It is with great joy that we welcome the incredible Emeline Michel to the Sozo Artists roster.
Vocalist, songwriter, and performer Emeline Michel is internationally acclaimed for fusing pop, jazz, blues, and traditional Haitian rhythms to create deeply moving and joyful music, delivered with a charismatic live show. A master entertainer, Michel has been sharing her message with audiences across Europe and the Americas for more than 20 years, including appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, The United Nations, Ontario’s Luminato Festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Tasmania’s Ten Days On The Island, Zimbabwe’s Harare International Arts Festival, and on MTV’s Hope for Haiti Now: a Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief fundraiser.
Hailed by the New York Times as a “diplomat of music” and “the dancing ambassador with a voice serene and warm like the breeze,” Michel first began singing with the gospel choir in the church of Gonaïves, Haiti. She later studied at the Detroit Jazz Center and returned to Haiti, where her career blossomed. Now based in New York City, she runs her own production company, Production Cheval de Feu, and is currently touring in support of her long-awaited 10th album Quintessence. A remarkable blend of spirited songs, the album captures the reverence and gratitude for the present moment and showcases Michel’s virtuoso vocal, singing in Creole, French and English, with finger-picked guitars, soulful backing vocals, a children’s choir, Haitian percussion, lush strings, playful trumpet and accordion lines.
See Michel perform live in New York City and Atlanta this March:
UNCHARTED: Marc Ribot and Emeline Michel
Guitar legend Marc Ribot and Haitian songstress Emeline Michel pay tribute to Haitian classical guitar icon and Ribot’s mentor, Frantz Casseus. This performance is part of the Uncharted 2015 Concert Series
Thursday, March 26
46 Barrow Street
New York City
ANACAONA: Daniel Bernard Roumain with Emeline Michel
Emeline Michel comes to Atlanta’s Schwartz Center as the collaborator and vocalist for ANACAONA, a new work by composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, with libretto by acclaimed Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat. Commissioned as part of the Creation Stories Project (a collaboration between Emory Univerity and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), the work is written from a perspective informed by the artists’ Haitian heritage and features arrangement for chamber orchestra. Anacaona (meaning golden flower) was a Taíno chief and is considered the primordial founder of Haiti.
Friday, March 20
Schwartz Center, Emerson Concert Hall at Emory University
The Haus of Sozo is thrilled to partner with and support such an exquisitely talented artist.
Keep up with Emeline on Facebook.
Invitation to a Dialogue:
The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Helping Boys Succeed
As a composer and father to a 5-year-old son, I am wanting to do my part toward Helping Boys Succeed. In collaboration with the spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, we have been commissioned to create a new work for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra at Chautauqua Institution, entitled Meditations On Raising Boys. Composed for a narrative chorus comprised of men and boys, orchestra, spoken-word artists, and solo violin, the work is a musical offering toward an important societal need: raising, and saving, our boys.
Meditations on Raising Boys is a composer’s response to an epidemic of low self-esteem, violence, and simply, poor choices within and around the culture of being a young boy in America. I personally see the concert hall as that rare and elusive communal space, where conversation and ideas can be offered and shared without fear of rejection or loss of identity. For me, the theater is that last, great bastion of democracy, where all voices can (and should!) be heard, and this commission brings together different music, and different people, who all share a common love and theme: the urgent need to save our boys and BE that antidote to the ills affecting them and inflicted upon them.
The commission will be a part of a week-long examination of boys and young men during Chautauqua Institution’s Boys Will Be Boys, Then Men series of lectures, workshops, masterclasses, and chamber concerts. Rev. Robert M. Franklin, Chautauqua’s Director of Religion, will launch the week with an overview of the challenges and opportunities young men and their families and support systems face, and what Chautauqua hopes to accomplish through this 10-lecture platform in partnership with the Department of Religion. Joe Echevarria, retired Deloitte CEO and co-chair of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, will join Rev. Franklin. Michael Thompson, psychologist and author, will lecture on the emotional lives of boys and the societal impact on their development, and Wes Moore, author and youth advocate, will discuss his advocacy work and the importance of social outreach for inner-city youths.
