Tuesday, February 10, 2009
ITZ DILLA MONTH EVENTS: Timeless Concert Series**** DILLA DILLA DILLA
by admin on Jan.
09, 2009, under Concerts
Timeless Concert Series
Composer/Arrangers are the antecedents of the beat makers of today. Their processes whether it be stripping down a classic cover or creating a new genre of music mirror most closely the types of minds that make contemporary beat oriented music. “Timeless” is a forward thinking review and homage to the arranger/composers that have influenced hip-hop in the heaviest and most profound ways. Representing a true international blend of music from Brazil, Ethiopia, Detroit and Los Angeles. Each composer/arranger that we have scheduled is a King of their respective court.
Encourage the appreciation of many forms of music from a multi-generational perspective with an emphasis on the practices of the present.
Create a yearly Composer/Arranger Series in Los Angeles.
Provide affordable musical experiences.
Each show will be a very specific presentation of music based around the career of each of the Composers. Each composer will do a set of their all time hits and a new piece. Each dj/producer will build a set around the legacy and era of each composer.
Sunday Evenings from February 1st to April 5th
7pm - 11pm
Venue: Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex
Tickets through Ticketmaster and the Luckman Box Office
Mulatu Astatke Live
A Suite for Ma Dukes
Arthur Verocai Live
David Axelrod Live
Musical dreams do come true. ArtDontSleep is dedicated to curating and producing concerts and events that have been dreamt up. Brasilintime, Roy Ayers & Tony Allen, George Clinton, Azymuth, Bilal, RAMP, and countless other acts have graced the ArtDontSleep stage this year alone. With the “Timeless” series, ArtDontSleep intends to elevate Los Angeles Musical Curation to a new altitude. Beginning a series that will carry on for many years to come.
323 273 2914
Mochilla is a production company formed by photographers Eric Coleman and B+ in 1997. The pair were working together on a music video for DJ Shadow near the pyramids outside Mexico City - during a conversation with the Mexican producer in an attempt to explain their philosophy of shooting they had stumbled on the spanish word for backpack. In 1997 backpack was a an almost derrogatory term for independent hiphop. Backpackers kept their rhyme books or spray cans with them at all times and this required a bag. The bag would be slung across their backs so that they would be mobile. “If the equipment doesn’t fit in the backpack we wont shoot it” became the defining rule in the formation of Mochilla. It was part practical adage, part nod to the group of film makers called Dogma started by Lars Van Triers.
Ten years later Mochilla has produced five music videos, four documentaries, several ad campaigns, a remix album and more than forty album covers and continues to grow. Both Coleman and B+ have taken their respective fields to new hieghts - selling films to the Sundance Channel, being distributed by Ninja Tune - touring Europe several times. They both have succesful solo careers but their continuing collaboration is housed at Mochilla.
Brazilian folk-jazz composer and arranger Arthur Verocai was born in Rio de Janeiro on June 17, 1945. The product of a classical music education, he first earned widespread attention in 1966, when Leny Andrade recorded his song “Olhando o Mar” for her LP We Are There. Embracing the contemporary pop, soul, and jazz sounds emerging from both sides of the equator, Verocai gradually honed a sweeping orchestral psych-funk sensibility not far removed from American producers like David Axelrod and Charles Stepney. Despite collaborations with artists including Paulinho Tapajós, Elis Regina, and Creuza Maria, he nevertheless was forced to maintain a civil engineering position until 1969, when he scored the theatrical production Is the Greater and arranged sessions for Gal Costa, Marcos Valle, Quarteto em Cy, and others. After producing a pair of LPs for singer Célia as well as Ivan Lins’ 1971 effort Agora — as well as scoring a series of Brazilian television series — Verocai contracted with the Continental label to record a self-titled solo LP, a stunningly innovative effort that effectively bridges the divide between the Tropicalia of the late ’60s and the deep-groove funk of the decade to follow. Released in 1972, a period marked by the Brazilian military government’s opposition to creative expression, the album fared poorly and Verocai turned to advertising, writing and producing music for clients from all walks of industry. In 1983, he opened his own recording facility, Studio V, and in 2002 self-released Saudade Demais, his first solo record in three decades.
