This year we're asking our musically and culturally inclined friends to write our evening programs. Instead of a guest writer for the daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, we thought we'd go right to the source, Double G, daKONDUCTOR and daKOMPOSER.
The best gift a composer can be given is an ensemble full of loving and capable musicians to turn dots on a page into music for our souls. The other best gift a composer can receive is a great venue to host those musicians. Over the years, Grand Performances has given me and my different ensembles opportunities to experiment, investigate, succeed, and sometimes even tank in front of thousands of people. The consistent factor has always been a welcoming spirit that many artists around the world have come to love about Grand Performances.
This particular ensemble, The daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, has now entered its adolescence, and, based on the rehearsals leading to this concert, is starting to grow into its feet. Before 2001, we were a ragtag pirate ship that would crash into nightclubs and set up an orchestra. When we first came to Grand Performances in 2001, it was a great chance for a crew of young L.A. cats to bring something from the underground to a concert stage, which is very rare. Now, in 2014, the musicians of the orchestra, both past & present, see this venue as our home turf. Since we haven’t played L.A. in a long while, I’m very happy that we get to do it here.
We’re bringing a lot of new music to the stage. There’s a lot of rap in the show. Getting back to the root of what a “hip hop orchestra” is supposed to sound like. However, the songs that feature the singers, are a special kind of song.
There’s an underground genre of lowrider soul music, that often gets overlooked. It doesn’t get much play on the radio. Personally, it’s my favorite music to listen to while behind the wheel. Chilled out. Sophisticated orchestrations. Gorgeous singing. Anti-road rage, anger management. The perfect soundtrack for cruising in a car you don’t want to scratch.
My Great-Uncle was deep in the lowrider culture here in L.A., and in NorCal. He expressed his love for the positivity found among the people in the car clubs, and how the outlet of creativity is so healthy for the soul. And, it can even get you across town if you need.
That’s kind of the vibe in our daKAH show this year. All about the love. L.A. can sometimes be a tense place. Sometimes stuff just explodes out of nowhere. It helps to have an antidote, and a musical massage. For this moment in our summer, we’re trying to slip in some love, and take us out on a Natural High.