Nikara Warren presents Black Wall Street, L'Rain, Elysse

LPR presents: Soul & Cocoa

Nikara Warren presents Black Wall Street



Wed · January 17, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

$10.00 - $13.00

This event is 21 and over

Nikara Warren presents Black Wall Street
Nikara Warren presents Black Wall Street
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nikara Warren describes herself as being ‘bathed’ in music and the arts since birth. “I would wake up hearing Dizzy Gillespie, get in the car with my mom and listen to TLC, be dropped off at school and listen to System of a Down or The Who, play Charles Mingus in band, hear Biggie on the way home and listen to Trio da Paz or some Brazilian music while eating dinner. Rhythm was always key,” she exclaims. As the product of a mixed culture family (she’s the daughter of a half Trinidadian soca/dancehall lover, and a classic Brooklyn ‘Round the Way” girl in the 90s), Nikara’s aesthetic is a direct reaction to the music she grew up with. As its only natural that Nikara makes ‘rump-shaker’ music with an emphasis on dancing.

Jazz also plays an important role in Nikara’s compositions. Growing up, Nikara’s introduction to the vibraphone came from her grandfather, NEA Jazz master, pianist Kenny Barron and his years playing with vibraphonist Stefon Harris. “I grew up getting in trouble for jumping on the bar stools at The Village Vanguard. I’ll never forget the day I saw the vibes set up. I knew we had them at school, but I never knew anyone could play them the way he did.” Though that evening propelled Nikara to study Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Steve Nelson and dozens of other vibraphone masters, don't be so quick to call her a vibraphonist or a ‘jazz’ musician. “I am a lover of music and sound, I love putting sounds together”, she says. “People study vibraphone and improvisation for many years to be considered masters of their craft. I’m a musician and I use vibes as my means to create sounds based in love and healing.”

Nikara’s vibraphone playing would eventually earn her a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where she would study music business, and eventually land a job in the copyright department at Sony. Feeling disconnected from the music she had always known, she submitted her compositions and earned a spot in The Betty Carter Jazz Ahead classes of 2013 and 2014 directed by Jason Moran. Here she was able to study under the close tutelage of Jason Moran, Marc Cary, Carmel Luny, Dwayne Burno and many more.

Nikara has has shared the stage with her grandfather Kenny Barron, vocalist Charenee Wade, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Hailey Niswanger’s MAE.SUN and many more. Her newest project, ’Black Wall Street’ is set of ‘feel-good’ music designed as an ode to Black Excellence to counteract the emotional trauma caused by news headings of Black men and women being slain by police. Nikara draws from many forms of Black music and brings awareness to the Black Wall Street massacre of 1921 while remaining positive about the future and emphasizing the amazingness that People of Color have to offer in the arts.
" studio band...that’s a sea of loops: guitar arpeggios, synthesizer burbles, endless layers of vocal harmony." NEW YORK TIMES

Time is twisted on L’Rain, the debut release by L’Rain (Taja Cheek), a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, “tape” manipulator and vocalist from Brooklyn.

Rising on a wave of synths and breathy sax, the album unfolds with electric guitar arpeggios and undulating vocal swells, unwrapping a dense psychedelic arrangement grounded by clattering acoustic drum patterns and the ephemeral soars of Cheek’s voice.

Reversed audio swells in track endings and beginnings obscure vocal content, exploring the same track from multiple angles and with differ-ent meanings. Reprised piano tape loops reflect Cheek’s formal music education, during which she would fixate on a phrase of piano sheet music and play it repeatedly, imagining new songs. The baroque pop as-pects of L’Rain are marked by a childlike levity, deepening and mystify-ing the painful reality Cheek faced as an adult during its production: the loss of her mother.

Cheek’s mother became suddenly ill during the album’s writing and production, but grief appears in the recordings in a complicated way. The lyrics never explicitly mention her mother, as the songs were writ-ten with unrelated sorrow in mind. But by the end of producing L’Rain, the work turned out to be very much about her mother. “It’s almost like I caused her death in some way — the feeling is absurd, bigger than myself, a premonition.”

L’Rain comes off at times as morbid, pessimistic, and flippant while at other times smiley, bubbly, and effervescent. Like pressing play, fast forward, and rewind all at once, Cheek wanted to present a range of emotions through her minimalist experiments. The result is particular and real, yet impossible and panchromatic: a loop within a loop. Take ‘Benediction,’ a field recording that voyeuristically follows religious practitioners just outside their place of worship. L’Rain locates a spiriitual dimension just beyond her listeners’ experience, in the recursive logic of her own hearing.
Elysse is a Brooklyn-based vocalist and composer who creates cinematic, genre-bending music.
The daughter of jazz saxophonist Don Hanson, Elysse was raised on the sounds of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Sarah Vaughan, Burt Bacharach, and Stevie Wonder. Homeschooled through grade school, she attended Princeton University, where she majored in English Literature and joined her first band.

After graduating, Elysse returned to her native NYC to pursue a graduate degree in journalism and culture studies at NYU. While there, she explored wide-ranging sounds and styles while performing in jazz, folk, indie, and psychedelic salsa groups all over NYC.

It was also during her time at NYU that she discovered songwriting, taking cues from her many musical influences to cultivate a panoramic, yet intimate songwriting style propelled by her passion for words and imagery.

In late 2016, she released her debut single “Eve,” which premiered on The 405. Elysse’s debut EP will arrive in Spring 2018.
Venue Information:
C'mon Everybody
325 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11238