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Ohene Savant - At The Intersection of Jazz & Hiphop

Ohene 1

On April 29th, at the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center in Manayunk, PJP presents Ohene Savant - Year of the Savant. This concert, at the intersection of Jazz & Hiphop, features the music and lyrical prowess of Philadelphia’s returning son, rapper, musician, composer, producer and writer, Ohene Savant. He will be joined on stage by a team of Philadelphia musicians lead by drummer and music director, Kim Pedro.

 

Kawann "Ohene" Shockley was born and raised in the North Philadelphia. After his family unraveled, he moved with his aunt and uncle to Accra, the capital of the Republic of Ghana, West Africa. There he spent his teenage years. In Ghana, Ohene would act on his childhood dreams of becoming a musician and a rapper. He recorded his first demo tape at the age of 13, which led to his first television appearance in 1997 on Smash T.V., a national television show in Ghana. A year later, Ohene made his first major concert appearance at The Vibrant Street Carnival in Accra, with approximately 50,000 in attendance and released his first professional production, a Native Funk Lords track entitled "Amfuo", which received frequent airplay in Ghana.

 

Ohene 2After graduating high school, Ohene returned to Philadelphia. Back in the states, Ohene established the Christian hip hop group, Exit-Us and taught a course entitled "The Art of Rap: How to Emcee" at the Pan African Studies Community Education Program at Temple University. There, he met his business partner and University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate, Giovanni Turner. The partners launched RAHM Nation Recordings LLC and released his first two albums, The Rapademics and Inner City Soul. While back in Philly, Ohene would make a connection with award wining musician, composer, producer, radio host, and former Philadelphian, James Mtume.

 

Kim PedroKim Pedro Rodriguez is a drummer, visual artist, and a builder of community. With the Sun Ra Arkestra’s DM Hotep and under the mentorship of Robert Kenyatta, he founded the JazGuardian Musicians’ Organization. In addition to serving as a performing arts instructor for the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, he’s the originator and prime mover for the Artists’ Collective, NU GRuV Network. Over his career he’s accompanied Monika Herzig, Raimundo Santos, Vanida Gail, Kaligata, King Sound Vibration, Melange, and even a President of the United States.

 


Ohene Savant - Year of the Savant

Friday April 29th, 8:00pm
Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center
7 Lock Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127


Tickets are $15 in advance, more at the door.

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Visit Ohene's Website Here

 

PJP spoke with both Ohene Savant and Kim Pedro about their work and the upcoming concert.

 

PJP: Can you briefly describe your musical direction?


Ohene Savant: I call my work Hip-hop fusion. I see myself as a rhythmic vocalist, Hip-hop happens to be the medium that I am using to express my ideas. Hip-hop fusion is when we bridge the various musical genres with Hip-hop


Kim Pedro: The direction and energy of this concert is going to be through the roof! Ohene is literally a Savant...a genius. The music that accompanies his experiences, knowledge and spiritually insightful lyrics ...without sounding too cliche...is a match made in Heaven! The music will emcompass not only hip hop and jazz, but also showcase both his and NU GRuV's musical depth that will include classical themes and of course The GRuV.

 

PJP: What and whom are pivotal musical influences on your creative approach?

 

Ohene Savant: My musical influences are from many genres. As a child, I lived in a house that was less than a block away from John Coltrane's house. I would later grow to respect Coltrane's discipline. I grew to respect him as a musician and spiritualist. He apparently had this same effect on lots of people. I'm also influenced by Tupac and Miles Davis, The integrity and evolution of their work stands out to me.


Kim Pedro: In terms of lyrical music, I was influenced by The Last Poets, Gil Scot-Heron, Nikki Giovanni, PFunk...then Talib Kwele, Common, Public Enemy, Nas..of course, The Roots, Quite Sane, Dapp Theory...JazGuardian!

 

PJP: What’s so important about this project?


Ohene Savant: It marks the beginning of the popularization of my brand. I have been an independent artist for over 10 years this year I have had the most success in my career, three videos that I have released have gone viral which means that my audience has expanded. I larger audience means that I face new challenges, but also have gained many possibilities to expand my artistry. This concert represents my transition as I let go of the struggle and embrace new levels in my career.


PJP: How do you manage the task of creating and encouraging fresh, new, forwarding moving musical ideas, while simultaneously exploring, celebrating and documenting the past?

 

Ohene Savant: By being a student first. Trying to stay open minded at all times. Being open minded can be an important challenge for many Hiphop artists. In a way, I am musically a paradox. I constantly reference the past while reaching for the future. Without the past, there will be no way to look into the future. In a sense, you have to live in two worlds, which I find myself constantly doing.


Kim Pedro: The Bible tells us,"...There is nothing NU under the Sun..." ...but everybody hasn't heard everything! This cross pollination of wisdom and experience with musicality and creativity is going to create something beautiful beyond words. We will be taking something already created by OS the Great & Powerful and breathing NU Life into it...

 

PJP: When listening to your music, what advice would you give to audiences to assist with greater understanding and enjoyment?


Ohene Savant: We listen to music for various reasons. It's for messages. It's for appreciation, but also for enjoyment. Feel free to have fun, while being analytical.

 

Kim Pedro: Listen and listen hard. There are messages to be heard. Don't compare. Wake up to The Real... Celebrate 2016, the Year of the Savant.

            
PJP: Why Jazz? When you could be doing anything else, why Jazz?


Ohene: Jazz is African classical music. As explained by Nina Simone, it is the highest form of our, that is, of our American expression.


Kimpedro: Jazz allows the art to evolve, become organic. It allows for interaction and improv. Possibilities are endless. We can introduce them to the various styles; let them see it's not a small box to operate out of.

 


Ohene Savant - Year of the Savant

Friday April 29th, 8:00pm
Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center
7 Lock Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127


Tickets are $15 in advance, more at the door.

Purchase Tickets Here

 

Visit Ohene's Website Here

 

Check out Ohene in Action...

 

 

 

For more check out his YouTube Channel.

 

 

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Tags : OheneSavant Rapper Producer Hiphop VeniceIslandPerformingArtsandRecreationCenter Manayunk Philadelphia YearoftheSavant IntersectionofJazz&Hiphop KimPedro NUGRuVNetwork Accra Ghana WestAfrica PanAfricanStudiesCommunityEducationProgram TempleUniversity Rapademics JamesMtume JazGuardian Collaboration Cross-Genre

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