Monthly Archives: November 2007

Quetzal, I Got Soul: Dallas & New Music Downloads

Please help Quetzal by donating to her as the legendary activist fights cancer so she can continue to try to change the world!

MORE SOUL FOR YOURSELF! With I GOT SOUL announcing the dates as June 13-15th, 2008 in Dallas, TX and reading these Bloom Effect highlights from the last powerful Soul gathering in Detroit, it will make you realize you HAVE TO BE IN DALLAS next year!

NEW MUSIC: Tanya Morgan presents ILWIL:Beat Thieves Volume 2 coming soon | view commercial The group is sending out raw songs for DJs to start putting them into rotation, mixtapes, etc. before the official version hits. To request, send an email to

Ocha Records label head, Carlos Mena, returns with remixes by Osunlade and Boddhi Satva. Carlos Mena has attained a reputation as one of dance music’s hottest rising stars; Here he reminds us that it is his gift of spoken-word that has earned him numerous accolades. listen here | Casamena Podcast


A meeting of souls took place this crisp November 15 – 18 in the home of Motown, of all appropriate places, where we were left will a faint glimmer of hope for the future of popular music… a long, chilly weekend filled with warm performances and parties to remind us in these worrysome times in pop culture – an era of gangsta rap, intoxicated divas, and excessive bling – that there is indeed still reason to believe in true musicianship and artistry with a conscious message. This meeting was the 2nd Annual Urban Organic Festival, which this year also included the 1st Annual SoulTracks Music Awards. And it all went down in Detroit.

When Fusicology was asked to get involved as a media sponsor for the UOF 2007, we knew we supported it simply due to the amazing roster of performing talent (all of whom have appeared in the feature event listings on and other partners. Over 2 dozen classic and rising sould artists performed over the course of 4 days filled with concerts, dance parties, awards shows, music industry panels, film sessions, and networking events. Yet, we still say, this was more like a summit – or an experience – than a festival. Soul artists, producers, musicians, promoters, managers, publicists, filmmakers, and just plain hard-core fans descended on the D and braved the chilly weather for one reason: to blend with “their people” from all over North & South America.

Thursday began with check-in at the gorgeously rennovated Hotel St. Regis on a historical block of downtown’s New Center, and a hang at the new neighborhood watering hole, Northern Lights Lounge, just up the street & around the block, as the UOF kicked-off with “The Heavy Rhyme Experience” featuring local old-skool hip-hop group, 5 ELA, with guest appearances from MCs Baatin (of Slum Village) and Finale. DJs Sicari & Jose Barritos kept heads bouncin. All we know after that one is that we are pretty darn psyched about 5 ELA’s secret forthcoming collabo project with Slum Village’s T3, Finale, numnerous other guest stars, and backed by beats from Black Milk. Ssshhhhh…

Friday was just about our only day to just take in the city with a little site-seeing… such as the infamous Motown Museum, also just up the street from our hotel on W. Grand Blvd – now dubbed “Berry Gordy Blvd.” Early evening brought the semi-formal 1st Annual SoulTracks Readers Choice Music Awards at the city’s convention center. Cobo Center, on the Detroit River. allowed subscribers to nominae and vote for their favorite soul atists and projects of the year via this Ann Arbor, MI – based cyber hub for biographies, discographies, and release info for both classic and emerging true soul artists. Nominated artists from cities all over North & South America flew in to participate in this new soul-centric awards ceremony. The evening glistened with performances and cheer, only to be followed by an intimate VIP afterparty at the Jazz Cafe of the historial Detroit Music Hall in Harmonie Park where we crowded in and kicked-off our heels ’til 2am to the sounds of an all-star jam featuring Angela Johnson, Gordon Chambers, Frank McComb, Eric Roberson, Maya Azucena, Russell Taylor, Yahzarah, Monica Blaire, Kloud 9, Malik Alston, and more…

OK, so we won’t hold back – the winners of this year’s 7 SoulTracks Awards are:

Artist of the Year: KENDRA ROSS

Group / Duo of the Year: KLOUD NINE

Song of the Year: ANTHONY DAVID ft. INDIA ARIE – “Words” (Atlanta)

Male Vocalist of the Year: PHIL PERRY

Female Vocalist of the Year: MAYSA (Incognito)

Album of the Year: RAHSAAN PATTERSON – “Wines & Spirits”

2007 Lifetime Achievement Award: RUSSELL THOMPKINS JR. (Philly)

*For the complete list of nominees, please visit:

