In 2014, Dove was awarded grants from the Philadelphia Jazz Project and the Leeway Foundation.









Website | Booking Contact | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube


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Eye2EyeEye2Eye Trio is a Philadelphia-based Jazz and World Music ensemble that also extends to spontaneous improvisation consisting of Elliott Levin - tenor sax, Bert Harris - bass and Kimpedro Rodriguez - drums.

See Bert Harris, Elliott Levin & Kim Pedro Rodriguez.


















Booking Contact #1 | Booking Contact #2 | Booking Contact #3



Sherman FlemingSherman Fleming is a Philly-based multimedia artist, who investigates body gesture. His performances utilize childhood games, ritual, and dance actions as derived from Afro-Diasporic traditions. The body gestures, employ rudimentary strategies of balance, instability, duration, and stamina. To achieve and maintain balance, over time, is a metaphor for the maintenance of a position within culture; the ability to remain self-possessed and authentic within the construct of racism and sexism. Fleming defines this bodily behavior as "psycho-physical," a behavior that operates through the act of repetition and whose duration is determined by the body's stamina. In January 2016, Fleming pledged, “I Will Wear A Noose For A Year” to bring attention to the history and state of terrorism black people endure.





Website | Blog | Coming Soon | To Be Rock | Olympic



Ryan Frazier Ryan T. Frazier aka Heru Shabaka-ra is a trumpeter, writer and physicist based in Philadelphia. He has been a contributor to Philadelphia's free Jazz and afro-futurist punk scenes for almost a decade. Frazier has worked with a wide range of artists, including underground hiphop/punk band Mighty Paradocs, renowned poets Sonia Sanchez and free Jazz bassist William Parker. With his own band, Napoleon Dolomite, his musical approach is built from the mathematics of Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, Wu Tang Clan and MF Doom. Studying music and jazz culture/tradition with the great Donald Byrd as a teenager, he is currently an apprentice in the Sun Ra Arkestra, studying under its legendary director, Marshall Allen.






Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook



V Shayne V. Shayne Frederick is a pianist, vocalist and poet. He began his formal musical study at Dartmouth College, and later, in a Jazz ensemble in Philadelphia led by legendary organist Trudy Pitts. V. Shayne was born in North Carolina to musician parents - his mother, a pianist and vocalist, and his father, a saxophonist. As a self-taught musician, his craft has been honed at a multitude of venues over the last decade including, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, SugarHouse Casino, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Resorts Casino, Society Hill Playhouse, Clef Club, African-American Museum in Philadelphia, and others. Positioned to be one of the premiere jazz vocalists of Philadelphia, V. Shayne has a melodic classic sound with a contemporary and creative personal touch.





Website | Booking Contact | Instagram | Facebook



EllaElla Gahnt is a Philly-based Jazz vocalist who has been dubbed Philly s Class Act by local media and fans. She has wowed audiences at most of the areas major venues including Kimmel Center, West Oak Lane Jazz Festival, Philadelphia Museum of Art Art After Five Series, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, and Summer Jazz Festival hosted by The Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation in Atlantic City, NJ. In 2005, Ella was named Jazz Ambassador by the School District of Philadelphia for her contributions in support of Philly Jazz. Ella tells musical stories in her own unique way while honoring the vocal legacy of Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Carmen McCrae, Betty Carter and her namesake Ella Fitzgerald.






Website | Booking Contact | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram



Paul GiessPaul Giess is a versatile trumpet player, composer, and educator from Philadelphia, PA. He is well-versed in classical, jazz, and commercial music styles. Paul earned his Master of Music Degree from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Music Degree, cum laude, from James Madison University. Paul has performed in various venues in the Delaware Valley including, Pennsylvania Acdemy of Fine Arts, The Free Library of Philadelphia, Ortliebs Lounge, Chris' Jazz Cafe, LaRose Cafe and others. He is a member of the Willow Trio and has released a solo album project, entitled, U Suite U.









Website | Facebook



Sabelad. Sabela grimes be a trans-media storyteller, sonic ARKivist, movement composer cultivating a devoted interest in Afribiquitous life practices; sonic-kinetic spectrums that be infinite, multi-dimensional and distinct manifestations of wombniversal consciousness. Sabela loves pancakes, anime and long walks on the beach.













Website | Booking Contact | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | SoundCloud



HalHAL 2016 is a fictional character inspired by the computer program, HAL 9000, from Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is a sentient computer (or artificial general intelligence) that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship's astronaut crew. HAL is represented as a red television camera eye located on equipment panels throughout the ship. HAL is capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotional behaviours, automated reasoning, and playing chess. Obviously HAL 2016 can play musical instruments, as evidenced by his performance on this mixtape.





