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The Main Stage: 2019 Bronzeville Arts & Cultural Festival


We are proud to curate the Main Stage for the Bronzeville Arts & Cultural Festival once again this year!

Milwaukee’s own Bronzeville District is the arts, business, economic and cultural center to a growing number of African American-owned businesses. Milwaukee's return to Bronzeville sparked a creative economic hub where we gather every year for Bronzeville Week; a celebration of cooperative economics.

In 2012 concerned business owners, residents and families of "Historically Bronzeville" neighborhoods in Milwaukee organized Bronzeville Week; a series of events designed to return the Bronzeville Arts & Cultural District to its thriving state. Bronzeville Arts & Cultural Festival features three stages with diverse entertainment for everyone. It all takes place on Sunday August 4th, noon-6pm in the heart of BRONZEVILLE on North Ave. between MLK Dr. & 7th St.

The main stage line up is as follows:

1:00

Grey Genius

With lyrics that emit self-confidence and authenticity Grey Genius had humble beginnings. Born in Milwaukee, WI Genius first encountered music like most industry legends, in church. Marveling at her grandmother's take on traditional Christian hymns, she began mimicking what she heard. It wasn’t until the age of five that her mimicking developed into a full-on love affair with music. When she saw the video for Toni Braxton’s hit “Un-Break My Heart” on MTV’s The Box, Genius watched mesmerized by her range and ability to convey emotion with each note she discovered her first love, music.

What really gave Grey the push she needed to become an artist was watching her uncle and father make music. It was from then on. she began her own journey from strictly singing to artistry. At eleven, while most children were riding bikes or jumping rope, Grey began rapping, singing, and writing her own songs. After graduating from Riverside University High School in 2010, she went on to pursue her education as well as hone her artistic abilities at Marquette University. Earning a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts and Broadcast and Electronic Communication.

Much like her name, her music is genius. Grey's musical roots are in Hip-Hop and R&B, with the occasional Pop influence. Despite her roots, she is not afraid of staying true to her story, defying the notion of fitting within the confines of any particular genre. Radio Milwaukee had an opportunity to talk with her and said: “If you ask her about her name, she’ll tell you that her first name represents how her music style isn’t black and white. She exposes herself to all types of music and feels that she has been blessed with a limitless style, which makes her feel like a genius” (a la 88Nine).

To date, Grey Genius has released three mixtapes entitled Take It or Leave It (2012), My Love Is... (2014) and most recently, LATE NIGHTS COOL DRINKS (2018). Currently, she is working tirelessly with local artists, experimenting with her sound and continuing to grow with each new experience.

Recently she has performed at several events including:

  • House of Renji Presents: WHT SMMR– Cactus Club – June 28th 2019

  • Milwaukee Aces Halftime Performance – Cardinal Stritch University – June 22nd 2019 Locust Street Festival – MKE Expanded Stage -June 9th 2019

  • Womnz! Spot Stage- PrideFest- June 8th 2019

  • Riverwest FemFest 2019 – Cactus Club - April 31st, 2019

  • Ballot Bash – Turner Hall – March 14th, 2019

  • Sunday Night Live at Pourman's – March 3rd, 2019

Although her sound cannot be labeled, you can feel her authenticity and devotion to the story and the music. You will always feel the soul that is Grey Genius. And that’s exactly how she wants it to be.

2:00

No Seat Belts

For authoritarian figures, the notion of “No Seat Belts” sends out bells of politically correct alarms. But for the band No Seat Belts - whose motto is: “No Limits. No Boundaries. No Seatbelts” - it’s a proclamation of independence.

The unexpected name sprouted from the idea of living limitlessly and fearlessly through music. For Calvin and Dee Cee, two Milwaukee musicians who have been working together for over a decade, the name implies opening the mind to endless creation.

The band is a collaborative effort of five musicians, who all have their own thriving careers in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas. With Calvin on bass and Dee Cee on drums, Kyndal J’s soulful voice and Curtis Crummp on sax and Quinten Farr on piano these funky, unconventional, creatives joined together carrying out Calvin and Dee Cee’s vision.

