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March 2014

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Venue:
Johnny Brenda's1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia , PA Map
Price: $25 General Admission
Saturday, February 8, 2014 - 8:00pm

Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative

Melvin Van Peebles, storytelling & vocals
Bruce Mack, keyboards & vocals
Michael "MK" Kammers, tenor sax & vocals
'Moist' Paula Henderson, bari sax & vocals
Jared Michael Nickerson, electric bass & vocals
Chris Eddleton, drums & vocals

Ars Nova Workshop and Johnny Brenda’s is pleased to present a rare performance by Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative, the exciting collaboration between Van Peebles and members of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber.

Global film legend, Broadway musical producer, composer, author, and recording artist Melvin Van Peebles is considered the father of blaxploitation and to some the father of the "spoken word" genre. With his starring role in 1971’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Van Peebles ushered in a new era of self-affirming African-American cinema. The fusion of soul jazz and spoken word he served up on records like Brer Soul and Ain’t Supposed To Die A Natural Death anticipated rap music a good decade before its inception.

Led by Village Voice icon Greg "Ionman" Tate and monster groove bassist Jared Michael Nickerson since 1999, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber is a sprawling band of musicians whose prodigious personnel and use of recently passed jazz conductor Butch Morris "conduction" technique, allows them to freely  juggle a wide swath of the experimental soul-jazz-hip hop spectrum.  Rolling Stone Senior Editor, David Fricke calls Burnt Sugar “A mul­tira­cial jam army that freestyles with cool telekine­sis between the lus­trous men­ace of Miles Davis’ On The Cor­ner, the slash-and-om of 1970s King Crim­son, and Jimi Hen­drix’ moon­walk across side three of Elec­tric Lady­land.”

When asked why the new band was called Laxative, Melvin replied, "Why? ...'cause they're a crew of musicians who make shit happen and get shit done. That's why!" In these rare performances, Van Peebles will share songs he has penned, plus hilarious, hard knock lessons picked up from his adventures on the road of life.

Ernest Stuart

Music began in the life of Ernest Stuart at the age of 12. He dreamt of playing saxophone, but his mother, a single parent of two, could not afford an instrument. While in the 6th grade Ernest signed up for beginners music classes without a horn or his mother’s consent. Soon after, to avoid being kicked out of his beginner’s music ensemble he was given three options for sax substitutes: tuba, baritone horn, and trombone. Ernest picked the lesser of the three evils, and never looked back. Throughout high school he studied classical music with bass trombonist Jose Vidal in Sicklerville, NJ. Eventually the lessons and hard work paid off landing Ernest spots in top district orchestras and earning him numerous awards in local jazz competitions. After graduating from high school all roads seemed to lead towards Philadelphia, more specifically, Temple University. While at Temple Ernest studied with Luis Bonilla for a life changing four years. During his undergraduate studies he began to make a name for himself around Philly as a very versatile trombonist playing various styles of music such as jazz, salsa, r&b, neo-soul, and hip-hop with such artist as The Roots, Captain Black Big Band, Jaguar Wright, Orrin Evans, John Swana, Jimmy Jorge and the Latin Express, Tim Warfield, Thee Phantom, The O’Jays and more. After graduating from Temple, Ernest set his sights on a new city: New York City. Since moving to New York, he has played in such clubs as the Village Vanguard, The Iridium, Smoke and the Blue Note, and has share the stage with musicians such as The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Reggie Workman, Charles Tolliver, Terell Stafford, and Anthony Wonsey to name a few. In 2011 Ernest became an official member of the New York based bhangra funk band Red Baraat and continues to tour with them today.