Saturday had us up early, despite our very late night out with the stars, for a classic Detroit breakfast at Eastern Market’s Russell Street Deli, just before jamming over, coffee in hand, to the UOF industry workshop on “How To Make It As An Independent” (Artist, that is) in this mean thing we call the music industry. 7 Panelists, including Fusicology’s own Jocelyne Ninneman, Jodine Dorce, Frances Jaye, and our publicist, Fiona Bloom, took the helm with representatives from companies such as Sony/BMG and Sirius Cable Radio to discuss what the most important things are for strivng soul artists to do and expect when trying to make (for real) “out here.” Chronic evolution of image and persona, staying true to oneself, consciousness of goals, business mentality, and contracts, contracts, contracts… were some of the key points in the talks.

A brief networking / coffee break, and then we were still for a few hours to view some recent documentaries on Philly Soul – yesterday & today, Detroit’s Motown-Techno sound creation, and finally, the state of popular music today and where we may, or may not be, headed in the ears of future generations… quite the deep afternoon.

Dinner break, then back to the MOCAD gallery on Woodward Ave. where we had to literally fight for standing-room only space to get up close & personal with Suai, Cel, Jon Bibbs, Melissa Young, Monica Blaire, Anthony David, Amp Fiddler, and the Guest of Honor…. the legendary master of the vibes, Roy Ayers! The opportunity to experience Ayers play in such an intimate setting, and for him to jam with some of our contemporary favorites like Amp Fiddler just took the cake. Amp peddled his own CDs from his shoulder bag from the stage to prove a point – that there ain’t no shame in this game. Then, he prepared to impromptu jam with Roy & the Bamm band on “Sunshine.”

The clock chimed midnight and we zoomed on over to the notorious underground dance culure spot, the JoHanson-Charles Gallery in Eastern Market, for the official Roy Ayers afterparty featuring DJs Sean Sax (Soul On Ice – Tornoto), Waajeed (PPP / Bling47), and Kai Alce (MI / MJQ – Atlanta), hosted by yours truly, Fusicology. A packed warehouse gallery got lifted to the classic soul, funk, and house of these phenominal jocks until the wee hours of the morning…

Sunday found some of us up by noon-ish to roll on down to the UOF netowrking brunch at Lola’s in Harmonie Park. Bottomless mimosas and eggs benedict to smooth nu-jazz and lounge house kept our tired dogs peppy while we linked with so many of our friends and colleagues from across the country. Disco-naptime in the late afternoon and early evening, then back down the street and around the block to Northern Lights Lounge for one last soulful set before we skip town.

Sunday’s closing jam proved that somettimes the most impromptu sets are the best. We witnessed the likes of Amp Fiddler, Alison “Diva Blue” Crockett, Jon Bibbs, Monica Blaire, Sundiata OM, Angelique Nicole, Duminie Deporres, and the ladies of funk-fusion group, Lola Valley, mesh and meld until the humble stage became a beacon light in hip, urban music. As if that wasn’t enough, next Jeremy Ellis aka AYRO took the captain’s wheel for his farewell party (on his way to LA this month) with his geeky MPC & keys elctro-get-up set-up and proceeded to get the whole house jumpin’ to his infamous one-man electro-love-funk set… aka More Dance in Your Pants ;) Then, just when we thought we couldn’t take anymore, Mr. Beatdown himself, DJ Mike “Agent X” Clark got behind the decks to grind us into the tiny dancefloor with a brief, yet solid, James Brown – infused funky deep house set. And that was a wrap.

Until next year… when we expect most of these folks will be busy fitting their outfits for the Grammys or something, keep supporting that quality, conscious music we know & love! (‘Cause Kanye wasn’t the first to do it!)

–> Check out our photo wrap-up here:

*Props to our mad-hard-workin’ Toronto crew, Simon, Jessica, and Kendall, for all their team spirit this weekend!

*Props to our Atlanta & Dallas reps, Jodine & Frances, for playing Hostesses with the Mostesses at several events!

*Thank you to Tafari Steveson-Howard for sharing some of his photos.

Written by Jocelyne Ninneman for Fusicology.


Happy Thanksgiving!

6th Annual Urban Organic Festival and Soul Tracks Awards wrapped up in Detroit with 7 new soul music award-winners, some of the most intimate star-studded jam sessions, and hope for the future of popular music. Fusicology hosted the weekend ending it with a warehouse party after the remarkable Roy Ayers concert. more…

The Los Angeles Walk for Dilla with the “Jay Walkers” team was an outstanding success! Our team raised over $2,300 for the Alliance for Lupus Research, helping to generate over $78,000 in total just for LA alone! There is still time to donate, click here to learn more.

