Monthly Archives: November 2014

R&B Songstress LEDISI to Headline Upcoming ‘Interludes Live’ Airing Nov. 29 on TV One



TV One launches its latest installment of HelloBeautiful Interludes Live featuring the Grammy® Award-nominated, R&B/jazz recording artist, songwriter and actress Ledisi. Filmed at Philadelphia’s Theatre of Living Arts, the intimate performance will premiere on Saturday, November 29th at 10PM/ET. Performing songs heralded as her most open, sensual and confident material to date, the one-hour special will inspire audiences to expose their hearts and live in their own truth.

HelloBeautiful Interludes Live: Ledisi features soul-stirring renditions of her past hits such as BravoPieces of Me and as well as her latest fan favorite - Like This as well as other songs from her latest studio effort, The Truth. Additionally, fans will be treated to an exclusive look at the woman behind the melody as Ledisi sits down for a candid discussion on the various influences and training that has shaped her sound over the years, breaks down the meanings of some behind her tracks and shares some of the biggest lessons learned throughout her career. The full performance and supplementary online-only footage will be available on Interactive One’s

This special is the latest example of cross-platform collaboration between TV One and Interactive One that began when the Interludes series – originally only available online – was brought to the TV network in September 2013 with HelloBeautiful Interludes Live: John Legend. Other installments of the series have featured Alicia Keys, Toni Braxton & Babyface, Jennifer Hudson, Trey Songz and KEM.

HelloBeautiful Interludes Live: Ledisi is hosted and Executive Produced by Smokey Fontaine for Interactive One. Leigh Davenport is the Editorial Director for and Jubba Seyyid is Executive in Charge of Production for TV One.

About TV One:

Launched in January 2004, TV One ( serves more than 57 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies, and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK;], the largest radio company that primarily targets Black and urban listeners; and Comcast Corporation [NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK;], one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services.

Rocky Dawuni: African Thriller | 1st single from the African star’s new album “Branches of the Same Tree” out in early 2015 on Cumbancha Records


“African Thriller”, first single from African music star Rocky Dawuni’s forthcoming album Branches of the Same Tree. The single announces the Ghanaian star’s new signing to the Cumbancha record label, which will be releasing Rocky Dawuni’s new album in early 2015. The single will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Cumbancha’s webstore and other online outlets. A new music video for the track will be premiered later this past summer.


“African Thriller” embodies Rocky Dawuni’s unique “Afro-Roots” sound, a funky blend of soul, pop, Afrobeat and reggae grooves that have made him a household name in his native Ghana and earned him a wide following across the globe. Jeremy Sole, a DJ, producer and host on the taste-defining Los Angeles radio station KCRW, remixed the single version of “African Thriller”. Sole has previously remixed tracks for Femi Kuti, David Bowie, Thievery Corporation, and Quantic, among others.

Rocky Dawuni is a musician and humanitarian activist from Ghana, West Africa. Named one of Africa’s Top 10 global stars by CNN, his recordings and thrilling live performances have attracted thousands to his concerts around the world at top festivals and prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Dawuni has collaborated and performed with Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Jason Mraz, Janelle Monae and John Legend, among many others.


Dawuni’s eloquence, cultural diplomacy and successful melding of music and activism have led him to become a passionate spokesperson for various global causes. He has joined forces with Product (RED), UNICEF, the Carter Center and the UN Foundation. In 2012, Dawuni was appointed the Tourism and Cultural Ambassador of Ghana and World Ambassador for the Musicians Union of Ghana. The same year, he was named a United Nations Foundation Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, alongside actress Julia Roberts and chef José Andrés.


Rocky Dawuni’s sixth album, Branches of the Same Tree, is currently in the final stages of production and promises to bring him an even wider international audience. Influenced by the soulful beats of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, the positive messages and deep grooves of Bob Marley and the infectious, sing-along anthems of Michael Franti, K’naan and Matisyahu, Rocky Dawuni’s songs straddle the musical boundaries between Africa, the Caribbean and the US to create a universally appealing sound that unites generations and cultures.


