Click on the name of each artist for more information about the 2015 STooP Artists and their work . . .
is a Brooklyn based artist, and storyteller. He is the only son of southern-born, African-American parents who raised him on christian schools, female-led households, and pentecostal churches. His New York projects, and collaborations have found him working with amazing artists like Gregory Porter, Bilal, Erykah Badu, Tamar Kali, and Gabriella Caspi, to name a few. Further, among his honorable mentions, Aleijuan has been cited in The New York Times, Ebony.com, The Source Magazine, and The Village Voice. Aleijuan’s music and videos can be experienced and/or purchased at www.mrkdrkfthr.bandcamp.com
, youtube: Aleijuan Afuraka, and www.mermaidzfromouterspace.tumblr.com
‘Flight of the Dandelion’ is a theater work-in-progress that redefines, and re-imagines how afromasculinity is experienced, and navigated through a modern day lens. Summoning the voices of ‘the minstrel,’ ‘the preacher,’ ‘the pimp,’ and ‘the dandy,’ Aleijuan explores traditional notions, roles, and stereotypes of black men thru poetry, music, and movement.
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Àṣẹ Dance Theatre Collective
is a professional, neo-folkloric performance ensemble that specializes in Dance Theater from the African Diaspora. The company is currently made up of seven female dancer/vocalists, two male freestyle dancer/spoken word artists, two musicians and one vocalist.
Under the artistic direction of its founder, Adia Tamar Whitaker
, a dancer/choreographer and vocalist from San Francisco’s Bay Area, this Brooklyn based dance theater collective is dedicated to preserving the past, present and future of the African presence in the “New World”.
Since 2000, ASE has presented work that links contemporary dance, original vernacular movement and traditional dance theater from the African Diaspora to conceptual ideas in the human experience. The current repertoire features a variety of multi-media dance theater and music works composed by Adia Tamar Whitaker. ASE also performs as a folkloric music ensemble and provides interactive educational performances for children K-12.
Under the musical direction of Sekou Alaje, ASE presents the African Diaspora’s diverse dance and musical repertoire.
As people of African descent that have migrated from all over the world to fulfill our dreams of art and revolution in New York City, it is our shared belief that all forms of African drum and dance facilitate a process of spiritual awareness and good physical health. This inspires us to create rich and transformative art that uplifts the soul.
–Adia Tamar Whitaker
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holds her Bachelors of Arts in Dance and Women’s Studies from Kansas State University and has always had a great passion for choreographing, entertaining, and social activism. Her training includes the American Dance Festival, Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and the Dagra Music Center in Ghana, West Africa. Autumn is currently developing a new performing arts film series called EXPRESSION: The Film Series, performing with Maverick Dance Experience, Marjani Forte, working as the Administrative Associate with LOVE|FORTÉ A COLLECTIVE, loving vibrantly, and growing in the New York scene.
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is a hip-hop artist from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. To be exact, he represents the Ebbets Field Apartments where he spent his entire childhood, and where Jackie Robinson once ran the bases. The triumphs and traumas of this native Brooklyn sun are woven into his music. The tones of CHRIS WISE songs can range from aggressive to hyper-mellow, but there is a consistent focus on lyricism and floetic delivery that keeps listeners coming back for more.
2015 is a landmark year for CHRIS WISE. He recently turned 23 in February (Pisces!) and is readying to graduate from Medgar Evers College with his Bachelor’s degree in Hip-Hop Marketing. WISE is driven to utilize hip-hop and its core guiding principles – peace, love, unity, and having fun – as a medium for community development.
As cofounder and President of BlackMarketWares, a Brooklyn-based artist development agency, WISE works to organize the burgeoning underground hip-hop community and expand artists’ success. The company has produced several concerts and community events, including a youth basketball tournament in WISE’s home park, Jackie Robinson Playground.
I will construct a multimedia art space that includes a live musical performance by myself (possibly backed by instrumentation), an art gallery featuring some of my photography, and a mini-market of artworks (records, clothing, branded knick-knacks, etc.)
