Category Archives: live performance

The duo ‘Climbing PoeTree’ is art meets activism in its most powerful revelation

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These two young ladies “ALIXA + NAIMA are at the forefront of using art to speak, to inspire and to share thoughts on the state of affairs in the world at large.  They have inspired me for a few years now.  As a poet and mother of a young lady, I am thrilled to share the story of these immense artists with my daughter and those I come into contact with.  They epitomize exactly what we do here with NevahBlackDown, we use art to uplift and promote positive change.  They bring truth gloriously mixed with a passion that creates a template to be honored. (photos by Pablo Aguilar)

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“Creativity is the antidote for violence and destruction. Art is our most human expression, our voice to communicate our stories, to challenge injustice and the misrepresentations of mainstream media, to expose harsh realities and engender even more powerful hope, a force to bring diverse peoples together, a tool to rebuild our communities, and a weapon to win this struggle for universal liberation.”
– Alixa + Naima

“Over the last 13 years, Climbing PoeTree has infused our movements for justice with healing and imagination, inspiring thousands through their award-winning multimedia theater, dual-voice spoken word, visual art, sustainable touring, and community organizing. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman are cultural architects committed to reframing the story through multi-voice spoken word, hip hop, world music, and multimedia theater that translate deep research around the most pressing issues of our time into stunning artistry that catalyzes their audiences to activate the transformation they wish to cultivate within themselves and their communities.” Read and find out more about CLIMBING POETREE

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Climbing Poetry has just released their latest album “INTRINSIC” A must purchase for your music collection!

On 3/31/2017 Climbing PoeTree released a new collection of rebel-rousing anthems, bilingual ballads, and unconventional love songs. Backed by 33 world-class musicians, vocalists, and producers, Alixa and Naima’s impassioned lyricism propel 17 soulful compositions bridging electronic music and live instrumentation, combining hip-hop, spoken word, rock, blues, folk, and Afro-Latin beats.

Produced by the powerhouse music legend, Toshi Reagon, INTRINSIC features an incredible cadre of collaborators including Carolyn MalachiRising Appalachia, B Steady, Taina Asli, Arooj Aftab, Juliette Jones, Ayla Nereo and many more.

Check out the official video for ‘WE SURVIVED’

There is so much more to check out with these powerful young ladies.  I suggest a visit to their website CLIMBING POETREE

NevahBlackDown is proud of the profoundly positive and strong images these young ladies present to the world.  I hope they continue to speak up and share their gifts with the world!

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These L.A. dancers are changing the way people protest

I found this story in the LA Times to be fantastic.  Dancers using dance to protest. Read more here: LA Times

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The seeds for street dance activism were planted with the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin. After Bell learned Martin’s shooter George Zimmerman was able to walk free, she immediately headed to L.A.’s hot spot for arts and activism: Leimert Park

Using art to speak within the times is exactly what we are about here for NevahBlackDown.  Non violence, non traditional protesting, art, love, joy are all amazing ingredients for change.

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Gina Breedlove: Her Voice & Soul Can Heal All Wounds

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There is nothing more powerful than a voice filled with soul, raw emotion and the alchemic brew to heal and bring light to darkness. Gina Breedlove fashions her sound in a way that draws you in and envelopes you in love and magic.  She lifts you up and leaves you feeling empowered and strong.  There is nothing holding back, there is nothing hiding, there is nothing selfish, there is nothing egotistical about this song bird.

I have had the pleasure of hearing Gina sing (on more than one occasion) and getting to know her personally through friends. Her softness and Goddess like nature has and will always inspire me.  She is feminine strength and power personified.  I watched her and learned.  I listened to her and imagined.  I sat in her space and grew. That is what Gina brings to the world, she brings change, she brings truth and she brings the bridge where all can cross and find passion, love, and balance.

She began performing at age 15, singing back up for the incomparable Phyllis Hyman. Since, gina has toured all over the world with artists who, like herself, define and redefine genre; Harry Belafonte, Toshi Reagon, Ronny Jordan, Ani Difranco, Craig Harris, and Sekou Sundiata, to name a few.