For more information, music samples, or to arrange interviews, contact:

Ryan Romana at Press Junkie PR: / 512.382.7953
Press materials, photos, biographies and more available at

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More About Rocky Dawuni:

Rocky Dawuni on CNN’s African Voices / Rocky Dawuni EPK / Rocky Dawuni UN Ambassador / Performs with John Legend for Women’s Campaign International / Rocky Dawuni performance with Stevie Wonder / Rocky Dawuni appointed Ghana Tourism Ambassador / Best African Artist Award, International Reggae & World Music Awards


New Release: Sweet Abraham Life Stage Part Three on Diaspora Recordings

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From Diaspora Recordings, the label that brought you Peven Everett, Lady Alma Horton, Rich Medina, Directions, Arnold Jarvis, Panyard, 1050 East, Steal Vybe, Tominaga, Nicky Lawrence, Boo Williams and many others….

Sweet Abraham – Life Stage Part Three



Idris Elba to release “mi Mandela” album inspired by Nelson Mandela and late father 11/24 w/ UK and SA talents





On November 24th, British actor, producer, musician and DJ Idris Elba will release mi Mandela, a tribute to Nelson Mandela and his late father Winston Elba, on his own imprint 7wallace in conjunction with Parlophone Records. The 11-track “celebration of South African music” was written and produced by Elba alongside South African and British collaborators. mi Mandela is available via pre-order at Tracklisting is as follows:

  1. Aero Mathata
  2. So Many People feat. Shaun Escoffery
  3. You Give Me Love feat. Maverick Sabre
  4. Thank You For Freedom
  5. One feat. George The Poet
  6. mi Mandela
  7. Tree feat. Audra Mae & Cody ChesnuTT
  8. Home feat. Maverick Sabre
  9. Nothembi Jam
  10. Hold On feat. Thabo & George The Poet
  11. Soldiers Don’t Back Down

Elba’s idea for mi Mandela was conceived while he was in Johannesburg filming 2013′s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. “South Africa has numerous different tribes and each one has a musical expression, and each one has a very unique, different sound style,” he explains. “At the time I had my studio at the apartment I was staying in while I was making Mandela – a little keyboard, a laptop – and as an experiment to myself, I vowed to keep making music.”

It would take the influence of another great man to bring the concept to fruition. In showing his dying father Winston the Long Walk To Freedom film and his enthusiasm for the music he discovered, Winston encouraged Idris to follow his new passion. Winston would pass later that year, and at his funeral, Idris would listen to a selection of his father’s favorite music that would motivate him to finish the album project. Idris’ tribute to his late father is also captured with the handwritten letter that features on the album’s cover art.


Recorded between Johannesburg, London and Mali, the album features an eclectic cast of contributors including Mumford & SonsJames BlakeGeorge The PoetMaverick SabreCody ChestnuTT, and Mr. Hudson who co-produced the record with some of South Africa’s most gifted yet undiscovered musical talents such as Nothembi MkhwebanePhuzekhemisi, the brass band of South Africa’s Future History and more.

“I just want to embody South African musicianship, and what I love about UK musicianship, and see what would come out of it,” Elba explained to Noisey. “Phuzekhemisi, for instance, isn’t exactly well known to us, but he’s an amazing Zulu guitarist who has sold over 30 million records to his own people. I also felt in touch with some producers who aren’t getting the light of day outside of their own townships, yet they are dope.” For example, Queen of Ndebele Music, Nothembi Mkhwebane, is featured on “Nothembi Jam” with assistance from James Blake as well as “Home” which was written by Mumford & Sons.

The lead single, “Aero Mathata” is further testament to this merging of different worlds, blending harmonies from veteran female Mbaqanga vocal group Mahotella Queens over an afro-tech concoction from producer Aero Manyelo. Last week, BBC Radio 1′s Zane Lowe show premiered “You Give Me Love” feat. Maverick Sabre:


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Fans can listen to these two tracks, as well as three instant-grat songs from the pre-order of the album (“So Many People” feat. Shaun Escoffery“Thank You For Freedom” and “Tree” feat. Audra Mae & Cody ChesnuTT) via his soundcloud page:


Fest300 online guide to the world’s best festivals contest: Vote for your favorite festival


Fest300, the online guide to the world’s best festivals, is holding a contest to determine the last 30 festivals of its list of 

Fest300 has narrowed the choices to about 120 key festivals. Festival attendees globally can vote for their favorite events, here

You can see the # of votes for each festival in real-time.

