with special guests
Gedeon Luke and The People
Saun & Starr (CD RELEASE SHOW!)
Ismael & The Radiant Select
DJ Thomas Brenneck
FRIDAY, MAY 15
Brooklyn Night Bazaar
7pm doors / 830 show
FREE / ALL AGES (under 17 needs a guardian)
“Afrofunk AND Balkan Brass AND something distinctly Brooklyn’s own” - John Schaefer, WNYC
Breakdown Brass is comprised of young veterans of Brooklyn’s soul and funk scene — its members tour and record with Antibalas, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, Monophonics, Ikebe Shakedown, Slavic Soul Party & many others
“The Horseman”, the groups debut single, was recorded at Dunham Studios by Thomas Brenneck (Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, Budos Band, Jay-Z, etc.) and has received acclaim from NPR, BBC and many more (studio video)
The new vinyl single from Brooklyn’s Breakdown Brass is a monster and masterful mix of Afro‐funk meets Balkan brass, with a dash of hip‐hop simmering in the flow. The a‐side Monmouth is a driving original with razor sharp horns and a rumbling sousaphone bassline, while the flipside is an instrumental brass‐infused cover of Dr. Dre’s Next Episode (studio video). Vinyl available via Kept Records
GEDEON LUKE AND THE PEOPLE
Hailing from the streets of Memphis, soul music flows through Gedeon Luke’s veins in rainbow colored hues. Weaned on the gospel infused sounds of Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield and Al Green and inspired by the rock ‘n roll passion of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Gedeon and his band The People are here to crash through the boundaries of music and society, to bring Love, Peace and Soul to the world.
Fighting through childhood poverty, rejecting the gang violence and drug abuse that surrounded him, Gedeon looked to music, family and faith as his beacon. Refusing to be hardened by the mean streets, Gedeon brings pure joy and passion to his music and his life.
His debut record, “Live Free and Love” was cut old school style, throwing his band The People and special guests in a room and laying it down live. It follows no trend. It’s Love, Peace and Soul. It’s Gedeon Luke.
SAUN AND STARR
Ever wonder what it's like to sing backup? Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan Lowe could tell you a thing or two. The soulful duo become friends when they met at an open mic night in Harlem in the '80s. They sung backup together for Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings for the past 5 years. Now, though, they're ready to take center stage as Saun & Starr with the upcoming release of their debut full-length album, Look Closer (out on May 19th , 2015.
Though Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan Lowe grew up mere blocks from each other in New York City’s South Bronx, it would be many years before they were destined to meet. Both had been singing since they were very young. Starr had her start in church and on Broadway at the tender age of 6; Saun, in church at age 7. By the mid-80’s, many of the choir members they sang with began going to open mics to perform. It was through this mutual circle of friends, that they both found themselves at the same open mic night at a Harlem club called, Carl’s Off the Corner on 145th and Broadway. It was a Thursday night in the fall of 1986. Each took a turn at the mic, delivering a performance that would leave a lasting impression on the other. After Starr’s performance of “My Funny Valentine” (a bold selection for an open mic singer,) Saun introduced herself. Forged in a mutual respect for each other’s talent and a shared musical aesthetic, it would prove to be a beautiful friendship that would last for years.
Saun and Starr each struggled over the years to maintain consistent work as singers, so they were no strangers to also working full time jobs, to make ends meet. Starr attended Music and Art High School and had some success on Broadway as a child, all of which would lend connections that would help her later in her career. In 1990, Saun was a four-time winner on the famed and televised Showtime at The Apollo talent show and led her first band, ‘Saundra Williams and The Force’ on a tour in Yokohama, Japan.