Jay-Z has teamed with MSN’s Control Room to exclusively broadcast his sold out American Gangster tour stop at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Visit to access the concert for free. FYI, his five-date American Gangster tour sold out in less than 5 minutes!

Nat’l Homeless Awareness Month, Bling 47 + Costa Rica

There are over 1 million homeless young people in the U.S. Thanks to the lobbying efforts with the Virgin Mobile RE*Generation Task Force, Congress has declared November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Now we’re helping to collect 1 milllion signatures (one for each homeless youth) to ensure that Congress continues to recognize the importance of this issue and takes action. Help make a difference here

Funky People Costa Rica Tour 2008 ~ Memorial Day Weekend all-inclusive packages – book early, cop it cheap!

PROMOTERS please peep the Updated Event Upload Info

Bling47 exclusive mix CD’s, including the Waajeed remix & rarities collection Re-Edits, Re-Fixes & Re-Mixes now up for sale on their MySpace page.

WE LOVE ST. LOUIS! Podcast live show with Vol. 25 Live at the BBQ with the Hawthorne Headhunters featuring Coultrain, Black Spade, Proh Mic, and Ced No.

Walks for Dilla this Saturday Nov. 17th: Los Angeles and Houston.

Sandbox TV, Darfur Charity LP & VH1 Soul Vibe Awards

Remix Hotel in LA kicks off today with workshops, panels and a slew of producer and DJ Q&A’s with the likes of 9th Wonder, T Pain & DJ Rap. Fusicology is proud to sponsor all the Remix Hotels, see the full schedule

SandBox TV invites you to join their Private Beta and try their new online video player. At SandBox TV, we take pride in being at the forefront of urban entertainment, but in order to keep our cool and momentum we need your unique input as trendsetters. Private Beta will only be available to the first 10,000 people so join now by sending an email to :

NOV 13: Alicia Keys’ new album “As I Am” | No One Video | Pre-Order (link please)

NOV 14: 2007 VH1 Soul Vibe Awards. Vote here for your favorite artists of the year.

NOV 15- 18: Detroit Urban Organic Festival + 1st Annual Readers Choice Soul Music Awards. Travel deals posted here

NOV 27: Causes 1: Darfur Charity Album with exclusive tracks from Black Keys, Bright Eyes, The Cure, The Shins, Spoon & more | Pre-Order


Fusicology is excited to participate as a media sponsor and event host for the 6th Annual Urban Organic Festival for the 2nd year in a row! This year’s line-up is superb, and we can’t help but continue to believe that the 2nd wave of Motown is about to break! We’ve always been quite partial to the D, but there has been some super-fine stuff coming out of a plethora of people native to the Motor City over the past year or two especially, on the undercurrent tip.

Unlike other major festivals that are sometimes so big you get lost, and can’t decide what to do, this Urban Organic weekend is really more an Experience, rather than a festival. Four days of pointed, choice events keep you paced, with some quality time in between to check out what we know as Detroit… the place where uber-soul music was, and is, created.

If there ever was a time to hang in the D, this weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday is it. Truly a chance to enjoy, experience, and communicate in intimate environments with some of the best and brightest in both classic and emerging soul, house, hip-hop, and everything in-between. Detroit was never a destination spot for you in the winter? It is now! Do you think all those Motown songs were written during comfy summer months? Hecks no.

Not only can you feel what Motown sounds like today, but you can also peep what emerging artist from all over the North America are up to, with over 2 dozen performing guest artists from cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and more. This is indeed truly shaping up to be a movement… we might just change the face of popular music… we might just experience what original Motown was like… what an appropriate place for the new soul revival movement.

What began as a one-day affair in 2001 has now grown into a long weekend’s worth of pure soul food… join us & enjoy!

*See foot for travel discounts and other package info.




THURSDAY . 11.15:

“The Heavy Rhyme Experience” @ The Buzz Bar | 546 E. Larned St. | 9pm – 2am | $7 Admission | 21+

Featuring live cameos from Baatin, 5 ELA w/Mudd & Thyme, Fluent, Savalas, DJ Jose Barrito, and DJ Sicari, amd more TBA.., downstairs. Experience what Thursdays are all about @ The Buzz with Larry Fratangelo‘s “One Nation Under A Buzz Jam” featuring Larry, Skeeto Valdez, Pathe Jassi, Paul Randolph, Jeremy Ellis, and special guest TBA… upstairs.