This art house will fully display the BlackMarketWares aesthetic of “building power through unity.”
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Denrick Johnson (Sebek Heru)
– In viewing Denrick Johnson’s free form expressions we see the tales of his creative spirit as it seeks balance within Divinity and the Black Experience. Denrick (Dee) utilizes mediums such as acrylic, water color, quash ink to relay his life experience, beginning first in Dominica WI, and then taking root in NYC. Sometimes joyous, painful, revolutionary, or lighthearted, Denrick’s work creates a spectrum of life as it captures the truths of his existence through the eyes of culture.
Denrick Johnson (Dee) is a member of the Harlem Art Alliance and the Long Island African Artist Association. Denrick’s work has been featured at the Annual Fulton arts festival, Mobay uptown, Amy Ruth’s, Revival’s Restaurant, bayou in Harlem, the Harlem Book fair review, the Brooklyn Public Library. His exhibitions include the Marcus Garvey Center Harlem, The African American Museum of Hempstead NY, Bush Baby’s Cafe Brooklyn, (BeSAA) Bedford Stuyvesant Artist Association, LES white Slab, the YMCA Harlem review, and the Boys and Girls Annual Street fair.
My Presentation will be a participatory showing of my work and creative process. I will construct an interactive experience for visitors to explore select works and fragments of my life’s journey as it has influenced my creative practice. I will also offer opportunities for visitors to create.
Visitors will hear a sound scape that ranges from Chain Gang chants to Caribbean and Brooklyn soul sounds, share alter sweets from tamarind balls to Now Laters, view collages of inspirational source materials and “reflect on how our community inspires them.” Materials will include sharpies and paints for the visitor Tag Wall, mirrors for Reflection, posted collage materials (etc. news articles, family photo albums), and low level audio.
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is the artistic director of Platea Theater Project
, a Brooklyn theater artist, an alumna of the National Theater Institute, and previously an actor/director/public-policy-researcher in Michigan. In the fall of 2013 she traveled with the nomadic street theater troupe The Vagari Project, performing short plays in parks and street corners along the East Coast. For more information about the Platea troupe and other places you can see us perform this summer, visit www.emilycaffery.com
Join Platea Theater Project for a joyful celebration of the BedStuy community with a short play inspired by the traditions of commedia dell’arte street theater. Platea combines exuberant physical comedy, gargoylian masks, and outlandish characters to create an interactive performance for audiences of all ages.
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has been working for 7 years in Finance. He decided 2 years ago to leave that world and to explorer his artistic side, which has been blocked for a long time.
frederic will continue the mural he began during STooPS 2014.
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is one of the greatest examples of what happens when faith meets fortitude. With all the distractions that this world brings, you have to fight diligently to let society know about your God given talent. San Diego native, Geminelle has been pursuing music at a professional level since the age of 13. In the beginning of her career she was a member of the girl group MISS. While she enjoyed her time within the group, she soon began to pursue her solo career. After graduating high school, Geminelle decided to take a break from music to seek a degree in education. Her passion for helping others and being a vessel for change made attaining her M.Ed a major achievement. It was at this time that she realized her gift as an educator and an artist are intertwined: that both music and education can have an impact in an individual’s life.
Geminelle is very much paving her own path sonically. Her airy, raspy vocals over organic, harmonic production immediately creates a trance-like ambience that’s best heard on her recently-released Acoustic Love Letters EP. With the Incorporation of the ukulele, guitar, and loop pedal in her performance, Geminelle delivers relatable lyrics like the ethereal “Newness” that comes across to listeners as an intimate conversation.
In the February 2014, Geminelle launched a grassroots open mic tour in cities like New Orleans, Chicago, and Austin. These cities have a history of cultivating unique and eclectic music, and she successfully left her footprint at each performance. This tour gave her the courage to test her faith and move half a world away to Brooklyn, New York. With the help of her friends, family and fans she was able to say farewell to San Diego as she embarked on her “Follow the Music Campaign”. As she settles into New York, a population full of promise, she is continuing to develop her craft in a city known for sharpening the skills of budding artists.