Mulatu Astatke (also written Astatqe on French releases) is arguably one of the most influential and legendary musicians from Ethiopia. During the 1960’s, he studied music abroad in London, Boston, and New York. He then returned home to Ethiopia armed with a love for jazz and Latin music. There he blended Ethiopian traditional music with the Latin-jazz he was so fond of to create a unique hybrid he called “Ethio-jazz”.
Mulatu Astatke is first and foremost a composer but also a multi-instrumentalist, playing the vibraphone, keyboards and organs. He is further credited as having established congas and bongos, instruments normally central to Latin styles, in Ethiopian music. However, as Ethiopian songs traditionally focused on vocals his greatest contribution to the music of his country was introducing a new focus on instrumentation.
Three of his LPs were recorded in New York City - his first two, Afro-Latin Soul Volumes 1 & 2 in 1966, plus later Mulatu of Ethiopia in 1972. The bulk of his output was on Amha Records (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) on which he released several 7″ singles as well as one LP in 1974 entitled Yekatit Ethio-Jazz. Of late, Mulatu Astatke has been the center of renewed attention in the West through a compilation on the Parisian series Ethiopiques (Buda Musique) and a 10″ 4-track compilation on the Soundway label out of Brighton England. Most notably, a number of his tracks were also featured in director Jim Jarmush’s 2005 independent film Broken Flowers with actors Bill Murray and Julie Delpy.
Frequently and rightly placed in the same context as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and Kanye West, Jay Dee built and sustained a high standing as a producer’s producer while maintaining a low profile. When Pharrell Williams appeared on BET’s 106 & Park in 2004, he excitedly declared that Jay Dee was his favorite producer and told an audibly stumped crowd that it had probably never heard of the man. At the time, Jay Dee had been active for well over a decade and had netted enough beats — including the Pharcyde’s “Runnin’,” De La Soul’s “Stakes Is High,” Common’s “The Light,” and several others with production teams the Ummah and the Soulquarians — to be considered an all-time great.
In 1996 alone, he worked with Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, and the Pharcyde, all the while playing a major role in the Ummah with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. (He did extensive work on Tribe’s last two albums.) Before long, hardcore hip-hop fans began to know Dilla for his steady wobble, which was unfailingly musical and rich in details — shuffling high-hats, oddly placed handclaps, spacious drum loops with drastically reshaped samples of tracks both obscure and obvious. Through the remainder of the ’90s, Dilla quietly racked up more output, including Janet Jackson’s “Got ’til It’s Gone” (for which he did not receive credit), additional tracks for the Pharcyde, and collaborative work with Q-Tip on all of 1999’s Amplified. As a core member of the Soulquarians, with James Poyser and the Roots’ Ahmir “?eustlove” Thompson, Dilla worked on Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, D’Angelo’s Voodoo, Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun, and Talib Kweli’s Quality. Through 2005, he continued to work with past associates while dipping his toes further in R&B. Wooed by a Madlib mixtape that featured the rhymes of Oxnard’s finest over his own beats, Dilla forged an alliance with his admirer for 2003’s Champion Sound, released under the name Jaylib. It was around this time that his health took a sharp decline. For over two years, he had to use a dialysis machine. Despite having to perform in a wheelchair, he was still able to tour in Europe during late 2005. Donuts, an album of instrumentals that had been completed during one of his extended hospital stays, was released on February 7, his 32nd birthday. Three days later, while staying at his Los Angeles home with his mother, he passed away, a victim of cardiac arrest.
Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
SUITE FOR MA DUKES
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Carlos Nino and multi-instrumentalist and composer/arranger Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, have been working together on a wide variety of projects over the last several years. It all started when Nino hired Atwood-Ferguson’s string quartet, Supernova, to perform on the record Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio LOVE IS THE ANSWER (Ninja Tune). It was during the pre-production of this project, in 2004, that Nino would first meet, befriend, and license music from, one of his heroes, and Aquarian brother, James “Jay Dee/J Dilla” Yancey. It’s fair to say, that Atwood-Ferguson, classically trained as a violist, (from the age of 4 years old,) first consciously came into contact with Dilla’s music from being a part of this ground-breaking collaboration.