About HAL | The Case For HAL's Sanity | Twitter



Dan HanrahanDan Hanrahan is a jazz guitarist based in Philadelphia. He has played with musicians such as Larry McKenna, Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield and Pat Bianchi. All About Jazz columnist RJ Johnson describes Dan as “a guitarist well versed in the jazz tradition” and writes, “Hanrahan’s style recalled the nuances of many of jazz guitar’s pioneers such as Grant Green and Tal Farlow”. Born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC, Dan began playing the guitar at the age of 11. In 2005, he moved to Philly to attend Temple University. Since graduating, Dan has gone on to play at venues all along the east coast including Chris' Jazz Cafe, Twins Jazz, The Deer Head Inn, and the COTA Festival. Dan continues to perform with his trio and as a sideman for many musicians in the Philadelphia Jazz scene.








Bert HarrisBert Harris is a bassist in the Philadelphia World Beat, Blues, and Jazz scene. He is a member of the Eye2Eye Trio, as well as Philly’s best known New Orleans funk, blues, and reggae band, Philly Gumbo. Harris also performs with the Melange Jazz Collective, Timi Tanzania and the Dubway Reggae Band, and ska-jazz band Rock$teady. He also leads his own ensemble the Jazz Planet. Bert Harris has performed with Byard Lancaster, Robert Kenyatta’s La Tumba, Bobby Watson, Khan Jamal, Elliot Levin, Jeannie Brooks and Brenda Smith. Bert has recorded two cd’ with the legendary saxophonist Byard Lancaster “Astral Link Hotel” and “Pam Africa” available at Creative Improvised Music (CIMP). Philly Gumbo’s latest cd “Come and Get It,” is available thru CD Baby and Dusty Groove.





Website | Booking Contact



AntoineAntoine Haywood(aka DJ Kid Charlemagne) is a musician with 20 years of writing, recording and performance experience. His primary instrument is guitar. Antoine started playing guitar for gospel singing groups and churches in Palm Beach County, FL. He is also a DJ dedicated to spinning 100% vinyl. His early musical influences range from A Tribe Called Quest to B.B. King. Antoine has recently launched a weekly Internet radio show entitled ‘Cratebeats’ Radio, which features compiled mixes of funk, soul, dance, boogie and jazz-fusion vinyl sessions. He is working to develop the ‘Cratebeats’ brand to include a fusion of documentary video, audio work and mobile photography.





Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | MixCloud



THillTyrone Hill was a Philadelphia trombonist, born October 22, 1948. He was a graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and studied music at Combs School of Music. He was a member of the famed Uptown Theater’s house band led by saxman Sam Reed, where Hill played behind R&B greats like The Supremes, Brook Benton, Lou Rawls and many others. Soon after, Tyrone Hill would serve as Billy Paul’s music director for almost a decade. In the late 1970s, Mr. Hill joined the Sun Ra Arkestra and remained as a central member for three decades. Hill is featured on over 40 albums with the Sun Ra Arkestra and recorded two albums of his own - Out of the Box and Soul-Etude released on the Creative Improvised Music Projects [CIMP] label. Tyrone Hill died of heart failure on March 11, 2007.






About Tyrone Hill | Discography

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Homer JacksonHomer Jackson is an interdisciplinary artist. As a young art student, jazz nurtured Jackson’s creativity. In 1980, Temple University’s jazz radio station WRTI recruited Jackson to host a weekly radio program. Jackson has created performances in collaboration with artists such as the late AACM violinist, Leroy Jenkins, Twin Cities-based instrument maker and former AACM president, Douglas Ewart, as well as the Philly-based hip-hop band, The Roots. He has exhibited and performed works at spaces such as Philagraphika, Painted Bride Arts Center, and ICA/Philadelphia. Jackson has received grants for his work from various funders including the Pew Charitable Trusts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.





Website | Booking Contact



AlonzoH. Alonzo Jennings is a New Jersey-based, retired art teacher who dabbles in poetry and photography. He is a graduate of Montclair State University and Princeton University. He began shooting 35mm photography in 1965. He began photographing Jazz Musicians after relocating from Nigeria to Philadelphia in the mid 1970s. He has photographed many of the worlds greatest jazz musicians in venues from the small clubs to the great jazz festivals at Newport, Detroit and New York. Jenning's poetry addresses themes of the human condition, social consciousness, individual responsibility and culture. He has written four small volumes of poetry including: JOY & ENCOUNTERS WITH GOD.