Also during that time, they began performing with a local singer named Nick Jones, whose frequent performances at the Apollo and local nightclubs kept them busy for the next few years. Both were living in New Jersey sometime after those gigs ended, when Saundra went to audition for a successful wedding band whose lead singer happened to be none other than Miss Sharon Jones. Unbeknownst to Saundra, her old friend Starr was also vying for the position. The chemistry between the three singers was instant and undeniable and after a brief meeting with the band, both Saundra and Starr were hired to sing lead alongside Sharon. The ladies performed with the group under the apt moniker, ‘The Good ‘N Plenty Girls’ (though within the group, they were given the nickname, ‘Triple S Threat’) for much of the 1990’s.
Over the next several years, each would leave the wedding band in their own time. Sharon would hook up with Desco and then Daptone Records to launch her well-documented solo career, Starr was enjoying touring with the gospel groups Glory Gospel Singers and Sister Act, and Saun was working steadily with dozens of other bands throughout NYC, touring/recording with music artists from Meli'sa Morgan to The Victor Wooten Band and writing in her spare time. In 1999 Saundra released a solo album, Bless the Day. Though the three women kept in touch in some form or another throughout the 2000’s, it wasn’t until the release of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ 2008 album, I Learned the Hard Way, that Sharon put the call out to her old friends and the three joined vocal forces again.
To begin with, it was just a call for a special performance at the Best Buy Theater in New York City, but after the band got a taste for how much the background vocals elevated their show, Saun and Starr soon began to get more regular calls. Within a few months, they were performing regularly as Sharon’s backup singers. Saun and Starr quickly acclimated to the group and were re-christened as The Dapettes. They quickly became a permanent part of the Daptone Family - a move that would revitalize their careers.
Over the next few years of extensive touring, the band began showcasing the Dapettes by featuring them on a couple cover tunes at the top of sets. 2013 brought the release of SJDK’s sixth long player, Give the People What They Want, which would feature extensive studio recordings of the Dapettes on background vocals (often including a mysterious third harmony by a “Miss Lafaye Jones.”) Poised to make an obvious step to the front of the stage, cover songs soon gave way to original compositions and the duo was now being announced as Saun & Starr. Each singer had the talent and personality to carry a solo career in their own right but Daptone’s vision for them would be as a dynamic duo, capitalizing on the rare chemistry between the two women which could create a sound stronger together than apart. Before long, they joined The Dap-Kings at Daptone Records’ House of Soul to begin recording an album of their own material. The first single from this session, “Hot Shot” – penned by Daptone’s head honcho and producer extraordinaire, Gabe Roth, and saxophonist Cheme Gastelum – was instantly Daptone’s best selling 45 to date.
Saun & Starr’s debut album Look Closer has come together as one of the Daptone Family’s proudest studio endeavors. Its Spring 2015 release, fully supported by touring and promotion, is highly anticipated by fans and musicians alike.
ISMAEL AND THE RADIANT SELECT
Born in Conakry, Guinea into a family of griots and musicians, Ismael Kouyaté began dancing and singing at the age of six. He spent much of his childhood in the Malinke village of Farranah, in upper Guinea. At age fifteen, Ismael moved to the capitol city of Conakry to pursue his career as a performing artist, and was accepted into the Ballet Communale de Matam, one of the most acclaimed private companies in the city, where he worked for nine years as principal dancer, choreographer, and singer. In 2000, Ismael was recruited by the National ensemble Les Percussions de Guinea, where he spent three years as the group’s lead dancer and griot. He taught dance and song to international groups visiting Guinea, and traveled to Senegal and France teaching and performing. In 2003, he was chosen to participate in a trans-continental contemporary dance forum. Ismael later took his talents to the national company, Les Ballets Africains, with whom he toured, performing throughout Guinea and the United States.
Ismael Kouyaté now lives in New York City and went on to make his Broadway debut starring in FELA! It was during his run on Broadway that he was noticed by Beyoncé Knowles, who quickly picked him up to be a featured vocalist on her hit song "Grown Woman". Soon after these astounding accomplishments, he followed his true passion of forming his own band. Staying true to his West African roots musically, he blended his joyful, passionate sound with the gritty funk and soul of true New York City musicians, And thus, Ismael & The Radiant Select was born.