Now in its second year of operation, Fest300 was founded by Joie de Vivre Hospitality founder, Burning Man board member and Head of Global Strategy at AirBnB, Chip Conley.

The contest closed December 5th. The 30 festivals that receive the most votes and the winner of the ticket giveaway will be announced by Chip Conley as part of his keynote address to the International Music Festival Conference (IMFCON) in Austin on December 7th

Alex Gibney’s FINDING FELA is now available for download and rental via iTunes, official website, cable pay-per-view, and other fine services.


Alex Gibney’s FINDING FELA is now available for download and rental via iTunes, official website, cable pay-per-view, and other fine services.


Amazon Instant Video

Google Play

Vudu HD Movies

and via Vimeo on Demand at our website

Cable Pay-per-View  on services including Xfinity TV, Cox and Time Warner Cable.  Check with your local operator!

Black Hollywood Live’s episode of “Breaking Into…Film Distribution with Quincy Newell”

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Want to get into the Entertainment industry, but don’t know where to start? Watch Black Hollywood Live’s episode of “Breaking Into…Film Distribution with Quincy Newell.”  Quincy uses his journey to offer insights on: how to stay ready, tapping into your entrepreneurial spirit (even when you work for others), and what mentorship should look like. Quincy Newell is the Executive Vice President & General Manager at Codeblack Films/LIONSGATE

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Grammy-Award Winning Violinist Miri-Ben Ari Collaborates on Theophilus London’s New Album Vibes




Grammy award-winning violinist, Miri Ben-Ari collaborated with Theophilus London on three new tracks from his album, VIBES, executive produced by Kanye West.  London’s already raved about sophomore effort is available today, November 4th, on Warner Brothers.

Theophilus London went to Twitter to announce that talented Ben-Ari is featured on three tracks including, “Can’t Stop” featuring Kanye West, “NEU Law” and “Water Me”.  To hear Ben-Ari accompany West and London on the violin strings “Can’t Stop”


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Of working with London, Miri stated, “I loved working with Theophilus London on his new album. After meeting him for the first time in the studio, we just hit it off and vibed immediately.  Like myself, Theophilus likes to think outside of the box with his musical approach and I am happy that I was able to contribute and be a part of this fresh new sound.”



Ben-Ari, a classically-trained violinist known for her revolutionary fusion of classical soul and dance music, has worked with artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Donna Summer and Armin Van Buuren. Originally from Israel, Ben-Ari is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post and the CEO of the nonprofit Gedenk, which promotes tolerance to safeguard a peaceful society based on lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides. Ben-Ari has been the face of many promotional campaigns, including Reebok’s “I Am What I Am” global print and TV advertisements, Vodafone, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and now Harman Kardon. She was honored as an “Apollo Legend” by the Apollo theater in New York City, “International Jewish Woman To Watch of 2007 Award,” “2008 Israel Film Festival Visionary Award,” the American Society for Yad Vashem Award, “Young & Powerful for Obama” 2011 Rising Star Award, the “Martin Luther King Award” from Israeli President Shimon Peres and the “2012 Big Vision Awards.” In 2011, Ben-Ari was invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to the White House for a special performance and to be honored as a “Remarkable Woman” and in 2012, Ben-Ari was invited to perform for President Barack Obama.


Ben-Ari spent much of 2014 in the studio creating a new sound for her comeback album in 2015. She is currently the Global Brand Ambassador for Harman Kardon and was recently named Goodwill Ambassador of Music for the United Nations Association of Brasil.


Ben-Ari was featured on the title track of Armin Van Buuren’s (#1 DJ in the world) latest album, Intense, which was chosen as the “Tune of the Year” in 2013 by the ASOT community in Electronic Dance Music.


Up next, Ben-Ari will release her own solo album in 2015. This is her second year partnering with Scholastics Art and Writing Awards for a campaign sponsored by her non-profit organization Gedenk to educate kids about tolerance.


To learn more about Miri Ben-Ari, visit, visit and follow her on Twitter (@MiriBenAri), Huffington Post Blog:, Google+:  and on