Historic: Celebration BRC: 35 Years Into Tomorrow

A 4-day marathon of BRC memories, performances, discussions, and music.


Eternal appreciation to Joi, Kat Dyson, Maureen Mahon, Honeychild Coleman, DJ Reborn, Nona Hendryx, Will Calhoun, Kevin Strait, Rob Fields, Petra Richterova, William Helms, Angelo Moore, Chris Metzler, Lev Anderson, Fishbone, DJ Logic, David Ryan Harris, Konda Mason, Greg Tate, Vernon Reid, Craig Street, Flip Barnes, and DJ Greg Caz for joining us live in the room for some pretty amazing discussions. An additional shoutout is due to the BRC OGs who came through throughout the event, some of whom gave video interviews which will be shown in social media later. In particular, Don Eversley, Bill Toles, Jared Michael Nickerson, Jan de Silva, Michael Hill, Jimmy Saal, JT Lewis, Melvin Gibbs, Kelvyn Bell, Bevis Griffin, Beverly Jenkins, Marque Gilmore, Tracie Morris, Jimi Hazel, Rick Skatore, Chuck Brownley, and so many others.


And beaucoup thank yous to Living Colour, David Ryan Harris, Van Hunt, Faith, Sophia’s Toy, The 1865, Jackie Venson, Blak Emoji, The Oxymorrons, Tamar-kali, Model Decoy, 100 Watt Heart, Militia Vox, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, Marcus Machado, Stew, The Family Stand, Three5Human, Dope Sagittarius, Thaylobleu, Slapbak, Band Of Gypsys Revisited Band, Screaming Headless Torsos, and Shelley Nicole’s BlaKbüshe for sharing rare, exclusive, or little-seen live video performances.


And for those of you who joined us for one hour or for all four hours on all four nights, THANK YOU. We are community. We could not have gotten to 35 years without it.


NEW RELEASE: (FREE ZINE) Make Me Wanna Holler, Issue 2—Art in the Age of Corona

To share our community’s thoughts from inside the Corona Virus Pandemic, the Black Rock Coalition has released the second issue of our “Make Me Wanna Holler” anthology series. We thought it was important to ask some of our favorite people, from across the artistic spectrum, to express how they are coping, creating, and maintaining during this unprecedented moment in history.

Featuring writings by M. Kumasi Rogers, Brian Tate, Kamara Thomas, Kelsey Warren, Meshell NdegeocelloLaRonda Davis, Melvin Gibbs, Malxolm BrixkhouseQADR, Leron Thomas (Pan Amsterdam), Sandra St. Victor, V. Jeffrey Smith, Peter Lord, Leah King, Darrell M. McNeill & Earl Douglas, Jr.

Iconic: May 19, #RememberRonny on his birthday

Ronny Drayton, guitar god, legendary human, and BRC fam, would’ve turned 67 on May 19. Because the world shut down before we could plan a proper send off, we wanted to join everyone together online to celebrate his life and influence on the day of his birth.

We asked people who loved him to post the picture above with their favorite Ronny story and the hashtag #RememberRonny. We wanted to give the world a small glimpse of the impact he had on the lives of so many. For all he’s done for the community, we owe so much back.
NEW: BRC Merch for Sale

They’re finally here, y’all. T-Shirts, stickers, even shower curtains. With a sneak peek, just in time for our 35th Anniversary. Shout out to @TOOFLY_NYC for help with the 35 logo design. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Historic: The Digital Premiere of History of Our Future @ The Met

For those of you who couldn’t get a ticket to our sold-out show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year, the Met gave folks a chance to see what they missed. For FREE. In memory of the incomparable Ronny Drayton.

corona-CANCELLED: 3/25 & 3/27, The Family Stand “Moon In Scorpio” Concerts, NYC and DC
we regret that these shows will no longer be happening…

we regret that these shows will no longer be happening…
Historic: Black History Month, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Black History Month Culture House

Youth Interactive, 1219 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA
Historic: BRC Showcases MLK Weekend @ BAMCafe Live

2 nights of rocking…Blackness…and forward momentum as we hurtled into our 35th Anniversary year with bands that constantly remind us of why we’ve made it our mission to champion the best and brightest in progressive musicianship since 1985.

@BAMCafe Live (both shows FREE)


Sat 1/18: THE 1865 and MAJOR TAYLOR, 9p

Historic: Benefit + BDay Bash for Luqman Brown (of FunkFace)

Sunday, December 15, 2019

at The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery, NYC


A night with heavy metal soulsters 24-7 Spyz and FunkFace?!? Yes, it really happened.


