Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Multi-talented musician Kev Choice told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.
- Black Milk & Nat Turner — Brick & Mortar on 6/15
- Casey Benjamin — Black Cat on 6/14-6/16
- Oakland Juneteenth Community Picnic — Arroyo Viejo Park on 6/16
On his latest album, The Rebellion Sessions, Detroit rapper Black Milk teams up with his live band Nat Turner, made up of Aaron "Ab" Abernathy on keys, Malik Hunter on bass, and Zebulun "Z" Horton on drums for a live instrumental LP. The Rebellion Sessions, a jazz-funk opus steeped in both 1970s soul and electronic dance.
"I've seen him one time before. It's just really powerful raw hip-hop with an incredible dynamic band. They rock. They kill."
Casey Benjamin is the first original member of the Robert Glasper Experiment. Through his melodic ingenuity on the vocoder, mastery on the keytar and spiky virtuosity on the alto, soprano and tenor saxophone, Benjamin has defined the Experiment's sound. He's gained international acclaim in the jazz, R&B and hip-hop scenes on such trailblazing albums as Black Radio. Benjamin started playing the saxophone when he was 8 years old. After graduating from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, Benjamin attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, where he met Robert Glasper in 1997. Although Benjamin remains a central member of the Robert Glasper Experiment, he’s working on his forthcoming solo project coming out this summer.
"Seeing him be able to break out and do his own thing, at the Black Cat! I mean, wow that's crazy! To be able to see him in that dynamic, that's like being able to see Coltrane at the Blue Note back in the day."
This year's Oakland Juneteenth Community Picnic is one of two celebrations commemorating the end of slavery in the United StatesThis community picnic at Arroyo Viejo Park will feature a performance by the legendary Kurtis Blow and the sensational Jody Watley. This is the 10th year of the picnic, and this year Davey D will be hosting. The festivities are from 1-6 p.m.
"It's a pleasure just to go witness that concert in that neighborhood. 'Cause we get a lot of concerts by the lake or downtown or uptown, but in deep East Oakland there's not a lot of concerts like this."
Kev Choice is celebrating the release of his latest EP, Feeling Ivory, at Yoshi's on 6/29.