FRIDAY . 11.16:

The 1st Annual “Readers’ Choice SoulTracks Awards” hosted by & Jodine’s Corner – ATL @ Cobo Convention Center | 1 Washington Blvd. @ Jefferson Ave. | 7pm – 11pm | $25 Advance / $30+ Door | All Ages

SoulTracks logoAwards will be given in several categories, including Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Female Vocalist, Best Male Vocalist, and the ST Lifetime Achievement Award. For more info on nominees voted on by YOU, visit

Jodine's Corner - ATL logo

Live performances throughout the evening will feature some of contemporary Soul music’s finest, such as Maysa, Gordon Chambers, Eric Roberson, Maya Azucena, Conya Doss, Kloud 9, and more… join co-host Jodine Dorce of Atlanta as we celebrate the best and brightest of the true souljahs, and recognize the music of those the mainstream has yet to discover.

SATURDAY . 11.17:

Suggested Brunch: Russell St. Deli – Eastern Market | 9am – 11am

“How To Make It As An Independent” Music Industry Workshop @ MOCAD [Museum of Contemporary Art - Detroit] | 11am – 12pm | $10 Admission / FREE for Artists with presentation of published CD. Hosted by Frances Jaye of NeoSoulCafe – Dallas. Panel includes industry participants:

Sabrina Underwood – Sony BMG Artist Development Coordinator/; Frances Jaye – / Dallas “I Got Soul” Music Festival; Terry Bello – Soul 93.1 Cleveland / Soul Lounge/ Atlanta International Soul Summit; Chris Campbell – Author of VH-1’s ”History of Neosoul” / President of Detroit chapter of NABJ; Tonya Byrd – Program Director – Sirius Radio; Fiona Bloom – TheBloomEffect; Jocelyne Ninneman – Fusicology; Kevin Harewood – Edclectic Entertainment; Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier –, and two surprise guests TBA.

NeoSoulCafe - Dallas logo

Urban Organic Industry Film Series @ MOCAD | 12pm – 5pm | $10 per film / $20 for all 3.

“There’s No Such Thing As Neo-Soul” –> 12:00pm

“High Tech Soul” –> 1:30pm

“Before The Music Dies…” –> 3:00pm

“Everybody Loves The Sunshine” – Premiere Urban Organic Experience Concert wsg ROY AYERS @ MOCAD | 2234 Woodward Ave. | 8pm – 12am | $20 Advance / $25 – $35 Door / $50 VIP | All Ages

Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves...

Hosted by Amp Fiddler. Live jam also featuring: Anthony David, Alison “Diva Blue” Crockett, Monica Blaire, Melissa Young, Jon Bibbs, John Arnold, Sean Blackman, Suai, Cel, Kloud Nine, more… Doors 7pm.

“Hip-House… Connect.the.Dots” Official Urban Organic Roy Ayers Afterparty @ JoHanson-Charles Gallery | 1345 Division St. – Eastern Market – Off Russell St. | 10pm – 5am? | $10 Admission | 21+ | Hosted by

*Featuring DJs Kai Alce, Waajeed, Sean Sax.

*Refreshments served.

Hip-House : Connect the Dots

SUNDAY . 11.18:

Networking Brunch @ Lola’s – Harmonie Park | No Cover | 10am – 3pm | Bottomless Mimosas | 18+

With music by DJs Korie & Drake Phifer.

“The Final Buzzooka & Official Farewell Party for AYRO” @ The Buzz Bar | 546 E. Larned St. | 9pm – 2am | $7 Admission | 21+ |

*Featuring Alison “Diva Blue” Crockett & Jon Bibbs with live soul band upstairs, Jeremy “AYRO” Ellis live “freestyle” set with DJ Mike “Agent X” Clark downstairs. Say goodbye to the UO Fest ’07, as well as the D’s legendary freestylist, MPC-pokin mad scientist, Ayro, as he moves to LA!



Roy Ayers funky glasses

Little needs to be said for Roy Ayers. He has influenced quite possibly more people than most musicians, and all the while the master of a rare instrument… the vibrophone. Perhaps that is just it… he is the master of the vibes, as well as several other instruments, a great producer indeed. In a city full of influential, though often unknown, musicians and producers, Detroit welcomes the master of the vibes to play in an intimate jam session with some of today’s emerging raw soul artists – a rare opportunity to experience the grandeur of this master face-to-face.