She calls her music Folksoul, a coalescence of Rhythm & Blues, with story telling cadences of Folk, Soul, and the gospel truth. Folksoul is music that lifts the Spirit, opens the heart and allows one to find their way. Breathing into the Sound of this woman’s voice, gina embodies healing artistry. An Actress as well , gina created the role of “Sarabi” for the Broadway production of “The Lion King”, and recently appears in 2 Spike Lee films, ”Living Da Dream” for NBA 2k16 and “Chiraq“.

If you don’t know anything about her you must visit here website: ginabreedlove.com

If you have never seen her perform you must see her show if she is in your town.  Find out more about her tour schedule @ her website in the above link! Lucky for those in NYC, Gina will be at Joe’s Pub June 20th! joespub.com

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We are all very lucky that a spirit like Gina is roaming the earth with here healing nature.  We are all blessed to have our sister in love walk the path of helping to heal the wounds of the world.  We are so very blessed to have an image such as Gina to share with our girls! Yes yes we are blessed!

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Val Jeanty: A Powerful Spirit

 

Few people in the world bring something different, stamped with an originality that can’t be compared.  I guarantee you’ve never seen or heard anything like the presence and sound of Haitian artist Val Jeanty known as VAL-INC.  She has been mesmerizing audiences around the world for some time, her RESUME is long, her artistry is profound, her place in the world is needed.  She brings you into a dimension where boundaries are broken and the shape of the room changes with her music.  Energy shifts as she takes you journeying through passages never before traversed.

The producer, drummer, DJ, turntablist, teacher and sound engineer has created a distinctive style of music called Vodou Electronica which she also refers to as Afro Electronica. Her music is a fusion of electronics and African Vodou rhythms.

Below is a performance @ National Sawdust –Performance center & recording studio located in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

On her music, Jeanty says: “I use these electronic tools, but the music is spiritual—something you might hear at church, or in any other religious ceremony. It’s the kind of sound that gives your spirit freedom to roam.”

It is sublime knowing that in Brooklyn, NY there resides a passionate artist that shares exactly what is in her heart.  She is important during these times as her image and confident music goes a long way in showing our children that following your own truth and passion is what is important.  Labels don’t define us.  Boxes can’t hold us in and with Val Jeanty, we can be assured that this idea won’t fade!

Keep up with Val Jeanty on INSTAGRAM

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Event: A Sucker Emcee by Craig ‘Mums’ Grant @ National Black Theatre

This is not to be missed!

Ticket Info

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A Sucker Emcee
Written & Performed by Craig ‘muMs’ Grant
Directed by Jenny Koons
Music by Rich Medina

APRIL 26 – 30, 2017

2031-33 National Black Theatre Way
New York, NY 10035

PH: 212-722-3800
$25 in advance
$35 at the door

Infused with hip-hop, slam poetry and personal recollections, this one-man show charts the ups and downs of muMs’ incredible journey, from growing up in the Bronx to starring on one of HBO’s biggest shows. A life set against the backdrop of the birth of hip-hop, this is the story of a man looking for his spotlight and finding it in the most unlikely of places.

A Sucker Emcee was originally produced by Labyrinth Theater Company (Mimi O’Donnell, Artistic Director; Danny Feldman, Managing Director) in September 2014.

PRODUCTION TEAM:
David Meyer (Set)
Bradley King (Lighting)
Jessica Paz (Sound)
Marie Cisco (NBT Producing Fellow)

Ticket Info

Benjamin Clementine Live on The Tonight Show

NevahBlackDown features Benjamin Clementine performing Cornerstone

Live on The Tonight Show! –Summer of 2016

What can I say about this genius! He is one of the most talented artists I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.  I love the fact that he considers himself a poet!  I came across him through a friend from Spain.  I was mesmerized.  His voice, visual, and music ability is astonishing! I am sharing this because he is a powerful black performer and at the same time he is “simply” an amazing performer. His image, honest poetry and passionate delivery is inspiring and unlike most I have seen or heard in todays musical landscape. Please check out Benjamin Clementine

more info for Benjamin Clementine here

by: Karen Gibson Roc