Historic: BRC Orchestra performed Curtis Mayfield’s Sparkle soundtrack

MAY 20, 2018

Shout out to LaFrae Sci, our musical director, and the killer orchestra she assembled for this beautiful performance in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn—Shelley Nicole, Asa Lovechild, KiKi Hawkins, Jared Michael Nickerson, V. Jeffrey Smith, Marcus Machado, and Leon Gruenbaum. And thanks, too, to our outdoor connection, Letitia Guillory and NYC Parks who thought of us for this edition of “Movies Under the Stars.”

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Historic: Private Screening of Black Panther presented by BRC + Buddhabug Records

Much thanks to everyone who helped us pack the house and raise money for the BRC. It was epic on so many levels, being able to have so many of our friends and family in the theater to celebrate such an important cultural character and watch something that brings to light so many of the issues that we face in this country—as Black folk, as Black men, as Black women, as heirs of legacy, as Diasporans, as artists, as fans, as underestimated geniuses, as exploited and oppressed communities, and as ever-ascending scientists, warriors, and leaders. The room was full of powerhouses, and because of you we raised over $2,000 for the Black Rock Coalition. Extra appreciation to Luqman Brown (Buddhabug Records) for having the idea and sharing it with us, and to Greg Tate, Warrington Hudlin, Regine Sawyer, and Tim Fielder for sharing their wisdom on this very notable moment in time.


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BRC Member Since 2017

BRC Member Since 2017

Rock. Soulful Rock with a Blues edge.


Discover: deehemingwaymusic.info


Hendrix Bday 2017 BRClogo

Historic: BRC Get-Down Revue @ Earshot Jazz Festival

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We took our rip-roarin’ Black Rock Coalition Get-Down Revue out west for an encore performance of choice cuts from the Atlantic Records R&B box set. It was a celebration of the pioneers of early rock & roll who called the label home from 1947-1974 and the amazing artists who continue that legacy today. With Luqman Brown (bandleader/vocals), Jared Michael Nickerson (bass), Shelley Nicole (vocals), Ben Tyree (guitar), V. Jeffrey Smith (sax), Lewis ‘Flip’ Barnes (trumpet), Leon Gruenbaum (keys), and Greg Gonzalez (drums).

BRC Member since 2017

BRC Member since 2017

discover: jackievenson.com

Historic: BRC Orchestra, It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night in Tribute to Prince

FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2017

Von King Park, Brooklyn, with New York City Parks Department

photos by SeanJamar.com

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photos by LaRonda Davis*brco prince screening tkali sharief

Prince was one of us. A rocker. Black and musically outspoken with depths that plumbed generations. That’s why we celebrate him. For us, he is more than a symbol, more than Purple Rain, more than a pimp rag, tootsie pop, and a cane (thankfully). He was living, breathing possibility. Giant inspiration in a 5-foot-plus frame. A roadmap to a different way.

In celebration of what would have been Prince’s 59th birthday, The Black Rock Coalition Orchestra dipped into the vault for IT’S GONNA BE A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT, a rousing remembrance under the musical direction of lifetime fan and rock-royalty-in-her-own-right, Tamar-kali. This bittersweet reflection, paced out by show-stopping bandleader Jerome Jordan, conjured B-sides, bootlegs and bonuses from over 11 album eras. With a Supergroup-backing band (including Cassandra O’Neal from the New Power Generation, Sylvia Black of Betty Black, Sharief Hobley of Sharief in Burgundy, and Mark Robohm), a parade of top-notch vocalists (such as Corey Glover of Living Colour, and Gordon Voidwell of WILLS, and a full slate of special guests on horns and strings, this soul-satisfying, booty-shaking performance reminded us all of what music can do when the people who make it are free to create outside the lines. Following the performance, there was a screening Purple Rain. All in partnership with New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Historic: Santana Redux with the BRC Orchestra @ BAMcafe

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FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2017

BAMcafe Live


The BRC Orchestra, the all-star repertory company of the Black Rock Coalition, performed a focused retrospective on the music of legend Carlos Santana for May 5 (Cinco De Mayo): “Santana Redux with The BRC Orchestra,” as a nod to the collaborations of Black and Latino rockers and to Santana’s Mexican heritage. Santana, an often-cited influence for many Black rockers—including Prince and BRC co-founder Vernon Reid—is a rare legend whose half-century of work cuts across multiple genres, cultures and generations. Santana was a steadfast champion of many Black pioneers, like Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and John Coltrane—“Santana Redux” is a showcase for the BRC to pay the legend back in kind.


A bittersweet, but triumphant, finale to our 15 years of fantastic shows at BAMcafe. We will miss what we had there, but that was just the beginning…

Historic: BRC Get-Down Revue @ Winter Jazz Fest

In a rousing revival of our Black Rock Coalition Get-Down Revue, we kicked off our 32nd year of mission-oriented programming with an encore performance of choice cuts from the Atlantic Records R&B box set in celebration of the pioneers of early rock & roll who called the label home from 1947-1974.

It was a certified dance party, featuring:

Luqman Brown – Musical Director/Bandleader

Jared Michael Nickerson – Bass

Ramsey Jones – Drums/Vocals

Ben Tyree – Guitar

Leon Gruenbaum – Keys

V Jeffrey Smith – Horns

Wayne Cobham – Trumpet

JS Williams – Trombone

Lisala – Vocals

Shelley Nicole – Vocals

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Historic: BRC Orchestra’s A Tribe Called Quest Retrospective

Saturday, October 1, 2016 @ BAMcafe Live

The Black Rock Coalition Orchestra’s Tribe Called Quest Retrospective

Long recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop collectives of all time, A Tribe Called Quest took the genre to new heights sonically and lyrically by combining street beats with jazz influences—a style and a sound that laid the groundwork for new genres like acid jazz, trip hop, and drum and bass.

As part of SOURCE360 Festival, the BRC Orchestra paid respect to these hip-hop icons with a program that showcased some of the group’s best work, along with choice album cuts from classics like People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm, Low End Theory, and Midnight Marauders. The program also honored founding ATCQ member Malik ‘Phife Dog’ Taylor (who passed away in March 2016), and Weldon Irvine, a distinguished composer and teacher who mentored the group and many others within the BRC circles.

Part of the SOURCE360 Festival