Website #1 | Booking Contact | Website #2 | Facebook



arckaShawn "Arcka" Kelly aka Arckatron is a producer, studio and live engineer raised in New Jersey and currently based out of Philadelphia. Under new found home ARCKATRON, Arcka has worked with Rob Swift, Mega Ran, Writtenhouse, Aquil, Zilla Rocca, Drematic, Electric Lady, Audio Rohn, My Man Shafe, Redline the Ace and shared the stage with Georgia Anne Muldrow, Dudley Perkins, Camp Lo, Knxwledge, Lil Dave, Mndsgn, Aeon and more. He has released nine projects since 2008, including a series of beat tapes, two collaborative works, and a project with Ropeadope Digital, titled Un-Herd Vol. 1. His sound isn't a question, it's a solution.








Website | Booking Contact | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram | Twitter



RAKingRaymond A. King a Philadelphia based, self-taught visual artist and jazz pianist. Coming from a musical family, his father Raymond W. King played piano with classic Rhythm and Blues vocalist, Jimmy Preston. His mother, Betty King Cole married Nat "King" Cole's brother, Eddie, and was a part of the duo, Two Hot Coles. Raymond A. King plays in the Jazz avant-garde tradition and has been performing for more than 40 years, yet remains unknown to most. Much of his career has been spent in collaboration with Philly saxophonist, Sabir Mateen. King has also worked with Arthur Blythe, Charles Gale, Owen Marshall, Fred Ho, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Edgar Bateman and Marshall Allen.





Booking Contact #1 | Booking Contact #2 | Facebook


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Darius LantzDarius Delantz Lantz is a poet, lyricist and the host for one of Philadelphia's most well received poetry open mics 'Coffee After Dark'. Darius has worked with Grammy nominated producer Darren Limitless Henson and Ivan Barias. Darius' 'Coffee After Dark' imprint has featured Tony Award winning poet Black Ice, as well as Grammy nominated Poet Ursula Rucker. He is currently working on a full length CD entitled 'The Happening' and has plans on expanding his 'Coffee After Dark' series to four states in 2016.











Website | Booking Contact | Facebook



Terry LawsonTerry Lawson is a Philly-based tenor saxophonist who is among the legendary Philly avant-garde pioneers. Coming to his own in the 1960s, the slow disappearance of opportunity caused Lawson to find himself working at the U.S. Post Office while trying to master his instrument. 20 years later, after retiring from the Post Office, Lawson puts his full energy into his music. Throughout his career, he has played with the Sun Ra Arkestra, is a founding member of the Sonic Liberation Front, has performed with Keith DeStefano, Raymond A. King, Tyrone Hill, Odean Pope Saxophone Choir and many others






Website | Booking Contact | Facebook | TwitterSoundCloud



LLoydLloyd Lawrence is an interdisciplinary artist and poet born and raised in Baltimore, MD. After living and working in Japan for the better part of a decade, he settled in New York City in 1999. In 2000, he was the creator of "Hush Harbor" an NYC-based monthly gathering that joined artists, musicians, and regular folk in a shared act of prayer and reflection. Lloyd is also co-creator and curator of "Urban Juke Joint: A Nobler Expression",  a monthly open-mic in NYC that fosters community through poetry, spoken word, and visual arts.









Booking Contact #1 | Booking Contact #1 | Facebook



Elliot LevinElliott Levin is a Philadelphia saxophonist, flautist and poet. Levin has worked with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The Sound of Philadelphia band, Tyrone Hill, Odean Pope's Saxophone Choir and Jamaladeen Tacuma. Levin's worked with Cecil Taylor's groups; Phthongas and Unit Core Ensemble and can be heard on the Taylor FMP album Live in Berlin. On the poetry scene, he has performed with Miguel Algarin, Gloria Tropp, Mbali Umoja and Frank Messina and his work appears in the L.A. Weekly, Blue Beat Jacket, The Painted Word and Poets and Prophets. He has received awards from The City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, and the California Endowment for the Humanities.






Website | Booking Contact | Artist Bio | YouTube | SoundCloud


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Doc LongDoughtry ‘Doc’ Long is a New Jersey-based, poet and retired school teacher. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary anthologies, journals and magazines, including The Literary Review, Brilliant Corners, Obsidian, The Painted Bride Quarterly, and U.S.1 Worksheets. His work has also appeared in The Poetry of Black America, Blue Stones and Salt Hay, Gathering Ground, Let Loose on the World and A Rock Against the Wind. He is a Dodge Foundation Poet and has received a grant from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts. A CD featuring Doc Long reading his poetry, Darker Light, was released in 2003. Two books of poems, Timbuktu Blues and Rules For Cool were published in 2001.