Fast forward two years - after Nino & Atwood-Ferguson completed work on the highly acclaimed indie records Ammoncontact WITH VOICES (Ninja Tune,) and The Life Force Trio LIVING ROOM (Plug Research) - in February, 2007, several days after his 32nd birthday, Dilla passed away due to Lupus related complications. After his untimely death, the two chose to pay tribute to Dilla by continuing the musical conversation that he had started, in the contemporary chamber music style that Atwood-Ferguson had been developing. On, what would have been, Dilla’s 33rd birthday, February 7, 2007, Nino & Atwood-Ferguson sent their version of Common’s “Nag Champa (Afrodisiac for the World,)” to DJs, producers and fans, for free, via the internet.
On February 7, 2008 they released their version of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Find A Way,” and have just recently completed an E.P., entitled SUITE FOR MA DUKES. On September 27, 2008, Atwood-Ferguson was flown to Amsterdam, Netherlands to play viola in the world premier performance of his Dilla Arrangements, as part of the Metropole Orchestra’s 30 minute tribute to this great Hip-Hop-Soul master, at The Boost Festival.
Having produced albums for Build An Ark (Kindred Spirits,) Mia Doi Todd (City Zen,) Grace Woodroofe (for Executive Producer Heath Ledger,) Ariana Delawari (alongside David Lynch,) as well as a duet album entitled Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson FILL THE HEART SHAPED CUP (Alpha Pup,) these two have kept a very busy work schedule. Still, no matter how many live performances and recording sessions Atwood-Ferguson books, with everyone from Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Dre, Ray Charles, John Williams, and many others, as well as having at least 5 different production and arranging projects going at all times, and no matter how much Nino is creatively up to, they find time to connect in the essence of Dilla.
It is there that they celebrate Maurice Ravel, Bernard Herman, Charles Stepney, James Brown, The Bomb Squad and so many others, all at once!
A Grammy award-winning producer for Capitol Records who helmed dozens of great jazz, funk, and soul records during the 1960s and ’70s (by everyone from Stan Kenton to Lou Rawls to the Electric Prunes to Cannonball Adderley), David Axelrod also forged a distinctive musical style while recording several of the most eccentric albums of the ’70s. His sound, as immediately recognizable as it is sparse, combined cavernous, heavily mic’ed drums with baroque orchestration (just a step away from overblown) and ahead-of-his-time themes ranging from the environment to heightened mental awareness. Born in Los Angeles in 1936, Axelrod learned about arrangement and production largely on his own. He began working as a staff producer for the cool jazz labels Specialty and Contemporary, and led a pair of 1959 LPs — Free for All by Frank Rosolino and The Fox by Harold Land — that developed an earthy response to the trademarked light, airy sound of West Coast jazz. By the mid-’60s, Axelrod had grown famous in soul and jazz circles for his excellent recording skills, including two of the finest performance albums of the era, Lou Rawls’ Live! and Cannonball Adderley’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at “The Club” (the latter was actually a studio date). Both artists tapped him for studio work as well, and Rawls especially benefited by scoring no less than five pop hits during 1966-67. Capitol rewarded one of its most successful producers just one year later, releasing Axelrod’s solo debut, Song of Innocence. Based on the visionary, mystical poetry of William Blake (as was its follow-up Songs of Experience), the album sounded like nothing else from its era, with melodramatic strings tied to heavy, echoed breakbeats — often supplied by session-drummer supremo Earl Palmer. After Songs of Experience, Axelrod turned his attention to the growing plight of the environment with 1970’s Earth Rot.