Amp Fiddler - tie Amp Fiddler is hands-down a Detroit hero. Humble and truly talented, this funk genius has recorded and toured with the likes of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, as well as several other outstanding outfits, including his own ensemble with other powerhouses such as Paul Randolph, John Arnold, Medicine Man, and others. Amp has trailblazed the path between the soul-funk genre and contemporary dance music a la house. He has mentored other leaders like the late J Dilla. GhettoFly or Butterfly? You decide. He is the perfect host to bring so many inspiring artists from several generations together to celebrate soul music in the home of Motown.

Maysa - knotsMaysa is one of those soul artists that permeates all generations and all sub-genres. Born & raised in Baltimore, she was inspired by Melba Moore to become a singer, and upon meeting Stevie Wonder while in college, took off performing with Stevie’s Wonderlove and on the Jungle Fever soundtrack. The early ’90s would then find Maysa moving to the UK to join the hot group, Incognito, with whom she still collaborates occasionally today. She has been releasing solo music steadily since 1995, including 2007′s “Feel the Fire.” Bees & Things & Flowers, indeed…

Gordon ChambersResiding now in Brooklyn, NY, this artist joins us again in Detroit to accept yet another award. Gordon Chambers is principally known as a songwriter. Over the past dozen years the Jamaican born Chambers has penned tunes for a virtual Who’s Who of modern urban adult contemporary singers, including Whitney Houston, Heather Headley, Gladys Knight, Gerald LeVert and Phyllis Hyman. He also earned a songwriting Grammy Award in 1995 for Anita Baker’s “I Apologize.” Recently he wrote the smash hit “Gotta Go Solo” for Patti LaBelle and Ron Isley and gave the Isleys a huge hit in 2006 with “Just Came Here to Chill.”

Eric RobersonERRO aka Eric Roberson is a New Jersey-born leader in today’s soul music community. He is more than a talented singer, songwriter, and musician. He is a socio-political activist, constantly encouraging aspiring artists to take the leap. Producing solo work since 1994, a Warner Bros. signee, Roberson has worked closely with Philly artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and Jazzy Jeff. Recent work includes his acclaimed album “Left” as well as house dance remixes with producers such as DJ Spinna. His natural, unpretentious presence is his signature.

Anthony David - guitarHailing from Atlanta, Anthony David‘s music is a voice of the people. With soul savvy, he speaks for you… and you sister, and brother , and friend, and neighbor. David addresses relevant issues, and life in general. As a songwriter, David is not playing. As a vocalist, David simply has one of those tones that ropes you in with its somehow familiar, friendly sound. This past year’s album, “The Red Clay Chronicles” enjoyed much critical acclaim as a solid body of work with no fluff, no filler. Listen…

Conya Doss Cleveland alumni Conya Doss has been around a minute, traveling both stateside and overseas to perform for demanding audiences, but perhaps she describes her sound & where she’s coming from best herself:”…to me soul music is nothing new – like Donnie Hathaway, Angela Winbush and so forth, it’s just modernized. I grew up on every form of music from Bonnie Raitt and Steely Dan to Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan. It’s hard to categorize me into one genre of music because it narrows your audience and I learned from them all. It’s just good music — and that’s the way I see it.”

Alison CrockettNicknamed “Diva Blue” by Philly producer & friend, King Britt, who discovered her while she was attending Temple U for music, DC-native Alison Crockett has steadily worked her way through the DC & Philly scenes and finally into NYC, where she now lives, to attend the Manhattan School of Music. After recording a smash hit for Britt’s Sylk 130 series, touring with King, and later joining the UK group Us3 for a healthy round, this Diva has managed to release 2 EP’s and 1 LP on her own, not to mention captivated many a crowd from the stage with her trademark velvety voice.

Maya AzucenaNew York-based singer/songwriter Maya Azucena is a hot topic right now among the musically forward & critical. She is a firm believer in music as a tool for social change, and brings a multi-cultural flavor to her breed of hip-hop-soul-world music, which draws other established artists to ask for her collaboration. She has produced with several dance music remixers, as well as world-pop icons such as Stephen Marley, most recently for his new “Mind Control” LP. Both Maya’s solo releases, “Maya Who?” & “Junkyard Jewel” simply tell her story in many textures.

Monica Blaire - no hair Monica Blaire is what’s next. Period. With roots deeply seated in every aspect of Detroit’s music culture, this girl can work it. Singing and performing since she was a child, Blaire has been schooled in formal dance training in both hip-hop & African dance with some of the city’s masters, frequented the local freestyle MC circuit for years, fronted the all-female funk-rock band, Lola Valley, and recently cut her 1st full-length solo album with production team, Silent Riot. She spent the past year opening shows for artists such as Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Kelis, and others. Blaire is presently working on her next project with the lauded Waajeed & the Bling47 crew.