Website | Booking Contact



Damani LopezDamani Lopez is a rapper/poet and music producer. Since the age of 19, he’s been running around trying to find somewhere to land. From first working at Urban Outfitters, his dreams kept pulling him in another direction. Whether it was working in and out of music studios, or volunteering for muralists, or event coordinators, he’s been night-lifing as an artist. Currently at a job as a recording engineer at West Kensington Ministries; working with middle and high schoolers who are also looking for somewhere safe to land. He’s been through the motions and has spent enough time with a paintbrush to see his life in colorful reflection and at 23 years of age, he is happy to share what he’s learned. 





Facebook | SoundCloud



Julia LopezJulia López is a multidisciplinary artist with a base in Theater and Poetry. Born in the South Bronx, she has lived in Philly for 28 years. She is a founding member of the Las Gallas Artist Collective. Julia has performed and exhibited throughout the United States, Mexico, Cuba & Spain. In 2009, Julia was a Cultural Envoy for the US Embassy in Juarez, Mexico. She has written and performed in over 30 plays and performance works, including New Colony Miss America and Graciela a full length play dedicated to her mother's struggle as a Puerto Rican in the U.S. Julia has a BFA in Theater Arts from Wesleyan University. Julia is presently the Programs Manager for the Philadelphia Jazz Project.





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June LopezJune Lopez is a percussionist, musician, producer, remixer, composer and performer. Classically trained at the age of 8 on both the piano and clarinet, Lopez performed in youth orchestras, quartets, and sang in the choir. He began absorbing a diverse variety of: Jazz, Brazilian, Latin, Hip-Hop, R&B, Disco, Funk, and Blues music at a young age; which had a huge influence on his taste in music.  He has produced and remixed everyone from Wadud, The Last Poets, The Roots, Stephanie Renee, Sean Dexter and other artists. Lopez is currently working on a new label Valeo Recordings with co-partner Josh Holiday. Together they are shaping new way to manage artist development with their unique collaboration.





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Paris LoveParris Lové is a talented, Bay Area born-triple threat: singer, actress and dancer, who currently resides in Philadelphia. Trained in dance from the age of four with Bay Area greats like Debbie "Tamu" Beckward and Reginald Ray "Savage" of Savage Jazz Dance Company, Lové has also worked with the great modern dance legend Donald McKayle in the Oakland Ballet. While pursuing her passion in the arts, she earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business. As a triple threat Parris Lové has performed in venues across the US, including musicals such as "Chicago," and with her jazz band "Parris Lové and the Boots Davis Two."






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Ed MazurekEd Mazurek is a tenor saxophonist and composer from Philadelphia. Coming from a family of polka musicians, he took up music at an early age.  In 2004, Mazurek performed the music of Frank Zappa with the Paul Green Scool of Rock All Star Band. He  attended Williams College, where he studied statistics and poetry. He also studied saxophone with Erik Lawrence of the Levon Helm Band. Having returned to Philly, Mazurek performs and records with a variety of artists and musicains. He is actively seeking collaborators in the area.







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Ras1Kevin Mckinson aka Ras1, is a New York-based, Jamaican born music producer and son of a sound engineer. Heavily influenced by Bob Marley, Eminem and Notorius B.I.GRas1 is not partial to any genre of music. In early 2008, Ras1 as introduced to beat making, when a friend installed a copy of Fruity Loops on his computer. Over the next six years, he perfected his craft. Some of his other talents include Game Development, Computer Programming, and Sound Engineering. A diligent worker and a mad scientist to some, Ras1 is extremely passionate about everything he does. “Let the Music Speak” is one of his famous sayings. As an artist, Ras1 is humble and remains true to his artistry and is a strong believer that music is the only universal language in the world today.





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G Mervine_WPhillyOrchGregg Mervine is a Philadelphia percussionist, composer, producer and music educator. He's worked with jazz artists, singer-songwriters, Balkan brass bands, klezmer ensembles, traditional jazz bands, Brazilian folkloric groups, Brazilian MPB artists, chamber orchestra, and power rock trios.  Mervine plays several instruments, including drum set, pandeiro, Turkish darbuka, pifano (Brazilian rustic flute), electric guitar and, most recently, cavaquinho. Founder of the West Philadelphia Orchestra, a Balkan-inspired brass band for which he drums and composes. He has toured internationally and his music has been recorded on dozens of albums. He currently splits his time between Campina Grande, ParaÃba, Brazil and Philadelphia, USA.





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David MiddletonDavid Middleton aka DmHotep has worked for over 30 years, with many Philly-area musicians and musical organisations; raging from DJ Tat Money's Halfro Productions, to Khan Jamal & Barry Schuck's, Philia Jazz Composers Forum, to Robert Kenyatta's, La Tumba, and the Sonic Liberation Front, Jim Miller's Miller Time ensemble, & Mogauwane Mahloele's Tharo. DmHotep co-led the ensemble JazGuardian with Phila drummer, Kim Pedro for nearly 20 years. Since 2000, he has been rehearsing, touring & recording w/ the Sun Ra Arkeatra, under the direction of Marshall  Allen. Currently, DmHotep has delved into experimental audio/visual projects with Eric Ruin's Ominous Cloud and German visual artist Gabriele Worgitzki. DmHotep contineues to explore electronic & untempored music with his own Akimbo Research Project.