For more information on all that the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and Institution is doing, please see the links below:
In the good fight,
Dr. Daniel Bernard Roumain
Mr. Marc Bamuthi Joseph
With great excitement we announce the latest work from Daniel Roumain: BLACKBIRD, FLY and WATER±.
A concert for Voice, Body, and Strings
Bamuthi, Spoken Word
DBR, Violin, Piano
BLACKBIRD, FLY weaves together an enduring tapestry of movement, narrative, music and Haitian folklore to engage audiences in dialog about critical questions of our time.
Steeped in hip hop aesthetic, this intimate duet between two preeminent sons of Haitian immigrants – composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) and arts activist/spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph – unveils their life stories in search of their identity and role models, and delves into universal themes of tolerance and inclusion.
Introspective yet uplifting, BLACKBIRD, FLY is a culmination of Roumain and Joseph’s recent collaborations with Atlanta Ballet, Boston Children’s Chorus, University of Houston, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Opera Philadelphia. In each of these communities, Roumain and Joseph have created and premiered new works that offer myriad experiential arts education opportunities, youth empowerment and social engagement around our shared values.
WATER±: A live storytelling experience about nature’s most precious and destructive force, features the work of Roumain and poet Carl Hancock Rux, and is directed by TONY winner Kenny Leon.
This work premiered to much acclaim on October 25 the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, in collaboration with WWNO and hosted by NPR’s Michele Norris.
Upcoming tour dates:
November 8, 2014
Weekend in Washington, NPR
November 10, 2014
NPR in partnership with WNYC
New York, NY
November 12, 2014
NPR in partnership with KQED
San Francisco, CA
November 13, 2014
NPR in partnership with KUOW
November 17, 2014
NPR in partnership with WABE
DBR’s acclaimed work as a composer and performer spans more than two decades, and has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations traverse the worlds of Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover and Lady Gaga.
Known for his signature violin sounds infused with a myriad of electronic and urban music influences, DBR takes his genre-bending music beyond the proscenium. He has been nominated for an EMMY for Outstanding Musical Composition for his work with ESPN; featured as keynote performer at technology conferences; and written large scale, site-specific music for public parks.
DBR’s made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 with the American Composers Orchestra performing his Harlem Essay for Orchestra, a Whitaker commission. He went on to compose works for the Boston Pops Orchestra; Carnegie Hall; the Library of Congress; the Stuttgart Symphony, and myriad others.
DBR’s commitment to arts education has garnered long-term relationships with countless universities, orchestras, and performing arts centers. DBR earned his doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan, where he currently serves as Guest Entrepreneur.
An avid arts industry leader, DBR serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Creative Capital, the advisory committee of the Sphinx Organization, and is co-chair of 2015 and 2016 APAP Conferences.
DBR is currently working on We Shall Not Be Moved, a chamber opera commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, with libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and direction by Bill T. Jones.
Sozo Media is thrilled to announce an evening of fresh new sounds, sights, and words by today’s most sought-after contemporary artists on January 13, 2014 at The DiMenna Center in New York City.
Curated by Daniel Roumain, and co-hosted by composer Mohammed Fairouz and free to the attendees of APAP, ISPA and CMA conferences, the evening will feature works by Roumain, Fairouz, writer/performer Carl Hancock Rux, and sound artist/vocalist Bora Yoon with additional performers Theo Bleckmann, The Voxare String Quartet and pianist Yayoi Ikawa.
General admission $20
Tickets are available here.
Note to APAP, ISPA & CMA Attendees:
Simply bring your conference badge, business card, or
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 7pm
The DiMenna Center
450 West 37th Street New York, NY 10018
Daniel Roumain kicked off his fall lineup with gusto this past weekend at (le) poisson rouge in New York City with Mohammed Fairouz and other rising stars of the New York music scene. The evening was named a Critics’ Pick in Time Out New York and the popular downtown music venue was filled to standing room only.
Some highlights coming up on Roumain’s calendar:
University of Houston September 12-13 Roumain continues his two-year Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence program in collaboration with the UH Cougar Marching Band. En Masse, a “deconstructed parade” composed by Roumain, with direction by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, premiered in April.
