Thursday, May 29, 2008

Third Annual URB ALT Festival Shines in Sun Ra Celebration on First Day of Summer, 2008

Third Annual URB ALT Festival Shines in Sun Ra Celebration on First Day of Summer


V. Jeffrey Smith, Tay Zonday, Melvin Gibbs, MuthaWit and eclectic artists perform 14 Hours of Alternative Music Over 3 Days at Harlem Stage Gatehouse and BAMcafe

“URB ALT Festival features artists that are exemplars of boundary crossing, synthesis and unification." - The Village Voice

NEW YORK, NY (May 27, 2008) - The third annual URB ALT Festival brings the bleeding edge of multi-cultural music/film artists to New York City's Harlem Stage Gatehouse and BAMcafe. On the first day of summer June 21st in conjunction with the city-wide Make Music NY, the three day URB ALT Festival launches from the Harlem Stage Gatehouse terrace with a 7 hour outdoor concert event. The festival, hosted by co-founder Shena Verrett, celebrates the legacy of Sun Ra as fused through the musical and visual creativity of internationally recognized and underground artists. Events are free with a $10 suggested donation for adults going towards registration for URB ALT gift raffles and voter registration initiatives through Rock the Vote. For more information contact Michelle at 917.328.0367 or

The opening day at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse features the avant-garde bass mastery of Melvin Gibbs (Rollins Band, Harriet Tubman); the soulful alternative hip hop/funk of Atlantan, Stacy Epps; the “Chocolate Rain" afforded musical ubiquity of Tay Zonday; the cosmic jazz vocal stylings of Los Angelino, Waberi Jordan; the soul laced protorock melodicism of Tenderhead; the electronica infused funk/rock of OMG; the funky blues rock of Devi; the folk/soul of honey voiced crooner Kendal; the Latin rock/punk experimentalism of Millsted; and the futuristic big band exploratory missions of the MuthaWit Orchestra (URB ALT Festival house band). Artists will be performing their original material as well as a composition from Sun Ra's songbook.

URB ALT founder Boston Fielder, says “Sun Ra is a beacon for creators of all mediums who want to explore the connection between the spirit, entertainment and commerce. The Sun Ra Arkestra was/is a functioning politico-economic-social system that I was exposed to early in life as my cousin was a mainstay drummer for the group. It's an honor to present some of Sun Ra's compositions to our audience."

June 27th and 28th finds the URB ALT Festival crossing the river into Brooklyn where the events dock at the popular BAMcafe. These two special nights of the URB ALT Festival close out the BAMcafe Live season by featuring the soul/rock gypsy sound of Brig Feltus with members of Pillow Theory; the polyphonic harp virtuosity of Brandee Younger (Ravi Coltrane); the LES reggae/rock/soul power of Faith; the rock/soul/pop songcraft mastery of V. Jeffrey Smith (Family Stand); the punk/pop/rock runway histrionics of Tenderhead; and a special collaboration between the MuthaWit Orchestra and two very special guests. Both nights will feature the computer generated projections of Italy based visual artist Roy Lagrone, The Matrix film series animation director Lyndon Barrois and “Harbinger" feature film director Tim Fielder.

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