For the latest LIVE from SAC, presented in collaboration with The Jam Session, Inc., Hip Hop artist, rapper, and human beat boxer, Baba Israel, will team up with a dynamic group of Jazz musicians for a unique fusion of Hip Hop, Salsa and Jazz.
“We are trying to showcase that most of today’s music in the western world has common roots and are not unique separate styles: Hip Hop and Rap was heavily influenced by the Latin music scene in the South Bronx, and Jazz has been influenced by Latin music, European classical and military music and of course African music,” noted Claes Brondal of The Jam Session, Inc. “This musical gumbo of music will be performed by some of the most accomplished musicians on the scene today, with many years of experience and having played with some of the giants of Latin, Jazz and Hip Hop, such as Mongo Santamaria, Dave Valentin, Chucho Valdez, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Outkast and Vernon Reid.”
Taking place on Saturday, May 20 at Southampton Arts Center, LIVE from SAC: Hip Hop Meets Salsa & Jazz with Baba Israel and Friends will feature Israel alongside Ada Rovatti on saxophone, Bill O’Connell on piano, Santi DeBriano on bass, and Brondal on drums.
Israel’s parents were core members of the Living Theatre. While growing up in New York, he experimented with the spoken word, Hip Hop, and experimental performance by developing his talents at venues like the Nuyorican Poets Café and with Akim Funk Buddah and the Nomadic Lotus. Eventually he moved to Australia where he focused on community theatre projects and festivals, and co-founded Meta Bass ‘n’ Breath, an infamous theatrical Hip Hop band. That’s also where Israel began his illustrious career as an arts educator and consultant for prestigious organizations such as Urban Word, BAM, and the University of Madison. Additionally, Israel served as a cultural ambassador with the State Department presenting workshops and performances across South East Asia, the South Pacific, and in Gambia and Turkey.
During Israel’s lengthy music career, he has released a number of albums and worked with artists like DJ Logic, Ming and FS, Zion I, Invincible, DJ Kiva, P-Money, and Yako 440. He has performed across the US, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia, sharing the stage with artists such as Outkast, Philip Glass, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, KRS ONE, and Vernon Reid.
Most recently, Israel, who is now back in New York, has partnered with Leo Kay of Unfinished Business and Yako 440 for a work that was inspired by his late father Steve Ben Israel. “Jazz has been one of my great inspirations and influences,” the musician noted. “My father was a Jazz drummer and I spent time in the Jazz clubs of New York as a kid. As I got older I found myself collaborating with Jazz musicians as an emcee and man did it push me in exploring improvisation.”
“We would like to invite many kids and young adults to attend this concert as the music appeals to a wide range of age groups, thus bringing in an audience of mixed demographics and generations,” Brondal added.
Tickets to LIVE from SAC: Hip Hop Meets Salsa & Jazz with Baba Israel and Friends are $15. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-concert reception with refreshments compliments of Union Cantina and Wölffer Estate Vineyard.
Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptonartscenter.org.