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TaraTara Middleton is a dynamic vocalist and violinist. Currently, she serves as the lead vocalist and violinist for the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen. She is the first woman to take the stage as a musician with the Arkestra in over twenty years. Tara has worked and recorded with JazGuardian, LaTumba, Sonic Liberation Front and the Sun Ra Arkestra. She co-founded The Foundations Singers with vocalist Janet McDonald -- an African-oriented A Capella trio that garnered wide acclaim thru-out the Delaware Valley folk music community. Tara Middleton is also an accomplished lyricist, and has co-written music with Philadelphia bassist Craig Thomas as well as Marshall Allen director of the Sun Ra Arkestra on their latest BBC recording.




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TajiTaji Ra'oof Nahl is a self-taught, Philadelphia-based, interdisciplinary artist who works as "a vessel" through the medians of photography, performance art, sculpture, painting, poetry, home deco & fine arts. His work has been exhibited in The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. As the creative director for Ra'oof Atelier: A  vintage reconstructed and custom haberdashery, Taji spearheads and collaborates with artisans of vast disciplines to develop art with the purpose of evoking compassion, freedom, justice, modesty and activism.









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Alan NelsonAlan Nelson is a Philly drummer, saught out for his intense energy and hyper-sensitivity. Nelson was influenced by drummers such as Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones and Max Roach. With over 40 years experience, Nelson has performed at hundreds of club dates and concerts with artists such as James Moody, Shirley Scott, Sonny Stitt, and Cecil McBee. His career includes more than a decade of work with trumpeter and composer Hannibal Lokumbe. Nelson is also a longtime member of The Forerunners; a musical collective developed by legendary bassist, Jymie Merritt. This 40+ year old, ensemble, is dedicated to the preservation and performance of Merritt's little known, but influential compositions and musical theories.





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Laura OliveraLaura Olivera-Mejia is a poet, performer born and raised in The Bronx, New York. After many years of quiet self-reflection and self-examination through writing, it became a social necessity to begin sharing her words. Laura joined the Full Circle Ensemble Sunday Writers in the spring of 2014 and shared her work live for the first time in the winter of 2015. She is also the founder of Bronx C.O.R.A.L. [Bronx Community Organizer Resident Artist Leader]inspires and engages community in holistic and creative ways. Laura believes in the power of the word to heal, inspire, mobilize and become. Laura is a catalyst for spiritual growth, academic engagement and poetic self-expression in growing communities.





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Matt PalmerMatthew Palmer aka Mad Matt Swayzie is a rapper, poet and actor born and raised in North Philadelphia. A member of the Hungry Ghosts Collective, Palmer has performed at World Cafe Live, Hard Rock Cafe, Trocadero, Grande Foumage in Atlantic City; Garfield Lounge in Brookly, NY and other venues. In 2013, he won First Place Battle Competition at 3G Lounge in Philly. His performance career began at age three, when he began acting and dancing. His commericial credits include Reebok with Allen Iverson, Cooper University Hospital and Chuck E Cheese. He studied theatre and dance at New Freedom Theatre, The Actor's Center and The Village of Arts and Humanities.





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Alfie PollittAlfred “Alfie” Pollitt is a Philly-based pianist, composer, producer, arranger, and educator. Politt began playing piano at the age of three. He is a versatile musician who performs Jazz, Latin, R&B and other music genres. He has performed with a long list of Jazz greats including Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Odean Pope, Rufus Harley, Sonny Fortune, Lee Morgan, Rashan Roland Kirk, Norman Connors, Johnny Hartman and Donald Byrd. He played keyboards on Teddy Pendergrass’ platinum selling album Teddy Coast to Coast Live and This Ones for You. As an educator, Politt teaches music and has conducted songwriting workshops in New Jersey and correctional facilities in Pennsylvania.





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Price Speaks Diehl TrioPrice / Speaks / Diehl Trio is an exceptional Philly-based ensemble consisting of three dynamic group leaders, who have come together to make musical mayhem. The members are; alto saxophonist and composer, Larry Price; who has only been in Philadelphia for just about two years. He came here from a 15 year stint in Finland, where he was an important fixture in the Scandinavian Jazz scene. He is joined by bassist and composer, Nimrod Speaks; one of the most in demand bassists in the MidAtlantic region and a powerful songwriter. Joining them and rounding out the group, is drummer, bandleader and composer, Kevin Diehl, who heads up the prolific ensemble, Sonic Liberation Front and its various incarnations.