Even aside from his burgeoning solo career, Axelrod stayed busy as a producer during the ’70s; he recorded several Cannonball Adderley LPs plus works by Gene Ammons and Joe Williams. After 1980’s Marchin’, however, he took an extended hiatus from recording. Axelrod returned in 1993 with Requiem: The Holocaust on Capitol’s Liberty subsidiary, and recorded a surprising tribute to roots music (The Big Country) two years later. After several big names in the dance community (including DJ Shadow) began sampling Axelrod grooves in the mid-’90s, Stateside released the retrospective 1968 to 1970: An Axelrod Anthology in 1999. Album reissues appeared the following year, and Axelrod even recorded a remix of “Rabbit in the Headlights,” originally by the DJ Shadow project UNKLE. Axelrod returned to his beloved Studio B for 2000’s eponymous release on the Mo’ Wax label. The record, loosely based on Goethe’s Faust, had originally begun production in 1969.
The work of these composers/arrangers very often is lost behind the names of the stars they produced for (in the case of Axelrod and Dilla) or indeed never was given a proper shine when it was first released. However the work of the hiphop dj and producer is to bring to light rarely heard and rarely experienced music. All these producers have enjoyed resurgences in their careers from attention paid to them by hiphops finest. To frame these historic performances we have invited some of these great artists to create the musical environment. These will be specific sets by some of hiphops finest.
The multi-dimensional Madlib quickly rose to prominence as one of the most interesting figures in late-’90s hip-hop. With his childhood buddies in Lootpack, Madlib quickly made a name for himself as a rapper, producer, and DJ. In particular, his expansive style and deft touch for composition made him one of hip-hop’s most sought-after producers. An enthusiastic crate-digger, with a deep reverence for jazz and soul, Madlib branched out into a number of ambitious, engaging solo projects. Along with DJ Romes and Wildchild, Madlib formed Lootpack in their hometown of Oxnard. The trio made their debut on Tha Alkaholiks’ 21 & Over in 1993. They continued doing work for Tha Alkaholiks and other artists before releasing their full-length Soundpieces: Da Antidote! six years later. After hooking up with Los Angeles DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib did a lot of production for Wolf’s Stones Throw label. In 1999 the label released Quasimoto’s astonishing The Unseen LP. Doubling as himself and his alter ego Quasimoto, Madlib handled vocals and production duties on the album, a huge critical success. Not resting on his laurels, Madlib followed The Unseen a year later with his Yesterdays New Quintet project. Madlib played all the instruments himself, infusing his exploration of jazz with both style and substance. Another stylistic detour followed in late 2002, when he released Blunted in the Bomb Shelter Mix, a spin through the vault of the classic dub/reggae label Trojan. While continuing on with a massive release schedule and workload, Madlib completed a remix/reinterpretation project for Blue Note, a collaboration with Jay Dee under the Jaylib alias, a collaboration with MF Doom, half the production of fellow Lootpack member Wildchild’s solo record, and many other remix and producer tasks — all in 2003. Never one to slow down, the next few years brought a myriad new releases, including The Funky Side of Life from jazz band Sound Directions, Quasimoto’s The Further Adventures of Lord Quas, his own Beat Konducta, Vols. 1-2, and a collaboration with Talib Kweli, Liberation, which was made available as a free download on the Stones Throw website during the first week of 2007.
Davis grew up in Hayward, CA, a predominantly lower-middle-class suburb of San Francisco. The odd white suburban hip-hop fan in the hard rock-dominated early ’80s, Davis gravitated toward the turntable/mixer setup of the hip-hop DJ over the guitars, bass, and drums of his peers. He worked his way through hip-hop’s early years into the heyday of crews like Eric B. & Rakim, Ultramagnetic MC’s, and Public Enemy, groups that prominently featured DJs in their ranks. Davis had already been fiddling around with making beats and breaks on a four-track while he was in high school, but it was his move to the NorCal cow town of Davis to attend university that led to the establishment of his own Solesides label as an outlet for his original tracks. Hooking up with Davis’ few b-boys (including eventual Solesides artists Blackalicious and Lyrics Born) through the college radio station, Shadow began releasing the Reconstructed from the Ground Up mixtapes in 1991 and pressed his 17-minute hip-hop symphony “Entropy” in 1993. His tracks spread widely through the DJ-strong hip-hop underground, eventually catching the attention of Mo’ Wax. Shadow’s first full-length, Endtroducing…, was released in late 1996 to immense critical acclaim in Britain and America. Preemptive Strike, a compilation of early singles, followed in early 1998.