Faith got her to this point in her career, fortitude will keep her.
Geminelle creates her entire sound from the ground up using a loop pedal, ukulele, and soulful vocals, inviting her audience to be a part of the music making process.
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International teaching artist and storyteller, Gustav Gauntlett
has been combining basketball with community work for over a decade. From California, to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, to South Africa, & now back to NYC…there are a million stories shared every day on courts around the world, it is my path in life to share them with you.
I will perform one of the characters from my 1-man show called Hoops, winner of the BEST PLAY award at the 2014 Downtown Urban Theater Festival. The character is Daryl Pruit, a teenager from Omaha, Nebraska who dreams of playing basketball in New York City. He is coming to terms with his sexuality as a gay man and is faced with the challenges of growing up in a small town.
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Born and raised in BedStuy, Brooklyn, Ish
began making waves as a teenager in the youth spoken word and poetry scene. He also started creating music at the same time in a duo called HumUni (hyoom-you-nigh). A 2012 New York City Youth Poet Laureate, and semi-finalist of The Source Magazine’s 2014 Unsigned Hype competition, his love for the word and music is rooted in love for hip hop. In January, Ish released “On the Way to the Store”, an EP that preludes his upcoming full-length album, “Store Run”, set to release in spring 2015.
Having performed at STooPS last year, I would like to expand on what I started. At that time, I only had a few loose pieces of new music to perform. By the time this year’s STooPS happens, my full album will be released and in rotation. With its title, “Store Run”, the idea of possibly using a stoop close to a corner bodega, or right outside a storefront would be a great use of space. Or, even subtly decorating a stoop with things reminiscent of a corner store while performing would be interesting. Collaborating with a shelter or food service organization in the neighborhood is another ambition that goes with this album, for example, allowing the audience to donate goods from a store at my performance to give to those in need.
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has performed with Ase Dance Theatre Collective, Balasole Dance Company, KaNu Dance Theater and Tamara LaDonna Moving Spirits. Maxine is also a 2014 EMERGENYC artist with New York University ’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, and a contributing writer for The Dance Enthusiast.
As a choreographer, Maxine has presented work at the “Being Bushified!” culture and community series hosted by Urban Bush Women, The Pearl Showcase, “The Makings of You” (at Dance New Amsterdam) and “Epic Narratives” (at The Actors Fund Arts Center) with Tamara LaDonna Moving Spirits, “Shadow of a Pearl” and “Malgre Tout” with KaNu Dance Theater at Jamaica Performing Arts Center, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and the inaugural Rex Nettleford Arts Conference in Kingston, Jamaica. In 2014, she choreographed for BallyBeg Production’s third play and Equity-approved showcase, “The Taste Of It”.
“Return to Play” – Using text, song and movement, I will present a piece based on the idea of remembering what we enjoyed as children (i.e. hand clap games and songs) to help audiences – particularly adults – remember the importance of indulging in things that bring them joy. I will use movement and text to share my own personal experiences of what I enjoyed as a child, and invite viewers throughout the piece to share what games/songs/stories they enjoyed as children. I also hope to have audience members participate in singing songs and/or hand clap games with me as well. If there are children present, I will invite them to share games and songs they enjoy too!
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miss al boogie
is finding a new home for her artistry in making music. Raised between Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Albany, NY, she spent much of her time at roller-skating rinks and school dances as well as frequently attending rock concerts with her father and brothers, all of which still have influence in her music today. After moving to Brooklyn, she immersed herself in the club and street dance community, completely absorbing the music and movement of NYC and deepening her aesthetic and musical perspective. Called a quirky Teena Marie or an R&B Bjork, miss al boogie likes to produce a thoughtful lyric, strong groove and funky vocal. She is currently penning and collaborating on the production of her next album and freelancing as a songwriter for other performers.
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is a New York City bred and based artist. Through her work she transcends her West Indian roots and her Brooklyn upbringing.