Larry Price's Website | Nimrod Speaks' Website | Kevin Diehl's Website



Larry PriceLarry Price is a Philadelphia-based alto saxophonist, vocalist, arranger, composer, and producer, who esided in Finland from 2002 – 2014. During that span of time, he presented lectures, workshops, and performances in Finland, Sweden, France, Belgium, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Turkey, Kenya, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Canada. He also worked with some of Europe’s most prolific artists including, Finlandian vocalist, Bianca Morales, and Ukrainian classical pianist Viatceslav Novikov.​ Larry Price has also performed with noted American artists such as James Carter, Ted Curson, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Ashford & Simpson and Stanley Turrentine.






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Frank ReinFrank Rein is a trombonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger, and educator living and working in Philadelphia. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, Frank studied trombone at the University of the Arts. Frank creative approach is not constrained to any one form, or style of sound, and has led him to collaborate with artists in many genres. Frank is an active member of the large jazz ensemble Abstract Truth, the Balkan brass-inspired West Philadelphia Orchestra, the Neo-Soul collective Ode to Omni, the pop-reggae band Kings & Comrades, and the singer-songwriter Chris Paterno Band. He also collaborates frequently with Evan Cory Levine and His Singular Band, a hot jazz band, and the Space Whale Orchestra, a free jazz collective.




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Ram RichesRam Riches is a Philadelphia-based Poet, Motivational Speaker and Actor. He has been featured on KRS-ONE's, "Stop The Violence Tour.” he has appeared on WRNB 107.9 FM with host Tiffany Bacon’s on "Whispers In the Dark,” on Robert Woodards' "Barbershop Talk” on WURD 900 AM, as well as Fay Clauds "Pan-African Dialogue” on WDAS 1480 AM. His role as Riches casted him as a henchman in the movie "Must Be The Music" starring Charles Dutton and Tasha Smith. On stage, in “Choices” his character was the dramatic “Reem.” Riches also starred in the short film, “Son of Hip Hop.” A certified Frator Heru Institute Rites-of-Passage facilitator, Riches devotes his time to motivating and mentoring youth.





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Gerald Roberts Gerald Roberts is a Philadelphia area percussionist and instructor who also spends significant time each year in Panama. He studied bass at Philadelphia’s Granoff’s School of Music and has facilitated workshops at the Richard Allen Housing ProjectRW Brown - Boys Club, The Youth Activity Center in Camden, NJ, Lanning Square Grammar School in Camden, NJ, Girard Medical Center, Community Education Center, John W. Coltrane Society, Hatch Middle School in Camden, NJ. and Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center. He has performed or recorded with Wilson Pickett, Norman Connors Star Ship Orchestra, Billy Paul and the Lacy White Quartet.





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Kim Pedro Kimpedro Rodriguez is product of the culturally diverse Spring Garden section of Philadelphia. Rodriguez is a visual artist and musician with 20 years of writing, recording and performance experience. For Rodriguez, merging bombastic rhythms of Latino and African American drummers and percussionist are the soundtrack of everyday life. He is co-founder of The JazGuardian Musicians organization with guitarist, DMHotep and percussionist Robert Kenyatta. Rodriguez created Kimpedro's NU GRuV Network in 2012, after 20 years of corporate, public and private service with Jazguardian. NU GRuV Network is a collective of artists - visual, recording, performance artists, composers arrangers, photographers, producers.





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Skip The SamplerSkip the Sampler aka STS is a Philly based radio producer and noisemaker, who was introduced to the sampling sport on the cheap, 8bit, Casio SK1 digital sampler. STS came of age making beats on the Akai MPC 60 sampler. Currently, his weapons of choice are Logic Pro and Pro Tools DAWs. He has received awards for his radio programming from Pennsylvania Radio Theater, National Endowment For The Arts and New American Radio. He has collaborated with other producers such as Joe Young, Hard Rock Rick and DixPop of the Legendary Roots Crew, as well as produced musical tracks for many aspiring rappers and poets in the Delaware Valley such as RaRa San, Sabatoogee, Napalm, Vicious D and HAR-Vee.





