30 anniversary gallery closing party 11.18


Rocking Since Birth: The BRC Celebrates 30 Years of Reclaiming & Correcting the Rock Aesthetic


Gallery Show and Closing Party (11/18, 6:30-8:30p) featuring a set from DJ La Obscura

at ImageNation’s RAW Space, 2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (btw 121/122)

Viewings thru 11/18: M-Th 4:30-8:30p



In 1986, BRC Co-Founder Vernon Reid told John Lelund of Spin Magazine, “Blond, long hair, white. Our organization is a direct challenge to that mentality, that imagery. Because FIRST, ROCK IS BLACK MUSIC. Rock is everyone’s music, but the origins of rock are Black. And there’s no way you can get around that.” 

Here, we’ve put together our largest collection of images from recent BRC events…and we’ve barely scratched the surface. The images here cover just a handful of shows from 2006-2015, but many of our heaviest hitters are front and center.

Come see a few of the geniuses who’ve always kept sight of the true roots of rock and roll. And see them through the eyes of some of the best live photographers out there.

These photos were captured by Earl Douglas, Jr., Petra Richterova, Scott Ellison Smith, Ed Marshall, Nivea Castro, Radcliffe Roye, and Joe Conzo at various BRC-produced events.

BRC 30th Anniversary Compilation is in the Works

We’re in the process of selecting the songs for our 30th Anniversary compilation, Rock ‘n’ Roll Reparations, v3: Million Man Mosh edition. Stay tuned to hear a one-of-a-kind collection of some of the most progressive Black artists in our circles addressing social issues of the day. Look for it to drop in mid-December with a listening/release party.

BRC Celebrated 30 Years in 30 Days…& Counting

brc 30a rack card 2015 color2-1 For the 30th Anniversary, we spent the 30 days of September in praise of the BLACK ROCK COALITION and our members. Check it out (most of) what we did:

Every Monday: On Membership Mondays, we featured (and will continue to feature) members through our social networks. Members, please don’t forget to fill out your member questionnaire.

Every Tuesday: We offered free rehearsal space for BRC members and our friends at Funkadelic Studios. Thanks Dawn! Folks like Unlocking The Truth, Omega Moon & T-Bone Motta, King Aswad, Jared Nickerson, Burnt Sugar, and Dope Sagittarius blessed the space.

Every Wednesday: We looked back on the 30 years since the BRC was founded and socially shared some milestones in the culture, in the music, in the organization, and in our lives. Thanks Lady Elix and LT for the fact-gathering and Wednesday night chuckles.

Other highlights: Th3     BRC Happy Hour (at Duff’s Brooklyn, 168 Marcy Ave btw S5th and Broadway, Brooklyn), 5-9p


30 anniversary happy hour 9.3

F4     Launched a Booster.org Campaign for Limited Edition BRC 30th Anniversary T-Shirts

Su6      BRC 30th Anniversary Kick-Off Party, The Bell House (149 7th St, Brooklyn), w/ Corey Glover & Vernon Reid, our youngest member-band Unlocking The Truth, Betty Black, and DJ SugarFreeBK. Concert from 7-10p, $15. Free after-party with performances by BRC family band Burnt Sugar, The Veldt and DJ CX KiDTRONiK. FREE (with food) from 10p-1a.

30 anniversary kick-off party 9.6.15

Th10    30 Years of BRC, Part 2 on Musical Chairs, WBAI-NY 99.5fm, 10p-12a

F11       National Support Black Rock Night (all members in Chicago went to Riot Fest to see Living Colour, Fishbone and Death; all members in NYC went to see 24/7 Spyz with Dope Sagittarius at The Living Room; other shows to be announced)

Sa12     BRC Team (The Riotous Guttersnipes) at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls‘ Bowl-A-Thon raised money for our Original Rocker Scholarships BRC Team for Willie Mae Rock Camp Bowl-A-Thon by WMRC

Su13     BRC Open Ears Listening and Archiving Party, The Black Rose (117 Avenue A, NYC), 7-10p


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Th17    Black Rock & Reel: BRC Performance Highlights (1985-2015), Imagenation‘s RAW Space (2031 Adam Clayton Powell btw 121st and 122nd), 6-11p

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F18      BRC Orchestra plays Band Of Gypsys @ BAMcafe (30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn), featured special guests Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Ronny Drayton, Stew, Michael Hill, Maritri Garrett, Kelsey Warren, Andre Lassalle, Wayne Livingston, Marcus Machado, and more, FREE, 9p


30 anniversary BRCO 9.18-19


Sa19    BRC Orchestra plays Band Of Gypsys @ BAMcafe (30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn), featured special guests Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Ronny Drayton, Stew, Michael Hill, Maritri Garrett, Kelsey Warren, Andre Lassalle, Wayne Livingston, Marcus Machado, and more, FREE, 9p

30 anniversary vocal clinic 9.20

Su20    BRC Vocal Clinic @ Metrosonic Showroom (143 Roebling, Williamsburg BK), 4-7p with Corey Glover of Living Colour, Free for members of the BRC and WMRC communities, $10 for everyone else.