Nadine will create temporary art installations at using coloured chalks. She will invite young people to learn some basic principles of art making, and to have a conversation about what is art, who can appreciate it and the importance and significance of temporary beauty.
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is professor of literature, reporter, poet and author of The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning Man, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street
I will create a collaborative spoken word piece with attendees. We will compose a poem with each person contributing a line and in the process, be guided by listening to the prior line and imagining the next, building an oral architecture that we briefly feel at home in. The goal is the act of intentional consciousness where we hold space for each other and in that space, create art.
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Musician Noni Rene
(also known as “TheVillageKid”) produced her own sound while a student at Lincoln University. Originally from Philadelphia, Pa, she spent a significant amount of years living in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Singer, songwriter, composer, producer, and founder of her own production company (TheVillageKid Productions), Noni Rene has released her debut EP “Coming To Paz” in June of 2014.
She has performed at the STooPS Bed Stuy Festival in 2013 and in 2014 when she was the viewers’ choice to open for culminating performers, Tamar Kali and Jessica Care Moore. She has also performed at Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Odunde Festival in Philadelphia, where she opened for hip hop legends Big Daddy Kane and Rakim. Although Noni considers being a rock artist, she produces and composes music of other genres such R&B, Electronica, and even Jazz.
Originality is hard to come by with the numerous musical tastes and the ever evolving genres in today’s music. Nevertheless, Noni’s talent and dedication continues to provide an inspiration not only to those around her, but to any who truly embrace the vibe.
Featured in Nu Breed Magazine where it’s been said “Noni’s songs are very relatable and personable, which allows the audience to get lost in her words as they spiral into a parallel universe also known as the mind of ‘TheVillageKid.’”
Noni Rene was also featured in Aesthetics Magazine, Sunset City Radio, the “Only Women Wear High Heels” Radio Show and KEMET magazine.
To listen to Noni Rene visit http://www.reverbnation.com/nonirene
My band and I will play an array of songs (mostly original) and keep the crowd engaged with some crowd participation!
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is a Brooklyn born artist interested in exploring the varying ways we connect to each other as people through the lens of race, gender and culture. She is currently in using art as a platform to to highlight and honor the varying narratives of Black women worldwide as well as develop a deeper understanding of ritual, magic, words, art and nature.
The Free Black Woman’s Library is a mobile book sharing unit that contains up to 100 books of varying genres written by Black women. The unit travels throughout Brooklyn area and is stationed in different outdoor locations. Community members are invited to interact with the unit by bringing their own books as currency, for every book a person brings they are allowed to take one. It is also interactive in that community members will be chosen and asked to read their favorite passages and share anecdotal information on their favorite characters, writers and stories. The only rule around the books that are submitted is that they must be written by Black women but they can be about anything. The installation of the unit at each location also comes along with thematic performances, soundscapes, readings and exploratory conversations.
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began painting at age 5, under the tutelage of his Aunt Auressa Moore in BedStuy Brooklyn.
Many challenges defined DEO’s life as he grew Up, moving between New York City and New Orleans. DEO’s first film was Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X”.
Paul’s creations grew into graphic novels, mixed-media paintings, sculpture, Flash animation, and video. DEO moved his family back to New Orleans.
With a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2009 Paul DEO created the 75′ x 60′ fiberglass sculpture mural “House of the Rising Sun” based on his modern myth Evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with his 2 children, Paul DEO & his family are now residing in Harlem, NY.
Paul DEO is an extremely imaginative humanitarian artist with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Paul sincerely likes sharing his unique gift teaching and inspiring young students through media arts.
In 2013, Paul DEO won a mural design competition “Planet Harlem” a mixed media mural in Harlem, NY. “Planet Harlem” was recently featured on PBS mini series “Many Rivers to Cross” (2014) with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. In the summer of 2014 Paul was creating a 300 foot mixed media mural at Riverbank State Park in Manhattan.
Pual DEO will create an interactive mural.
