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BRIC Announces 2020 Season of BRIC House Sessions

Jan 14, 2020 • 10:30 AM

A Series of Bold and Eclectic World-Class Concerts
Opens March 5 with Alex Anwandter; 
and Features Performances by Black Belt Eagle Scout, Orlando Julius, 
Maimouna Youssef (aka Mumu Fresh), Tribu Baharú, and More

BRIC, the pioneering Brooklyn arts and media organization, announces the 2020 season of BRIC House Sessions (March 5–April 23, 2020). The exhilarating concert series, held annually, brings the spirit of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival into the organization’s Fort Greene headquarters through world-class performances on Thursday evenings. BRIC House Sessions draws its talent from a bold and eclectic array of musical genres, featuring both local treasures and internationally-renowned artists.  

Taking place in the BRIC House Ballroom—one of the best spaces for live music in Brooklyn, BRIC House Sessions begins with Latin GRAMMY Award-nominated Alex Anwandter, one of the leading names of South America’s new vibrant indie pop scene, performing from his critically-acclaimed album Latinoamericana. Before he takes the stage, Brooklyn's "dreambow" pioneers Balún kick off the night (March 5). 

The series continues with concerts from: Nigerian music icon Orlando Julius, one of the founders and leading musicians of Afropop, preceded by a set from Brooklyn afro-funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band (March 19); Maimouna Youssef (AKA Mumu Fresh), whom NPR calls an “abundantly gifted singer and emcee with multi-octave range and ferocious rap delivery,” in concert with D.C.-born, New York-based MC and poet KAMAUU (April 2); and Black Belt Eagle Scout, the project of indigenous multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Katherine Paul, whom Pitchfork calls “the heiress of Geneviève Castrée and Courtney Love and Carrie Brownstein,” joined this evening by singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Denitia (April 16).

BRIC House Sessions concludes April 23 with a concert headlined by Colombian ensemble Tribu Baharú, who perform the country’s champeta style of music, and whom JazzTimes has praised for their “lively vocals, sparkling Congolese guitar, and high-energy bass and drums” The evening opens with a performance by Brooklyn Congolese guitar band Loboko.  

“We are excited to present the lineup for this year’s BRIC House Sessions.” said Jack Walsh, Senior Vice President of Performing Arts. “Like summer at the Prospect Park Bandshell,  all are invited  to join us at BRIC House to discover and celebrate an extraordinary array of talented musicians—from around the world and from our own backyard.” 

The Ashland of Gotham Properties is a season Co-Sponsor.  


Alex Anwandter | Balún
March 5, 2020 | 8pm 
BRIC House Ballroom
$15 Adv / $18 Day of Show
General Admission: Standing

Alex Anwandter brings together ‘80s-influenced dance music and emotional songwriting, all wrapped up in engaging live performances full of raw intimacy and showmanship. Nominated for two Latin GRAMMY Awards, his groundbreaking performance of “Manifiesto” at the 2016 awards show made a strong statement for LGBTQ+ rights. Anwandter’s most recent release, the critically-acclaimed Latinoamericana (2018), is lushly composed and, although rhythmic and club-worthy, is rich with cutting lyrics.

“In many ways, the album is a direct reaction to the world, and specifically South America, turning towards demagogues and authoritarian leaders with the hope of remedying social and economic ills … In other ways, the album seems shaped by Anwandter’s experience as a U.S. resident in the Trump era, a child of Latin America burdened with witnessing a repeating history of oppression, ignorance, and autocracy in both his native and adopted homes.” (Remezcla)

Brooklyn-based electronic indie band Balún broke out of the San Juan indie scene a decade ago and has since undergone a formational odyssey through the industry, academia, and the stateside Puerto Rican experience. Balún’s long-awaited sophomore album, Prisma Tropical, combines an incredibly wide field of genres and influences into a revelatory sound that evokes both the band’s homes and the distance between them.

Heavy doses of tiple, bomba barrel drum, and dembow work alongside loops and layers of shimmering synths to accomplish something explicitly of the island, yet fluent in the language of global pop. Tied together around the magical realism of singer Angélica Negrón’s lyrics, Balún’s deep understanding of reggaeton's Jamaican dancehall roots has transformed their shoegaze pop into “dreambow.”

Orlando Julius | Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
March 19, 2020 | 8pm
BRIC House Ballroom
$18 Adv / $21 Day of Show
General Admission: Standing

With a career spanning more than five decades and several continents, Orlando Julius has become an indelible figure in African music and global music alike. Beginning in the 1960s, Julius’ revolutionary blend of traditional Nigerian sounds with those of American pop, R&B, and soul is often cited as pivotal to the invention, development, and popularization of Afropop. At the time, the debut of his seminal work in 1966, Super Afro Soul, garnered Julius national acclaim. But it wasn’t until its re-release on Strut in 2000 that the body work was recognized globally.

Brooklyn afro-funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are fronted by Afrobeat and Juju veteran Leon Ligan-Majek, aka Kaleta. The singer, guitarist, and percussionist from the West African country of Benin Republic lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria, where Afrobeat was born. Now based in New York City, Kaleta was overjoyed to find Super Yamba Band and hear their take on the vintage, psychedelic sounds of his native country, and has been the lead singer since 2017. Ubiquity Records released Kaleta & Super Yamba Band’s debut LP Mèdaho in September 2019.