Later that year, Shadow produced tracks for the debut album by UNKLE, a longtime Mo’ Wax production team that gained superstar guests including Thom Yorke (of Radiohead), Richard Ashcroft (of the Verve), Mike D (of the Beastie Boys), and others. His next project came in 1999, with the transformation of Solesides into a new label, Quannum Projects. Nearly six years after his debut production album, the proper follow-up, The Private Press, was released in June 2002. The following year Shadow released a mix album, Diminishing Returns, and in 2004 he released a live album and DVD, Live! In Tune and on Time. In 2006 his long-awaited third solo album, The Outsider, came out, but instead of following the blueprint he used on his past two records, Shadow enlisted help from Bay Area rappers like Keak da Sneak, E-40, and Lateef, as well as David Banner and Q-Tip.
Cut Chemist has been recording and performing for over twenty years. His roots lie deep in hip hop as a founding member of the rap group Jurassic 5. During this time Cut also joined the latin jazz/ funk outfit, Ozomatli. Both groups have gone on to be staples in the L.A. music scene. With the involvement of both groups in tandem with one another, Cut has developed a taste for music and rhythms from all over the world while keeping his tradition for the hip hop approach. Eventually Cut left both of these groups to pursue a career with Warner Bros records where he landed his first solo LP, The Audiences Listening in 2006.
2007 was a pivotal year for Cut as he landed an opening slot for Shakira’s Oral Fixation tour dazzling her audience with his world music sense and multi media presentation. When he returned home he joined long time friend and collaborator DJ Shadow to headline the Hollywood Bowl for “The Hard Sell,” an eight turntable show using an eclectic mix of music all on 7 inch vinyl. While in rehearsal for this show, L.A.’s prestigious Walt Disney Music Hall asked Cut to be a part of “Pravda,” a concept night of DJs combining Russian classical music from the Stalin era with contemporary beats.
There is no place that Cut Chemist is afraid to go, musically. He constantly tries to integrate new cultures of music into his show while presenting it in a hip hop fashion. “Ill never lose sight of my roots as a hip hop DJ. It keeps me constantly inventing. I believe all music can be considered hip hop when its presented in a way that’s fresh to peoples ears.
Riggins began producing hip hop in middle school and continued through high school. He studied music at Southfield High School as well, and joined Betty Carter’s band Jazz Ahead soon after, at 17. When he was 19 (in 1994), Riggins moved to New York City, and joined the Ray Brown Trio in 1998. Riggins has also recorded and performed with Donald Byrd, Hank Jones, Mulgrew Miller, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, Cedar Walton, Roy Hargrove, and Bobby Hutcherson.
Away from jazz, Riggins has done production work for hip hop legends Slum Village, Erykah Badu, Common, J Dilla, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Phat Kat, Consequence, and Dwele. He has collaborated with the hip hop multi-instrumentalist Madlib, performing on his 2007 album Yesterdays Universe and in collaborations entitled Supreme Team and The Jahari Massamba Unit. He also produced a portion of the soundtrack for the 2007 film Smokin’ Aces.
Since William Holland AKA Quantic’s first album release in 2001, much ground has been covered. Over the last 8 or so years 12 full length records have given him worldwide recognition. When he is not producing music that continues to push genre boundaries he travels as a DJ or with his band spreading his unique blend of Jazz, Latin & Caribbean rooted music. His track ‘Mi Swing es Tropical’ with Nickodemus further brought him to a global audience when it featured in Apple’s tropical Ipod Advert throughout 2007. Shortly after which Holland moved to Colombia, setting up his South American studio ‘Sonido del Valle’ to work alongside a whole host of new musicians in Cali. 2009 will see the first release from his new band ‘Combo Bárbaro’ on Tru Thoughts Records. The record comprises of work with Peruvian Pianist ‘Alfredo Linares’ & Brazilian Arranger ‘Arthur Verocai’.
for more info visit www. quantic. org.