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James “SoSoon” Gantt
is a scholar and teaching artist from Jamaica Queens. The moniker SoSoon, an acronym for Sound Of Something Out Of Nothing represents the aura of Hip-Hop music – a sound which was developed by people who had nothing. According to SoSoon his desire since day one has always been “to use Hip-Hop as an outlet to provide a voice for the voiceless.” His style is often compared to the likes of Kendrick Lemar and J-Cole. Like the aforementioned, SoSoon appreciates the versatility that Hip-Hop music has displayed since its inception.
Notable accolades include opening for noteworthy artist such as Dead Prez, M.O.P, Saigon, Ninjasonik, Lil Cease, and Game Rebellion amongst others. He has also performed alongside independent artists such as Theophilus London, Micki Factz, and Wordspit the Illest. Additionally, SoSoon was a staple of the critically acclaimed Ghetto Metal concert series sponsored by www.TheSource.com.
I will perform songs from my upcoming album “S.O.O.N.Y” (Sound Of Old New York) which re-imagines moments in New York City’s past and present including:
1. Gentrified – Talks about the current state of black working and middle class neighborhoods in New York
2. Rent Party – Talks about celebration despite hardship during the Harlem Renaissance
3. Can’t Breate – Talks about the social injustice that continues to plague black and brown people
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is an interdisciplinary performance artist. Through a combination of movement, text, installation, ritual and multi-media she is creating performance art that is concerned with freedom, and healing. This January, Lindley’s installation and ritual performance “This Ain’t A Eulogy: A Ritual for Re-Membering” was featured in La Mama’s SQUIRTS, New Voices in Queer Performance Art. In 2014, Lindley was selected as a Laundromat Project Create Change Fellow where she co-created a socially-engaged art installation in BedStuy Brooklyn which dealt with memory and gentrification. That same year Lindley also participated in EMERGENYC – an artist-activist residency program at New York University’s Hemispheric Institute.
Lindley considers herself an artist, healer and activist and is currently developing a series of work drawing parallels between discarded materials and the violent treatment of Black people in the United States. People in the African Diaspora have a long history of repurposing, remixing and transforming oppressive systems and practices into affirmation and cultural value through art. Lindley is exploring how discarded materials can be symbolic of this legacy. In this post-Ferguson moment, Lindley is imagining how to recycle the energy of protest, rage, and grief into creating a world where, indeed, Black lives matter.
I will be doing an interactive public performance iteration of “This Ain’t A Eulogy.” I will transform a stoop into an altar. I have created a tapestry of 86 trash bags that names each of the 86 unarmed Black people killed by the police since Amadou Diallo in 1999. This tapestry will drape over the steps of the stoop along with candles and flowers. In front of the altar I will perform a healing ritual that will roll-call the names of the Black lives we have lost. Community members will be able to engage in the following ways: 1) call out names during the roll-call 2) participate in song and chants 3) participate in the altar co-creation (light a candle, leave an item for the altar, etc) and 4) write affirmations for Black lives in sidewalk chalk in front of the stoop altar.
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has lived and worked throughout this city. A self taught artist, he have always found the city inspirational. In the seventies he began to write on the subways but left it after discovering the art of Romare Bearden and other masters who required a slower and more nuanced approach (as opposed to running from the authorities at any moment).
“My work takes time to create but I feel that that focus and attention to ones, craft creates depth and knowledge that others can see.”
Some of my collages are like music in its movement and harmony within structure and color schemes. Others reflect something I felt visually. The manipulation of old magazines, books and image sources allowed me to pull my media from other peoples’ garbage which inspires the resourcefulness I need. Most of my collages are made up of several hundred separate pieces of paper with carefully chosen image, color and structural properties. The work is vivid.
My other favored medium is pencils. I prefer portraits because the subtle beauty of facial expression is endless because of our acute sensitivity to it.