Maimouna Youssef (AKA Mumu Fresh) | KAMAUU
April 2, 2020 | 8pm
BRIC House Ballroom
$18 Adv / $21 Day of Show
General Admission: Standing

Maimouna Youssef (AKA Mumu Fresh) is a GRAMMY Award-nominated singer, songwriter, MC, and activist who has stepped out on her own after years working as a sought-after backup singer for legends like The Roots, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and more. After a breakthrough performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk and two independent solo albums, the Baltimore native has established herself as an “abundantly gifted singer and emcee with multi-octave range and ferocious rap delivery,” (NPR) and a performer who creates deeply spiritual live experiences.

Washington D.C.-born, New York-based MC and poet KAMAUU is a quiet warrior making otherworldly music. After releasing his first full-length work, urth gold, on Atlantic Records and gaining notoriety from the likes of Okayplayer and fellow artists for his stunning visuals, KAMAUU has earned fans and followers while hard at work on new music. This year he released TheKAMAU-CASSETTE: MíXD GRēēNS, which weaves together threads of rap, reggae, soul, and even doo-wop. “I named it TheKAMAU-CASSETTE: MíXD GRēēNS because I feel green right now,” he admits. “I feel fertile. I feel like things are growing from me. The seeds planted by my elders and experiences are on the brink of breaking the surface, and I’m excited.”


Black Belt Eagle Scout | Denitia
April 16, 2020 | 8pm
BRIC House Ballroom
$15 Adv / $18 Day of Show
General Admission: Standing

Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Katherine Paul, known as Black Belt Eagle Scout, wants everyone to know that “I want there to be more space for Indigenous artists, and I’m going to work really hard to try and have that … I’m not here for the white cis people. You can be a part of it, but you gotta sit down and let other people take the lead. That’s something I wish people knew about me before coming to my shows.” (Pitchfork)

Growing up on a small reservation in Washington State, Paul’s musical sensibility was initially informed by her Swinomish tribe’s drumming and singing traditions. A move to Portland took her music in a power chord-driven indie rock direction, though still guided by her indigenous identity and commitment to indigenous rights.

On her second album released on Saddle Creek Records, the critically-acclaimed At the Party with My Brown Friends (2019), Paul continues to celebrate and interrogate what it means to navigate this world as a survivor of generational trauma, and emphasizes community as a healing body. Before coming to BRIC, Paul toured nationally with Devendra Banhart. 

Hailed as “the epitome of soulful” by The Fader, Denitia is a singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist known for her dreamy genre-melding solo project that expands upon her past work in the indie R&B duo Denitia & Sene. This year has seen Denitia collaborating with multi-instrumentalist and DJ Quantic on “You Used to Love Me,” the lead single from his latest album, and releasing her own called Touch of the Sky (2019). Produced largely during 6AM-sessions in her studio on the beach, the album is a cinematic ode to nostalgia and the alchemy of love.

Tribu Baharú | Loboko
April 23, 2020 | 8pm 
BRIC House Ballroom
$15 Adv / $18 Day of Show
General Admission: Standing

Tribu Baharú is one of the leading Champeta groups of Colombia, a style born of sound system culture and Afro-Colombian traditions of the Caribbean cost. Their blend of plucky Soukous guitar riffs, jazzy harmonies, and West African percussion come together to deliver a fun and high-energy performance. The band’s motley sounds and influences come together to deliver a fun and high-energy performance. According to the band, Tribu Baharú’s main objective is to invoke the joy and pride of being Caribbean through dance, using music as a vehicle—which they undoubtedly live up to.

Loboko, Brooklyn’s newest Congolese dance band featuring young star Yohni Djungu-Sungu, opens the night with its post-soukous dance punk, a wall of fiery guitars, pounding bass and drums, and animated vocals. Drawing on the richness of Congolese music history and the multi-cultural diasporic experience of life in New York City, Loboko creates a raw contemporary sound that inspires non-stop dancing. 

About BRIC 
BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, and one of the largest in New York City. The organization presents and incubates work by artists and media-makers that reflects the diversity of New York. BRIC programs reach hundreds of thousands of people each year.
BRIC’s main venue, BRIC House, offers a public media center, a major contemporary art exhibition space, two performance spaces, a glass-walled TV studio and artist work spaces.
Some of BRIC’s most acclaimed programs include the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park; groundbreaking media initiatives, including BRIC TV, BRIC Radio, and Brooklyn Free Speech; and renowned contemporary art exhibitions. BRIC also offers education and community-building programs at BRIC House and throughout Brooklyn.
In addition to making cultural programming genuinely accessible, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. BRIC is unusual in both presenting exceptional cultural experiences and nurturing individual expression. This dual commitment enables BRIC to most effectively reflect New York City’s innate cultural richness and diversity.

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About Gotham 
Gotham is a 5th generation New York-based family real estate developer, owner, and manager with a legacy dating back over a century. Gotham’s three business divisions, Gotham Development, Gotham Properties, and Gotham Hospitality, offer a diverse and evolving portfolio of luxury rentals, condominiums, retail, and mixed-use spaces, a full-service property management business, and the artisanal food halls Gotham West Market and Gotham Market at The Ashland. Gotham has built over 40 million square feet of space, including office buildings, hospitals, schools, retail centers, and 35,000 apartments. The firm currently owns/is developing 4.1 million square feet, of which it manages 2.3 million square feet of residential, commercial, and retail properties.

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