F25      Opened submissions for Rock ‘n’ Roll Reparations, V. 3: The Million Man Mosh Edition. All songs submitted must address political and/or social issues that are affecting our community today. Fill out the SUBMISSION KIT here:


Su27    Million Man Mosh 3 @ The Wind Up Space, Baltimore, 2-7p with Tamar-kali, Thaylo Bleu, and Throwdown Syndicate. With generous support from Oyin Handmade and Exit The Apple.

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Will you join us?

Historic: The Reunion of Sophia’s Toy


We all know the story…Once upon a time there was a band of immensely talented musicians fronted by Sophia Ramos and Mike Ciro. That band screamed their way through NYC, got noticed, got signed, got a record made, and then got the shaft from their label for being ‘unsellable’ (apparently in their eyes, black and brown people in a rock band presented a marketing challenge they weren’t ready to accept). Fast-forward 20 years, and they’re back—shelved album in hand—to remind everyone of why they turned so many heads in the first place. If you weren’t there and weren’t able to get your hands on “SHOT IN THE HEAD,” at the one-and-only reunion of SOPHIA’S TOY, let us know and we’ll see if we can direct you to the right people. Needless to say, they killed it. And justified their reputation as bad-asses as did BRC stalwarts MilitiA. Vox and pILLOW tHEORY. JULY 9, 2015.

Historic: BRC Orchestra Tour of France


‘Sisters, Songwriters & Sirens’ celebrates the important and often under-appreciated contributions Black women make to culture through music, expression, perspective, and visibility. Heading overseas for a 6-show, 12-day tour of France, this was the third time our host Chateauvallon had called upon the talents of our all-female lineup to bring audiences to their feet in the name of Nina, Tina, Betty, Rosetta, Abbey, Big Mama, Maybelle, Aretha, Memphis Minnie, Miriam, Maxayn, Joan, Grace, Chaka, Jayne, Nona and Sugar Pie…not to mention originals by members of the killer Orchestra led by powerhouse Tamar-kali.   The 2 performances at Chateauvallon sold out, Paris had a respectable crowd for a three-night residence, but we killed in Lyon—selling out the 1200 seat venue and having the people on their feet screaming for more by the 7th song. We hope to be welcomed back soon…

Historic: Million Man Mosh III @ Highline NYC


Million Man Mosh III - NYC

With Man Mosh I and II, (which we could not have done without generous performances from Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz, Ronny Drayton and Reverend Kim Leslie, Nona HendryxBurnt Sugar, DJ Afrika Bambaataa, The Sugarhill Gang, and others), we were able to bring folks together, call attention to the issue of unjust incarceration, and help raise money for Donovan Drayton’s Legal Defense Fund (glad he’s finally home!).

With Million Man Mosh III, we continued the spirit of community-building and action-taking with performances from the very-vocal Tamar-kali, Garland Jeffreys, and Dragons of Zynth with Saul Williams. This time, the focus was on policing and the need for loud and progressive voices for change.

Action Leaders: Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Make Me Wanna Holler: Voices for Action

Make Me Wanna Holler: Progressive Voices for Progressive Action (<click for the PDF)

Download the PDF file .



“That the BRC is still here, and still needed,

was pressed home every time [Corey] Glover sang

‘Enough is never enough.’ Because the work is never done.

But the rock is worth the battle.”

—David Fricke, RollingStone.com, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank You. Your support and contributions over the years have helped us achieve many community-building things on behalf of progressive Black artists and, as a volunteer-run, member-driven, nonprofit, we honestly cannot do it without you. We don’t pat ourselves on the back too often, but we have done a lot to be proud of over these past few years:

