Monday, September 27, 2010

Hip Hop Soul Jam At City Winery

Something really cool happened last Monday, September 20th at City Winery in New York City that we were eager to share with all you Afropop Worldwide listeners. The special event was the continuation of Hip Hop Soul Jam, a quarterly performance series showcasing emerging hip hop soul artists making music for a purpose. The show featured performances by live acts Aposoul, Okai, Brown Rice Family, Underground Horns and Denitia Odigie, with a special opening performance by The Hip Hop Congress from the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action middle school in the Bronx. Hip Hop legend Marley Marl also did a special guest DJ performance.

Okai's Odyssey

Denitia Odigie

Marley Marl
One of the reasons why we dig the Hip Hop Soul Jam so much is because the evening benefited Millennium Promise and coincided with the launch of the 2010 Millennium Development Goals Summit, to focus on eradicating poverty worldwide. Millennium Promise is the leading international non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Millennium Promise oversees the Millennium Villages project which supports integrated social and business development for more than 500,000 people in rural communities across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Hip Hop Soul has the power to effect change on a global level” said Hip Hop Saves Lives founder, Chad Harper. “That’s why we give a spotlight to quality hip hop soul artists, those with a focus on saying something and creating music with artistic integrity. We place emphasis on performers that follow their words with actions, personifying Hip Hop Saves Lives’ motto: ‘We don’t just talk about it, we be about it.’”

Members of Millennium Promise Young Professionals Leadership
Committee: (back) Iva Iordanova, Justin Lyons, (front) Kyoko Kaneda,
David Nemer (Chair), Amy Shaw (Millennium Promise)

Hip Hop Soul Jam Producers Jake Bright and Chad Harper
Anna Harrison, Millennium Promise UK; Bala Yunusa, Millennium
Villages Project in Pampaida (Nigeria); Amy Shaw, Millennium Promise;
Bocary Kaya, Millennium Villages Project Mali; Niyi Onabanjo,
Millennium Villages Project Nigeria
 To this end, Harper teamed up with Hip Hop Soul Jam co-producer Jake Bright, a DJ and Director of African focused Cocody Productions and a former producer of events for Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive. Bright works with Harper to infuse an international (largely African) component to Hip Hop Soul Jam’s artist selection, while adding his DJ skills mixing African music with other black genres, such as hip hop, soul, reggae, dancehall, and funk. He rocked several DJ sets through all those genres during the evening, sharing the stage momentarily with hip hop pioneer Marley Marl. Bright and Harper have already been approached about connecting the next Hip Hop Soul Jam to a worthy cause, so expect to see a new exciting ensemble of music for a purpose soon.

Saturday was another great evening for Hip Hop Soul Jam and we hope that there are many more night of fun and exciting music going towards a positive cause in their future.

City Winery Crew
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