Melissa YoungDescribed as subtle, sophisticated, and endearing, South Carolina-bred songstress Melissa Young brings that warm southern settle to her brand of soul-funk-R&B that has brought her to Atlanta, where she is making her place among the sea of breaking soul artists now thriving in ATL. Having been singing in her own girl groups since 13, Young made her break singing back-up for Ky-Mani Marley, and recently completed her first LP, “Just Up The Road,” on SugaShack Records, from which the 1st single, “Mad At Myself,” is gaining much speed. One to watch for sure.

Jon Bibbs - UnbreakableJon Bibbs is one of those classic gems seasoned in a Virginia Baptist church, where his mother was a pastor. She saw his prodigy early on and invested in his formal musical education, soon producing an elegantly solid singer, songwriter, and pianist. Now working on his 4th CD since 1999, Bibbs continues to remain true to his tradition and works on staff at a leading Baptist church in his hometown teaching music, even at the young age of 24. Although, the tour bus may be calling soon, as his music has been attracting rising demand in Europe and stateside.

Suai - trompeSuai‘s music and stage presence emanates exactly what her name does – smooth swank. This Motown girl – literally, barely old enough to drink, is a glimmer of hope that Universal/Motown will once again look back to its roots in the Motor City for new rising talent, as recently-signed Suai is currently recording her debut album for Motown due out in 2008. This multi-instrumentalist, a Cranbrook grad, has been composing music since 13, and is now blooming into the full-fledge diva that we believe she soon will be. The next Alicia Keys? Catch her while you can!

Kloud NineThis Nashville duo represents the simple foundation of soul music… that we still believe in love. Kloud 9 may be on just that, cloud 9, but they’re doing something right. Opening for classics such as the Isley Brothers, The Whispers, and Maze, they are most definitely “Yearning 2 Love”… and earning nominations for this year’s 1st Annual SoulTracks Music Awards in Detroit, where they are also slated to perform. Already a hit overseas, twin brothers Kelvis & Kendall Duffle make music for the “grown & sexy” that they are finally elated to have appreciated in their own nation.

Cel - Detroit Cel joins the ranks as yet another Motown baby emerges from the rough, this time blending with ease her R&B / soul influences and the innovative hip-hop surrounding her formative years, gleaning her chops in the college scene while attending Michigan State University, where she hosted her own radio show “The Planet.” Cel’s radio work landed her a break performing with the late fellow-Detroiter, Aaliyah, for a NYCHot97 gig in Jamaica as openers for, Ed Lover & Dr. Dre. Soon she found herself opening for renowned artists such as OutKast, New Edition, Dwele, Slum Village, Obie Trice, Penny Wells, and more.

Larry FratangeloWho better to set the rhythm for all of these great vocalists than one of Detroit’s most highly-regarded drummers and percussionists that the unsung hero Larry Fratangelo? Someone’s gotta set the pace… drive the music forward, and the UO Fest is proud to have this musical elder a part of this benchmark event series. Larry has served his time with George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic crew, as well as several other solid groups, now leading the weekly jam session at downtown Detroit’s Buzz Bar every Thursday night where you can catch legends at work.

AYROJeremy Ellis, better known as AYRO to close friends & neighbors, is one of modern soul-funk music’s young geniuses. Bred from a formal musician family just east of Detroit, Ellis soon became the black sheep of the bunch, veering toward the urban funk and soul of ’90s Detroit, and soon moved into the infamous Woodbridge neighborhood where he would create his own brand of live “freestyle” MPC & keys madness that would take large part in influencing the new generation of both dance music and soul-funk-jazz fusions. His live shows are the most danceable sets you’ve ever experienced, and 11.18′s will be his last in the D for a while. Get into it.

Skeeto An animal on the drum kit, Skeeto Valdez joins Fratangelo as one of Detroit’s most loved percussionists… the drummer-on-call of choice for any respected musician or producer finding themself in Motown without a rhythm section. Skeeto has toured with the group King Konga, among other successful bands to play festivals such as Woodstock. He spent the first 5 years of this century working with Phish alumni Trey Anastasio’s new project, 70 Volt Parade, and currently serves as lead drummer for Detroit staple funk-rock outfit, The Brothers Groove.