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is a Brooklyn based performing artist, educator and activist. A deep love for the arts has brought her talents to audiences around the United States as well as abroad. Wéma returned to New York in July 2013, after the International debut and tour of, Roots, Rhythm and Revolution in South Africa. She performed at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and The Love House in Pretoria. Wéma partnered with Vangi Gantsho and brought Roots Connect: Arts and Activism Workshop to Ebukosini Solutions in Johannesburg. She has performed in over 20 plays, some of which are Macbeth, The Colored Museum, The Seagull, Black Nativity, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also played Assata the Lioness in What it iZ, Angela Davis in Panther Women, and Celia the Slave in an unforgettable performance of Maafa. Since winning Brooklyn Arts Council’s grant in 2004 for Roots, Rhythm and Revolution, Wéma Harris has performed throughout New York City and developed an Arts and Activism curriculum that over 300 young people and adults have experienced. Wéma is the founder of, Bridges: A Pan-AfriKan Arts movement, a global arts initiative bringing opportunities for international arts exchange, community advocacy, and global partnerships.
900 Murmurs of Freedom is the next phase of a new Theatre/Dance performance piece that premiered at STooPS 2014. It engages the audience to reflect on the idea of freedom and internalized oppression. By peeking into the past – 900 Murmurs relives the 900 days after the Emancipation Proclamation where enslaved Africans were not informed about their freedom in Texas. They celebrate a freedom that would be thwarted by institutional racism in the criminal justice system which impacts equality and liberation in the lives of Black Americans to this day. This story is told by a child who prophetically speaks of freedom in 1863 although enslaved. The audience will be active participants in the conversation. Can there be liberation in an oppressive system. How do we shake the shackles of internalized enslavement?
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is an Emmy-nominated animator & filmmaker based out of Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been displayed worldwide including recent showings at the White House, United Nations and the Louvre, as well as at film festival such as Cannes, SXSW, Tribeca, and Clermont-Ferrand. She is the recipient of the Puffin Foundation’s 2013 film grant, the Brooklyn Arts Council 2014 and 2015 film grants, and a finalist for the Real Ideas Studio Micro-grant.
When not working as an artist, Yasmin dedicates her time to the foster youth of New York City. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate, she received the 2012 Advocate of The Year Award for her dedication to getting services for foster care children with special needs. Yasmin was inspired to create this film when she realized the voices of the children she worked with were not being heard and their stories never told.
We are in the process of creating a series of films about foster care. The first film, Feeling Wanted, was just completed and we would love to present it as part of STooPS because BedStuy is a neighborhood that has historically had a lot of kids in foster care. We believe those kids who grew up in the neighborhood should get to stay there and have some consistency in their lives. By showing our short film, and having our foster youth there in person to speak, we can entertain the community while educating them at the same time. By interacting with the community we hope to dismantle stereotypes about foster youth and hopefully inspire the community to learn more about how they can help the foster youth in their ownneighborhood.
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was born in Israel in 1993. He attended the prestigious Thelma Yellin School of Arts, graduating with excellence from the jazz department at age 18. Yoav received the New School’s Scholarship for study abroad to attend The New School in New York, where he is completing his BFA in performing arts in May 2015. Among his teachers are these glorious Jazz stars: Peter Bernstein, Adam Rogers, Mike Moreno, Daniel Zamir, Jason Lindner. Yoav taught Ear Training and Jazz improvisation in Mizmor school of Music and Instructed ensembles as well in Muzot School of Arts while playing in the National Orchestra and the Tel-Aviv Jazz Big Band.
Yoav Recently Recorded his Debut Album- Scheduled for a release this year. Listen to some of his music HERE
The project we are presenting for STooPS 2015 is becoming one of the most innovative Jazz combos around.
We play original Jazz tunes influenced by the tradition of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Our music goes side by side with African rhythms, World music and Progressive rock.
We allow everything that is good to influence our music and mind set.
This concert will feature some of the most professional Jazz players in the city. These musicians will blow your mind.
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The Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC)
is a membership-led, direct-action, community organizing body based in Central Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and the surrounding area). We bring together residents to develop local leadership, identify important issues in their lives, win concrete improvements in the community, and build power. BMC is staffed by local organizers, supported by members, governed by a community-based board of directors, and guided by campaign working groups made up of organizational leaders.
BMC will lead a series of Community Dialogues.
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