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Space Whale OrchestraThe Space Whale Orchestra is an improvisational chamber music ensemble sown and grown in Philadelphia, PA. Drawn together over a love of collective improvisation and sonic experimentation, the group continues to explore the borders of music and the meaning of freedom, always striving to keep their sound new and evolving. Current core members include Erica Corbo: piano, voice, flute; Steve Davit: tenor sax; Ted Schneider: alto sax; Connor Przybyszewski: trombone, voice, various whistles; Other collaborators include Kyle Press: alto sax, baritone sax, throat singing; Martin Gottlieb-Hollis: trumpet; Frank Rein: trombone





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Nimrod SpeaksNimrod Speaks is a Philadelphia native, bassist, composer, and educator both on electric and double bass. The son of a minister, Speaks’s musical education started in the church. However, he began playing electric bass at the age of 16 in high school, under the tutorship of Ricardo Jackson. Speaks is a graduate of Kutztown University and received a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. He has played with artists like Boostie Barnes, Ronnie Burrage, Archie Shepp, Doc Gibbs, and Hannibal Lokumbe. Nimrod Speaks has performed all over Philadelphia in venues such as South Restaurant, Chris’s Jazz Cafe, World Cafe Live, Relish, Time Restaurant, LaRose Jazz Cafe and others





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Chris StevensChris Stevens is talented trumpeter, native of Camden, New Jersey and a Temple University graduate, who has been in the music business since his teenage years. He has had a lifetime's worth of career experiences including extensive travel and working with Grammy Award winning artists such as Tye Tribbett and The Roots. An accomplished performer and arranger, Chris has credits on several dozen recordings, including Jazmine Sullivan's latest album "Reality Show" and Faith Evans' "Incomparable."  When he is not in the studio, Chris can likely be found on a stage leading his band Vertical Current, or touring with the likes of Eric Roberson and John Legend.





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Sonny SunkettSonny Sunkett is a Philadelphia-born and bred bassist who developed in Philly’s rich R&B and Jazz scenes during the 1960s. He began his career at Roosevelt Jr. High School in Germantown. As a young musician, Sunkett worked closely as a band member with former Weather Report drummer, Eric Gravatt. As a R&B musician, Sunkett worked with Lee Andrews and The Original Hearts. Sonny Sunkett also worked with Philadelphia Jazz legends such as Khan Jamal, Monnette Sudler, Sid Simmons and Eddie Green. Sunkett has also enjoyed a longtime creative collaboration with Philadelphia guitarist, Curtis Weaver and is a longtime member of the Hard Bop repertory group, Philadelphia Heritage Art Ensemble.





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Brian ThompsonBrian Thompson aka Elev8te is an aspiring producer from Baltimore, MD. His love for music began at an early age inspired by piano lessons from his Mother, Sunday morning church services, and his Father's  record collection. Elev8te began producing 10 years ago, making beats and recording rappers from his neighborhood. He stepped back briefly, when he began losing those same friends to the streets. As a result, Elevated Kings, LLC was created in 2012 to focus his talents to uplift and motivate. These days, Elev8te is working with local artists with the same mission, consistently cooking up material in his home based studio. He continues to motivate, mentor and impact the youth in his community through music and the arts.







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STBarnesSandra Turner-Barnes is a poet and published author, who is a proud native of historic, Lawnside, New Jersey. In 1996, she received Ebony Magazine International Literary award for her short story, “Burnt Bacon.” Sandra Turner-Barnes has performed throughout the MidAtlantic region in venues including NYC’s Village Vanguard and has worked with many Jazz artists, including pianist Geri Allen. She holds a degree in Business Administration from Pierce College, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Camden County Historical Society. She is a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, and Philadelphia’s Keepers of the Culture. Her books and music are available at Barnes & Nobel, Amazon and many other locations throughout the U.S. and the UK.




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TwizzTwizzMatic is a music producer, musician, sound engineer and rapper from Philadelphia. At the age of 14, he began producing music and writing lyrics. Taking after his father, TwizzMatic developed an ear for drums and organic sounds. At the age of 19 he attended The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio where he recieved his certification as a live and in studio sound engineer. Music producer, Musician, sound engineer, rapper, actor. TwizzMatic occupies all of these titles. Phily Producer/Emcee, Twizzmatic pays homage to his biggest influence, J Dilla, with "2 For You". Produced and Directed by Jonifin Marvin Benjamin of Outbreak Creative Group.







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Steve TysonStephen J. Tyson Jr. aka DJ EAR2EAR is the founder of JusListen Entertainment; a music, multimedia and education company dedicated to promoting critical thinking and freedom of artistic expression. He is a rapper, songwriter, producer, videographer and audio engineer and is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Arcadia University. Previously, Tyson earned his B.A. in Anthropology from Franklin & Marshall College, and M.A. in International Peace & Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University.









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Urban ClassiqueUrban Classique is an ensemble that inventively fuses Jazz, World music, R&B and Western Classical music. Formed in 1998 by violinist, Owen "Fiidla" Brown, all members are asked to play, sing and dance in the Arkestra tradition. Urban Classique has performed with Dionne Warwick, Melba Moore, The Ojays, Bill Withers, Bonnie Rait, Teena Marie, Aretha Franklin, The Sun Ra Arkestra and other acts.