John Arnold John Arnold sits side-saddle with Jeremy Ellis – his partner-in-crime – as one of the funkiest white boys out here in music today. Arnold’s true talent surfaces in his unique versatility as world-jazz-funk guitarist, MPC freestyle producer, and DJ all rolled into one sweet Detroit dude. Also a resident of the fertile Woodbridge ‘hood, John plays rolls as 1/2 the sophisticated world music duo, Blackman & Arnold, one of techno legend Derrick May’s hired guns, live “freestylist” with Ayro, and most recently, one of the hippest DJs. He has toured & recorded with greats like Amp Fiddler & JazzHead, and is presently working on a project for icon Carl Craig.

Sean BlackmanA sultry secret is kept in this Armenian Detroiter named Sean Blackman, who is known to slink in and out of a joint often unnoticed, yet has caused many a lady to swoon at many an intimate live world-jazz set with dueling guitar partner, John Arnold, as “Blackman & Arnold.” Sean’s passionate vibe penetrates even the most skeptical patron, and it would be a mistake to not include this gem in a soul music weekend. Melding traditional world rhythm with touches of pure human soul and flourishes of improvisational jazz, Blackman should certainly be in your CD collection already.

Kai AlceKai Alce remains somewhat of an unsung hero in the history of house and soulful dance music, never having assumed any kind of airs or bloated ego. Raised in an interesting combination of St. Croix -West Indies, New York City, and Detroit, Kai found music to be his universal language of choice. During the 1980s and early 1990s, he participated on staff at the pioneering Music Institute Detroit house & techno club and studio with Derrick May, Alton Miller, and Chez Damier. Kai’s next move would be to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College, and has since stayed, becoming one of ATL’s top three favorite DJs, and intermittantly touring the world.

WaajeedIf we had to pick a top 10 Detroit artists in demand and on the rise, Waajeed would be non-negotiable on our all-star team. Originally a CCS visual arts student, Waajeed is leading tomorrow’s immanent pop music revolution with his quick-witted hybrid projects spanning hip-hop, jazz, soul-funk, house, and afrobeat. He got his start producing for the hit hometown hip-hop group, Slum Village, with friend & colleague, the late J Dilla, and the rest of the Detroit crew. Waajeed next moved on to form the innovative outfit with another friend Saadiq which became the much talked-about Platinum Pied Pipers. He stays true to his mission to expose as many of Motown’s contemporary artists as possible through his label, Bling47, from his new home in Brooklyn.

Baatin The mad mic athlete known as Baatin will make a rare appearance in an intimate setting during this year’s UO Fest “Heavy Rhyme Experience” as one of the highlights of this already amazing line-up. Baatin was (and is) that crucial sound that makes Slum Village what it is… the humble glue that holds the versatile MC stylings of SV’s T3 and Elzhi together to form what you know as a “Detroit Deli.” His heavy stream-of-consciousness lyrics will have you needing more and wondering where in the world he came from. Lookout for a possible solo project in the near future, as well as a collaboration with the Motor City’s 5 ELA.

5 ELAOnce upon a time there were 5 Elementz. These elementz included raw Detroit MCs Mudd Dogg, Thymezilla, and the late D12 hip-hop feature, Proof, among others. These elementz collided on the regular at the legendary Detroit Hip Hop Shop during the 1990s, curated by Maurice Malone, and frequented by newbie cameo, Eminem. They laced lyrics over beats by neighborhood producers like J Dilla, and after disbanding for a few years and losing a few elementz such as the late Proof, have reconvened as 5 ELA. Their new work involves guest spots from MCs such as Slum Village’s Baatin and T3, as well as production from rising beatmaker, Black Milk.

DJ SicariDJ Sicari is a hip-hop-soul trooper. He has been around since the inception of Detroit’s Hip Hop Shop – a time when Eminem was known as Marshall Mathers – yet you would never know he has such clout, due to his profound modesty and dedication to the mission of music. Re-emerging over the past 2 years to hold 2 of Detroit’s most successful residencies at night, Sicari stays grounded during the day as a teacher at southwest Detroit’s alternative high school for expelled or dropped-out youth, The Urban Academy. He is also currently serving as tour DJ for both 5 ELA and Monica Blaire.

