Although Manhattan has been a mecca for young Black artists cultivating their craft since the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance, there came a time for the starved outer-boroughs to rise to the occasion.
Brooklyn continues to inspire its own pilgrimage with the Williamsburg Music Center, a Black-owned musician-run venue, by hosting a month-long concert series this April titled “Young, Gifted and Black (YGNB).”
Given the the scarcity of bridges between Black creatives and Brooklyn’s locals and MTA’s L train tease from hell (will they or won’t they?), the YGNB series became a necessary response to both.
If one were to have a look at Time Out’s list of 14 Best Live Music Venues in NYC, only six are in Brooklyn, and of those six, a only four dare to house music that isn’t indie-rock, electronic, funk or some eclectic mix of them all. If you were to digg futher, when it comes to the magazine’s roundup of the 14 Best Jazz Clubs in NYC, a measly two hail from this borough.
The YGNB concert is not just a call to action in the face of this shortage but also, a platform for the Black American Music community. The tradition of music can only be perpetuated by homes where creatives and crowds can both stoke the fire and bask in its warmth.
It is only fitting that the curator of the concert, Jonathan Michel, followed in the footsteps of Gerry Eastman, founder of Williamsburg Music Center, as a watchman for this tradition.
The YGNG will put on a series of events commencing April 4th, 2019 and continues once a week, every week, until April 25th, 2019.
The aim is to explore a complete cultural experience and showcase our up and coming young talent.
Here are some of the things you can look forward to:
• Endea Owens & The Cookout – A Detroit native and recipient for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2019 Emerging Artist Award, will open the program. Owens will bring her project ‘The Cookout’ to YGNB on April 4th.
• Christopher McBride & The Whole Proof – The 11th will see the host of ‘Singer Meets Saxophonist’, Christopher McBride, as he is graciously accompanied by his project ‘The Whole Proof’. He is a composer, arranger, and educator.
• Willerm Delisfort – One of New York’s most in-demand pianists and will grace the stage with his group, ‘The Willerm Delisfort Project’, on April 18th.
The series will end on April 25th, with 2019 Lakou Nou Artist in Residence and YGNB curator himself, Jonathan Michel, as he presents his ‘80’s Born, 90’s Bred’ project.
Sets from DJ Salenta the Selecta will weave through the live performances each week. Salenta Baisden is the CEO and Founder of The Push, an event production company working to light up the stage of underground artists. Her eclectic taste, Los Angeles nativity and service to the music community at The Push puts her in the ranks of Eastman and Michel as she uplifts the YGNB stage with unique flair.
For more details, visit the Williamsburg Music Center at 367 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 or learn more online at https://frocentric.com/o/jonathan-michel-73/