    • Our BRC ORCHESTRA, bridge-building collaborations between rotating groups of world-class musicians, performed Deep Roots of Rock and Roll (Lincoln Center Out of Doors), a Salute to Richie Havens (BAMcafe), our Tribute to Black Women Songwriters (BIGSAS Festival, Germany), a 3-show residence celebrating Carlos Santana, Grace Jones, and Motown (Joe’s Pub), and the self-produced Gathering for Gil Scott-Heron (Symphony Space) in collaboration with Heron’s Estate.
    • Our BRC SHOWCASES gave musicians space to perform their own material at events such as Blunt Force Trauma, a presentation of proto-punk band DEATH, and Million Man Mosh 1&2 (featuring Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz, Ronny Drayton, and Nona Hendryx, among others).
    • BRC COMMUNITY, BRC UNIVERSITY, and BRC RECORDS saw us partner with several like-minded groups and artists like Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls (we’ve provided several “Original Rocker” scholarships for campers), MAPP International and Lincoln Center Institute for our Blink Your Eyes: Poets To Music show in honor of late BRC pioneer Sekou Sundiata, Laina Dawes (author of What Are You Doing Here?)with whom we produced a compilation featuring women in heavy metal, punk and hard rock, Jeremy Xido (whose documentary Death Metal Angola we supported with after-parties featuring Unlocking The Truth, FunkFace, The Dust Rays, Year Of The Dragon, MilitiA Vox and DJ SugarfreeBK), and Rock ‘n’ Roll Reparations, v2, our 25th Anniversary collection featuring music from 25 down-for-the-cause artists.All-in-all, we’ve employed almost 300 musicians and reached over 10,000 people on two continents in the last 4 years alone.

But as Nina Simone lamented, we’ve still got so terribly far to go. As we enter our 30th Anniversary, it’s painfully obvious why we need to keep going. Too many Black voices are still not being heard. As a grassroots, arts-support organization, it is our Mission to serve an artistic community of outsiders, fighters, warriors, griots, contrarians, pioneers, and culture mongers of color, so they can serve the world.

To do that, we need your help.

This year, we want to overhaul our website. We want to take a panel and some bands to SXSW. We want to send our BRC Orchestra on an international tour. We want to release our most ambitious compilation album to date. We want to create a series of showcases for local and domestic bands. We want to resurrect our internet radio channels. We want to give grants to bands. We want to continue our scholarship program with Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. We want to have a knock-down, drag-out Damn-Has-It-Really-Been-30-Years? party. We want to publish a book. We want to bring our community together for more networking and face time. We want to take our Million Man Mosh platform to any state that needs to mobilize artists to fight injustice.

We want a lot. And every little bit you can give will help immensely.

So please, consider becoming a member. Or renewing your membership and getting more involved. Even a one-time donation of $30, in your name or someone else’s, would be greatly appreciated. And if you’re really feeling the long-term love, we even have a lifetime BRC membership for $250. That’s less than $10 a year for the next 30 years.
Thank you. Together we can make all kinds of things happen, just like we have since 1985.

LaRonda Davis

President, Black Rock Coalition ldavis@blackrockcoalition.org
P.S. If you’ve already given last year, please consider giving an additional donation for the Black History Month. All monetary gifts are tax-deductible and will be put toward our ambitious calendar.

P.P.S. Look for us at SXSW in March 2015.

“What started out as a bitching session,

really became more about a proactive and developmental approach to the issue,

which was, instead of talking about how we’re locked out of the Master’s house,

why don’t we just build our own? And that was when it fundamentally came together as an organization.”

—excerpt from an interview w/ Greg Tate, BRC Newsletter, 2000

Black Rock Coalition is a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt 501(c)3 status.

Historic: Blunt Force Trauma + Death Metal Angola

brc bft postcard 2014brc bft dma postcard flat color 2014


The resurrection of BRC showcase vehicle BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA featured live and loud sets by The Dust Rays (w/ Kirk Douglas + Mark kelley of the Roots and Ricc Sheridan of Earl Greyhound), Year of The Dragon (from LA w/ Dirty Walt of Fishbone), MilitiA.Vox (of Judas Priestess). DJ SugarfreeBK. Hosts Laina Dawes (author of “What Are You Doing Here”) and Kelsey Warren (of pILLOW tHEORY).


It was also the official after-party for the opening night of the week-long run of DEATH METAL ANGOLA in NYC. Do yourself a favor and support this awesome documentary, which is now also available on iTunes.

Historic: BRC Orchestra’s Political Soul of Motown

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The Black Rock Coalition Orchestra Performed PEOPLE HOLD ON: Motown’s Civil Rights Anthems and Political Soul

On the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in the midst of present-day civil unrest, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra, featuring an all-star cast that includes jessica Care moore, Don Byron, Ronny Drayton, Doron Flake, V. Jeffrey Smith, Lisette Santiago, Everett Bradley, Marcus Machado, Gene Williams, Andre Lassalle, Mary Wormworth, Maritri Garrett, David Barnes, LaFrae Sci, and Kelsey Warren performed classic and rare Motown anthems to Black political struggle.

The repertoire included classics and rarities by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Edwin Starr, Syreeta, Smokey Robinson, Martha & The Vandellas and more, songs that speak to the precarious political condition of African-Americans for the last half-century.

Watch the show here