They came together for one night only to send love, birthday blessings, and funds to FunkFace frontman Luqman Brown to aid in his recovery from open-heart surgery.


24-7 Spyz kicked it off and then the FunkFace crew invited some of their closest, bad-ass vocalist friends to join them onstage to lead us through some of the punkiest, funkiest, rockingest gems from FunkFace’s 30-year catalog. We saw incendiary, once-in-a-lifetime performances from Corey Glover (of Living Colour), Honeychild Coleman (of The 1865), Morgan Liebman (of Snake Canyon), Shelley Nicole (of Blakbushe), Doc Burnz (of Jiant), Lisa McQuade (of Midtown Staxx), Creature (of Rebelmatic), Tesfa (of Major Taylor), Maya Mother Goddess, Olivier Rhee and others.


It’s all about community, all about love, all about family. And that’s what we’re all about.




“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 decades:

Our BRC ORCHESTRA, bridge-building collaborations between rotating groups of world-class musicians, performed an epic celebration outlining the history of our future at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We’ve also recently produced salutes to the late, great Aretha Franklin and Curtis Mayfield (celebrating the Sparkle soundtrack in Fort Greene Park), the Wizard of WOO, Bernie Worrell (Webster Hall), Prince (Von King Park and Littlefield), and Richie Havens (BAMcafe) as well as There’s A Riot Goin’ On and A Tribe Called Quest (BAMCafe Live), Earth Wind & Fire (International African Arts Fest), Deep Roots of Rock and Roll (Lincoln Center Out of Doors), 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. We also introduced the BRC Get-Down Revue  (Midsummer Night Swing, Earshot Jazz Festival, Winter Jazz Fest) which played hits from the Atlantic Records Rhythm & Blues box set.


In addition, our BRC SHOWCASES continue to give musicians space to perform their own material at events such as Blackness Sounds Like…(Zebulon, Los Angeles) with sets from Van Hunt, Pegasus Warning (with Guillermo E. Brown and Sylvia Gordon), and Band of Gypsys Revisited Band (with Vernon Reid, Jared Michael Nickerson, Andre Lassalle, and James “Biscuit” Rouse, Blunt Force Trauma, a presentation of proto-punk band DEATH, and Million Man Mosh 1, 2, and 3 (featuring Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz, Ronny Drayton, Nona Hendryx, Dragons of Zynth, Saul Williams, Tamar-kali, Thaylo Bleu and Throwdown Syndicate, among others).


Five years ago, we celebrated our 30th Anniversary with 30 Years In 30 Days, a month-long series of activities that serve our mission, including a launch party with performances by Vernon Reid and Corey Glover, Unlocking The Truth, Betty Black, The Veldt, and Burnt Sugar Arkestra with DJs CX KiDTRONiK and Sugarfree BK; BRC Orchestra shows in tribute to Band of Gypsys; a listening party; a screening of past BRC performance footage; the release of the third installment of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Reparations compilation series with a record release party; a gallery exhibit of photographs from the last 3 decades; a bowl-a-thon team for Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls; free rehearsal space for members and friends; a master vocal clinic with Corey Glover; and a BRC happy hour. Earlier in the year we held a panel at SXSW; a Million Man Mosh III (NYC and Baltimore) featuring Tamar-kali, Garland Jeffreys, and Dragons of Zynth with Saul Williams; and a BRC Orchestra tour of France for our Sisters, Sirens, and Songwriters show. As we’re coming up on our 35th Anniversary, events are shaping up to be just as monumental.


BRC COMMUNITY, BRC UNIVERSITY, and BRC RECORDS saw us collaborate 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, v3: Million Man Mosh Edition, our 30th Anniversary collection featuring music from 31 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 5 years alone.


But as Nina Simone lamented, we’ve still got so terribly far to go. As we come out on the other side of our 35th 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 send our BRC Orchestra on another 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 have a knock-down, drag-out, Damn-This-Is-Epic party. We want to publish a book. We want to make a documentary. 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 $50, 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 35 years. Thank you. Together we can make all kinds of things happen, just like we have since 1985.

LaRonda Davis

President, Black Rock Coalition


P.S. If you’ve already given this year, please consider giving an additional donation for the Holidays. All monetary gifts are tax-deductible and will be put toward our ambitious calendar.


“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. EIN 13-3355266.