The members of Urban Classique are...
Owen "Fiidla "Brown Violin/Keyboards/Percussion/Lead Vocals>
Michael Ireland: Violin/Viola/Vocals
Derek Washington: Violin/Vocals
Al Hunter: Flute/Vocals
Ginger Smith: Cello/Vocals
Tiffany Williams: Vocals/Percussion






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kvalentineKevin Valentine is a Philadelphia-based Jazz singer, who was born and bred in New York City. He was an early member of the Boys Choir of Harlem where, he first met Philly’s ubiquitous bass player, Mike Boone. Kevin has done “Amateur Night at the Apollo” and performed at New York City clubs such as “Smoke”, the “West End” and “Somethin’ Jazz Café”. Since coming to Philly to attend law school, Kevin has  soaked up the city’s rich jazz culture. He has performed at Zanzibar Blue, Pyramid Club, Rembrandt’s, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus, La Rose, Calabash, and Chris’s Jazz Cafe. Kevin was nominated Best Male Jazz Vocalist of 2013 by the Clef Club of Philadelphia and his CD “JazzVox” provides insight into his approach to the music.





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WPOWest Philadelphia Orchestra (WPO) brings the party with Balkan brass, free jazz and slamming beats.  Founded in 2006 by neighborhood friends, the group exploded into a 14 piece (at its fullest) brass ensemble known for its monthly dance parties in Philadelphia.  They have shared stages with diverse groups such as Sun Ra Arkestra, Gogol Bordello, Fanfare Ciocarlia and RJD2.  Featuring Bulgarian-American vocalist Petia Zamfirova and jazz saxophonist Elliott Levin, WPO has won a place in the heart of Philadelphians and is carrying their sound to the outer reaches of the universe.








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brent whiteBrent White is a Philadelphia trombonist. He received early training from trombonists, Al Grey and Clifford Adams. White has toured the globe performing with the likes of Roy Ayers, John Legend, Kindred Family Soul and Sun Ra Arkestra. He has been welcomed to the stage by Zap Mama, and has recorded in-studio for Patti Labelle. White has performed with Orrin Evans Captain Black Big Band, the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra and the Fresh Cut Orchestra, among other ensembles. White's diverse exposure, has allowed him to perform music theater productions, such as Ain't Misbahavin, Rock & Soul, Rat Pack and Burn the Floor. A usual suspect at Ortleib's Jazzhaus in Philadelphia, White has shared many sit-in sessions alongside the legendary Mickey Roker. "You got it...that sound!."





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Yolanda WYolanda Wisher is a poet, singer, musician, and educator. Wisher was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where she was named the county's first poet laureate at the age of 23. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, and she regularly performs her poetry in collaboration with musicians. As a teacher, radio host, and founder of the Germantown Poetry Festival, Wisher has utilized poetry as a conduit for community-building and youth empowerment for over fifteen years. She lives in Germantown with her husband Mark Palacio, a double bassist, and their son Thelonious. Her first book of poetry, Monk Eats An Afro, was published by Hanging Loose Press in May 2014.




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Raphael XavierRaphael Xavier is a breaker/dancer, rapper, music producer, comedian, photographer and author. He is best known for re-invigorating the B-boying community in Philadelphia. He started choreographing with the Brandywine School of Ballet in 1995. He then, joined Rennie Harris Puremovement, the longest running Hip-Hop dance company. He would continue on to become a core member of the RHPM company and is now an alumnus. He has received many awards and recognition for his choreographic work from 1999 to the present. Xavier gives lectures and dance classes internationally on Hip-Hop and its history. He is currently working on a book titled "Breaking Text / Defining of a Culture. In 2013, Xavier was honored with a Pew Fellowships in the Arts award.




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BZankelBobby Zankel is a Philadelphia-based alto saxophonist, educator, bandleader and composer. Born in New York City, he worked with Cecil Taylor’s Unit Core Ensemble in the early 70s. In 1975, Zankel moved to Philly, where he has lived ever since. Over the course of his career, Zankel has performed, and/or recorded with Hank Mobley/Sonny Gillete Quintet, Jymie Merritt’s Forerunners, Odean Pope, Johnny Coles, Lester Bowie, Marilyn Crispell, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Ralph Peterson and Terri Lyne Carrington. Bobby Zankel has received awards for his work as a musician and composer from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Herman Goldman Award, and Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He presently performs with his large scale ensemble, Warriors Of The Wonderful Sound.




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The stuff McCoy Tyner did was earth-shattering for me. The modal thing, the way he voiced chords in fourths, the way he used the pentatonic scale -- all those things were very new.
Kenny Barron

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