KY-MANI SINGS THE BLUES

Photo by Paul Emmans/PictureGroup via AP IMAGES

The 2012 Bam Rhythm and Blues Festival at the MetroTech Commons, which began on June 7 will end on Aug. 9 with eight more artistes to perform during the midday event on Thursdays.

This free outdoor summer concert series features an eclectic roster of legendary trailblazers and emerging musical visionaries of R&B music.

On June 21, Ky-Mani Marley, the youngest of reggae legend Bob Marley’s sons will perform. He has continued in his father’s footsteps with both faithful tributes and new hip-hop infused twists on that legendary sound. The latter can be heard on his album “The Journey,” a rich amalgam of R&B production and Marley’s behind-the-beat vocals, while the former comes through on Marley’s sophomore release, “many More Roads.” an uncanny evocation of Marley Sr.

The funk-punk-metal-ska septet Fishbone will perform next on June 28. This was one of the few bands which stood out in the 80’s. The band’s electicism was matched only by its hyperactive stage energy and exuberance.

R&B multi-instrumentalist Van Hunt will display his skills on July 5. Hunt arrived in 2004 with a brilliant, self-titled retro-soul debut, which featured him as both songwriter and player of nearly every instrument on the record.

A week later, July 12, Shemekia Copeland and NRBQ will be at the MetroTech Center. A forceful soul singer in the vein of Etta James, Copeland swings with ease from the dirtiest of Chicago blues to lazy-day acoustic Gospel fare.

The stage will be set for some Afrobeat, vodun music and James Brown-inspred funk with the arrival of the 11-member Orchestre Poly-Rythmo. This group is revered in its native Benin and is one of the oldest active post-independence bands in West Africa.

On July 26, the Pedrito Martinez Group will be on stage. Havana-born vocalist and percussionist is a former member of the popular New York band Yerba Buena. He is a master of the sultry Afro-Cuban rumba.

Rapper Blitz the Ambassador – the “Ghanaian Chuck D” will be performing on Aug. 2. He has emerged as one of hip-hop’s most respected and conscientious artists, seemingly immune to the genre’s glitches.

The final act will be on Aug 9 with Aloe Blacc. He is a multi-instrumentalists and neo-soul singer who trancends the genre entirely. He is best known for his punchy single, “I Need A Dollar,” which was featured as the theme of the HBO series “How to Make It In America.”

Larry Graham and Graham Central Station and Arturo O’Fafarrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra performed earlier this month.

Past performers have included George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Los Lobos, Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers, Odetta, Amadou and Mariam, and The Spinners.

Getting to MetroTech

The BAM Rhythm & Blues Festival at MetroTech concert stage is located on the lawn at MetroTech Commons. MetroTech Commons is situated in Downtown Brooklyn between Jay Street and Flatbush Avenue where Myrtle Avenue ends.

Van Hunt.

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