Mike ClarkIt would never be appropriate to host a Detroit music gathering without The Ambassador, DJ Mike “Agent X” Clark, so Urban Organic will send you off with a fond farewell on 11.18 with a solid soul-funk-house set chock-full of rare groove coupled with a special going-away freestylist showcase from the mad scientist himself, Ayro. You just can’t go wrong with Clark, the quintessential Detroiter – a DJ bred on the 7 Mile funk of 1970s Motown, and the quest to make you move – for hours. Clark is one of the few that can say they were an integral part of the creation of what we define as Detroit techno vs. Detroit house today – BeatDown.

DJ KORIEKorie is most certainly the 1st Lady of Detroit’s BeatDownSounds. Her serious involvement in the city’s soulful dance music scene began with her panache for a quality party as she hosted some of Detroit’s heralded underground joints such as “Better Days,” where sought-after jocks like Kenny Dixon Jr., Theo Parrish, Alton Miller, and Scott Grooves spun. She has also proved a worthy vocalist for resident trailblazers such as K-Hand. Over the past few years though, she has joined Mike Clark, Norm Talley, & Delano Smith’s DJ crew, and more recently has some of her first production work underway, slated for release in 2008. Korie is excited this year about the launch of her new 5-piece DJ collective, GypsyPeople, and related imprint, GypsyPeopleMusic, who’s first featured artist will be the notorious & talented local vocalist, Sky Covington.

Sean SaxDJ Sean Sax is yet another name not presently in your household roladex, most likely. Yet, it should be. Sax began his DJ career while attending York U in Toronto by hosting the most talked-about college house parties, and soon landing a spot as radio host / programmer for Toronto’s FLOW93.5 & Buffalo’s WBLK93.7. Yet, with the disappointing turn of commercial radio, Sean has chosen to use Internet radio as his method of choice, presently hosting his “Solar Radio” show. He as shared the decks with legends such as Pete Rock, DJ Premier, & Jam Master Jay, and currently spins as resident for Toronto’s Soul On Ice series.


Detroit Urban Organic Festival announces travel discounts for out-of-town UO Fest-goers!

*All discounts apply to travel / accommodations on the following dates: Tuesday, November 13 – Tuesday, November 20* *Reservations must be made via phone*

–> Northwest Airlines is offering 10% off your airfare one-way or round trip to Detroit Metro. CODE: NMC25.

–> AmTrak Railways is offering 10% off any class train ticket on-way or round-trip to Detroit (Baltimore St. Station, across from St. Regis Hotel). CODE: X70Q-925.

–> Hotel St. Regis – New Center, Detroit is offering $99/night room rate (50% off!) + other discount options. CODE: Urban Organic Festival.

(The St. Regis Hotel is conveniently located 1 block from the Baltimore St. AmTrak train station, and on the corner of Woodward Avenue – the main thoroughfare of most of the UO Fest events. The St. Regis also sits next to and within the primary neighborhood where most of the legendary Motown artists lived and recorded, just a few block from both the Motown Museum & the Submerge / UR Records studio.)

–> The Hilton Garden Inn – Harmonie Park, Detroit is also offering discounts for those making reservations for the Urban Organic Festival. Also located near all event venues.


UO Festival Weekend Ticket Packages

Day-Of Tickets : $125 – $150+ for all shows and forums total.

Advance Ticket Packages : $90 – $115 for all shows and forums total.

*Inquire with for more details.


*Press Inquiries, please contact Talitha Johnson:

*All other inquiries, please contact:

Fusicology logo

*Compiled & Written by Jocelyne Ninneman for Fusicology.

Hip Hop History Month + much more!

It’s Hip Hop History Month and the latest releases and strides made by some of our favorite artist celebrates the month in style.

Congratulations to Tanya Morgan who were one of the 3 finalists in the Myspace/XM Radio “Show Us What Ya Got contest, more…

Kenna’s new album co-produced by Pharrell out now – download the ringtone here

Jay-Z’s coming with 2 releases THIS TUESDAY with new full-length album PLUS the American Gangster Soundtrack. Click onto our music page to pre-order.

Faculty’s new release “Phar from Home” Out Now! preview & order | Myspace. SPLIT THA BILL Tour this Winter, more info soon!

New Saul Williams LP produced by Trent Reznor is available as a free download or $5 Artist Contribution starting today 11.1! download here

Common, Zap Mama kill it @ 9th Voodoo Music Fest, New Orleans. Check Fusicology’s Afterparty pics with DJ Dummy and blog here

Detroit Urban Organic Festival discount travel deals posted + 1st Annual Readers Choice Soul Music Awards anticipation mounts! full info

Walks for Dilla this Saturday Nov. 3rd: San Francisco and DC.

Coming soon, Facebook Apps for each city! As always, stay tuned and happy November!