Kelly Strayhorn Theater October 15 Co-Artist-in-Residence Mukwe Wabei Siyolwe partners with Roumain in a groundbreaking new multimedia oratorio, Wade in the Water. Wabei uses visual and performance art media as a vehicle for social change. She began her career as an actor starring in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass and Richard Attenborough’s Cry Freedom.
UCLA November 4-10 Roumain begins his Artist-in-Residence program with the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.
Sozo is proud to announce a new addition to our team. Philip Naudé joins Sozo as the Director of Artist Development & International Affairs.
Philip brings to Sozo his diverse strength as a Producer, Production Manager, and Technical Director with a particular focus in Theatrical Performance and Producing. Internationally, he produced the 24 Hour Plays in New York, London, Bonn, Los Angeles, Toronto, Athens and Dublin. He has worked with such arts organizations as the French Institute, Manhattan Theatre Club, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Atlantic Theater Company, and Berkeley Repertory.
Philip looks forward to his journey with Sozo and says he is “thrilled to be joining the diverse and passionate team at Sozo bringing a long career of theater, music and dance production experience to further help enhance the scope and reach of the talented artists that Sozo proudly supports.” He will oversee and spearhead various aspects of Sozo’s artist promotion and production with an emphasis on international performing arts market.
The world watched earlier this month as Dance Theatre of Harlem burst back onto the ballet scene at Rose Theater in New York City after a 9 year hiatus. Daniel Bernard Roumain composed the score for “Far, But Close,” an urban love story which is coupled with spoken word by Daniel Beaty. The New York Times applauded Roumain’s work.
We are thrilled that Roumain could play an integral role in this Harlem-based group’s return to the world stage!
Cameras flashing…a full house…and one incredible film. The world premiere screening of Homegoings was a smashing success!
Daniel Roumain, who composed the score for Christine Turner’s debut documentary, gave a captivating solo performance that was met with cheers and thunderous applause in a packed theater at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight.
Homegoings is Turner’s first documentary, which will be airing later this year on POV and is a recipient of the prestigious $150,000 award from the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund. This fascinating film explores the rich traditions of the African American funeral home, a 150 year-old institution that is now vanishing. Told through the eyes of Harlem funeral director Isaiah Owens and the families he serves, this film tells the intimate stories of families who have lost loved ones and the passionate man behind their funerals. Roumain’s music was beautifully intertwined into the fabric of Owens’s compelling story.
Among the many attendees at the Thursday screening which sold out immediately were Owens and his family, members of his community, Senator Charlie Rangel of the 13th Congressional District, and even Owens’s 96 year old mother who made the trip from their native South Carolina.
Keep an eye out for the nationwide airing of this amazing film later this year! You can stay up to date with news and photos via the Homegoings Facebook fan page.
The National Endowment for the Arts’ blog, Art Works recently featured an article with Carol Becker, Dean of Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Ms. Becker describes her journey through education and the importance and contribution an arts education gives to its students. So often artists’ professional credits begin to define their biographies more than their educational roots but in an increasingly tougher financial climate, Becker reaffirms the need and contribution an arts education can nurture in students.
Sozo is particularly proud not only in the educational heritage of our roster but also the key role our artists play in furthering arts education through their work. Sozo Media believes arts education to be crucial in our increasing global society. Its integration creates artists founded in strong self-image, academic drive and an awareness equipped to contribute to the modern artistic dialogue. Whether in workshops, residencies, or commissions all of Sozo Artists continue to give back and educate future artists.
Daniel Roumain (pictured above) was featured in a documentary as Artist-In-Residence with the Boston Pops where he worked with local schools and their students. He was also musical director and artistic coach for Seattle Theater Group’s award-winning young artist program, More Music @ The Moore.
In addition, Bandaloop led by Artistic Director, Amelia Rudolph continues to prioritize and nurture future and current artists through a variety of workshops and residencies both domestic and international throughout the year.
Sozo and its artists recognize the importance of this work and pay homage to it as a critical thread in our fabric and the greater artistic community!