Hello, I’m Liz Burg, one of Berklee’s newest staff members. Earlier this week, I caught up with Berklee’s J Dilla Ensemble as they rehearse for their upcoming performances at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Yes, you read that correctly; in a matter of days, Berklee’s own J Dilla Ensemble is taking center stage at what promises to be one of the largest cultural gatherings of the hip-hop community (last year’s festival drew over 8000 people!).
The 2010 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is paying particular attention to the legacy the iconic producer/composer J Dilla left behind when he died of lupus in 2006. Because the festival aims to add an entertaining and educational voice to the world of hip-hop, Berklee’s J Dilla Ensemble is participating in panel discussions about J Dilla (July 6) and in performances that showcase his music (July 10).
The J Dilla Ensemble is the only group in the world that studies and performs the hip-hop mastermind’s catalogue for academic credit. Berklee faculty member Brian “Raydar” Ellis, a talented MC, producer and DJ in his own right, created the ensemble in 2008 and masterfully leads the group through the work of the genius behind musical legends like A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Common, Busta Rhymes and many, many more.
If you’re in the Brooklyn area, check out bkhiphopfestival.com for ticket information!
July 6 – Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn, NY)
4:00-4:30 p.m.: Stussy J Dilla Documentary
4:30-5:45: Panel Session 1
5:45-6:15: J Dilla Ensemble Performs
6:15-7:30: Panel Session 2
7:30-7:45: J Dilla Ensemble Performs
7:45-8:00: Closing Remarks
July 10: Brooklyn Bridge Park & Tobacco Warehouse (26 New Dock Street, Brooklyn, NY)
12:00 p.m.: Performances begin
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