Using Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop, Pop and Rock genres, they create a sound of Funk Fusion. The inventive cover arrangements and soulful originals of No Seat Belts strives to turn listeners into participants by introducing them to a new and free way of thinking.

This innovative band’s purpose is to push limits, explore the unknown, and open minds through music. An extravagantly influential team of inventive musicians arrange, collaborate, and perform with the intent to bring mind-blowing vibes that compare to no other group you’ve ever heard.

Nosetbeltsmusic@gmail.com // 414-840-7750 // @NoSeatbeltsMusic

3:00

Melodic Prodigies

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the rhapsodic, symbolic group Melodic Prodigies was born. Our music is a mixture of Hip-Hop and R&B with live instrumentation. Currently we're in the works of producing our first album called Dreams vs. Reality and we're also in the process of making our merchandise available to the public. "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." -Plato

Jaylan (JD) Higgins is one of the co-founder and leader of Melodic Prodigies. He wanted to find musicians who can give the world a unique sound and feeling that has never been felt before. While he was a band instructor at True Skool (a free music program in Milwaukee, WI for the ages 14-19.) he came across a dope female rapper named Quanita Jackson also known as Tay. Her stage presence is phenomenal and her love for music was just so genuine that he had to add her to the team. In the process of defining the band sound, we came cross paths with the one and only Maleek (Maloco guitarra) Patterson. He can play by ear and constantly amazes not only the crowd but his fellow bandmates as well. After meeting Maleek, he brought us Javontae (TaeDaDrummer) Atkins. This is just not no ordinary drummer, he creates sounds on set with different arrangement of the drums. TaeDaDrummer is the glue to our sound, the backbone that holds it all together. And our fifth member is Rock Williams whose ideas on percussion are just incredible.

We are different from most bands because everyone in the band has a voice on our sound. We target the audience of all ages and our songs have deeper meaning than what meets the eyes. We have perform all over Milwaukee including SummerFest (the biggest music fest in the world.) We also perform with artists like Cincere and Raynitti and much more. And as we get done producing and getting ready to release our album. So be on the lookout for upcoming shows and our release party. We will also be updating our store so you can start purchasing our songs or other merchandise will soon.

4:00

Zed Kenzo

5:00

Sista Strings

The sound of SistaStrings can’t be described in one word. The Milwaukee based sister duo combines their classical background with R&B with a touch of gospel influence that culminates in a vibey, lush sound. With thick string harmonies between violin and cello and soulful voices, SistaStrings takes you on a journey. Formed in 2014 after the sisters graduated from college, Chauntee (violin) moved back from her studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Monique from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the sisters began doing string arrangements for local hip-hop artists and the rest is history. Slowly but surely, SistaStrings built a following and began playing more shows with collaboration being one of their strongest points.

The sisters not only write and arrange but find pleasure sitting in with musicians and exploring what sounds come from improvisation and spontaneity. Outside of being their own act, SistaStrings can often be found playing alongside singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey. Having been raised in church, SistaStrings was able to build their improv skills and ear training. The classical background that the two sisters have had allows them to command their instrument at will. Between the two of them, they have performed in some of the most reputable halls, including Carnegie Hall and in their classical career they have soloed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

SistaStrings has performed with Malik Yusef, opened for Black Violin, Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, Lupe Fiasco, BJ The Chicago Kid, and The Roots. Outside of playing music venues, SistaStrings goes into schools and conducts assemblies, encouraging young people to pursue the arts and to not be afraid of hard work. Outreach and representation are important to these two young ladies as African American string players. The ladies are advocates for diversity in the arts and promote social justice in all that they do musically. SistaStrings will be releasing their debut EP in 2019.

Vocals, Violin / Chauntee Ross Vocals, Cello / Monique Ross

#CooperativeEconomics #BronzevilleWeek #Community #collectiveimpact #collaboration #neighborhoodimprovement #equity #race #Networking

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