Black Music City

Philly Bassist, Jamaaladeen Tacuma

The Black Music City Project gives up cold cash for Philly’s Black creatives

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The Black Music City is a grant program that rewards Black artists of sound and vision with funds to create more work. They’ve just announced the 2021 award recipients.

Furthering my sentiment that every month should be Black History Month comes this morning’s announcement that 23 of this area’s most stalwart and inventive Black creatives will receive a split of $48,000 in which to produce new work inspired by this city’s long rich Black music history. That cold cash, something between $1,000 and $3,500 each, comes courtesy The Black Music City Project, a grant program developed in 2020 as an alliance between REC Philly, WRTI-FM, WXPN-FM, the Wyncote Foundation, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and a personal donation by Dan and Marilyn Hauser.

One thing I noticed in this morning’s announcement is that both the judges and recipients of the 2021 Black Music City Project grants are all, one-time or upcoming featured subjects written about by me for dosage MAGAZINE. Of that, I am proud and honored.

The Black Music City Project judges were:
Alex Holley, FOX-29 TV “Good Day Philadelphia” Anchor/Co-Host,
Dame and Yaya Horne, Creative Director and CEO, Co-Founders, Tiny Rooms for Elephants,
Chill Moody, Hip-Hop Artist, City of Philadelphia Music Ambassador,
Ashley Coleman Thomas, Senior Membership and Project Manager, Philadelphia Chapter of The Recording Academy,
Gerald Veasley, President, Jazz Philadelphia,
Dyana Williams, CEO, Influence Entertainment and Award-Winning Broadcaster

And the victors of the Black Music City Project come from a diverse grouping of genres, forms and artistic disciplines:

Shekhinah B-Brown – The Tammi Terrell Project ($1,000)
Digital Art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring the late and great Tammi Terrell

Nikki Brake-Silla – Lily on the Rise ($3,500)
Other: honoring Black Lily at The Five Spot

Zeek Burse – Soul Sista (Reimagined) ($3,000)
Other: multimedia honoring Bilal’s “Soul Sista” album and the strength, soulfulness, beauty and brilliance of the Black Philly Woman

Zeek Burse
Zeek Burse

Kendrah Butler – Sacred Spirituals: Inspired by the Spirit of Trudy Pitts ($3,500)
Music (song, project) honoring the legacy and compositional work of pianist and composer Trudy Pitts

Kimberly Camp – Salute to Marian Anderson ($2,500)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture) honoring Marian Anderson, the American contralto who was denied the stage at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939 because of her race

Stanley Collins – The Seeds of Black Lily ($1,000)
Alternative audio (podcast, spoken word) honoring Black Lily Women in Music Series and the Philadelphia Soul movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s

Anima Danquah – The Sound of Philly Mixtape ($1,000)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring the evolution and influence of Philadelphia musicians

Erin Dillard – Emospacebird ($1,000)
Music (song, project) honoring the late and great Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Black Music City
Erin Dillard

Allen Green – Philly Musicians Give Back ($2,500)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) exploring the role social justice advocacy (protesting, fundraising, volunteering) played in Philly musicians’ lyrics and actions

Noah-Harmony Harley – Sustaining the Sound of Freedom ($1,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Rufus Harley, Jr., the world’s first jazz bagpiper

Victor Jackson – Princess of a Mountain and Referee of the Ring ($3,500)
Woodwork, poetry, aerosol painting honoring Tammi Terrell and Teddy Pendergrass

Oronde Kairi – The Mighty Delfonics ($1,000)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture) honoring legendary music group The Delfonics

Black Music City
Oronde Kairi

Joshua Lee – The Music of Frankie Fairfax ($2,000)
Music (song, project) celebrating the Black dance bands and dancers of Philadelphia during the 1930s and 40s

John Morrison – Culture Cypher Magazine ($2,500)
Book/zine/print publication honoring Philadelphia’s music and arts culture through a creative approach to journalism and publishing

Aniyak Munroe – Before Me ($2,500)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring six musicians who came “before me” in time, depicting their immortality and timelessness through an Afro-Futurist landscape

Warren Oree – Philly’s Hard Bop Sound Machine ($2,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Lee Morgan and the Philly contribution to hard-bop jazz music

Black Music City
Warren Oree

M’Balia Singley – Meet Me On the Moon ($1,000)
Music (song, project) honoring Phyllis Hyman

Monnette Sudler-Honesty – Woman to Woman: Comparing the Lives and Music of Trudy Pitts and Shirley Scott ($2,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Trudy Pitts and Shirley Scott

Jamaaladeen Tacuma – Tribute to the Philly Rhythm Kings ($3,500)
Music (song, project) honoring bassist Ronnie Baker, guitarist Norman Harris and drummer Earl Young (the unsung rhythm section that helped create the early Philly sound)

Oluwamuyiwa Togun – Ààro Méta (Three Stones) ($1,000)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture), title of which is a Yoruba saying that refers to three stones representing stability, wisdom and unity and depicting three prominent Black female musicians who have been or are known as pillars of the Philadelphia music and creative community

CrisTene’ Triplet – Black in Classical Music ($2,500)
Music (song, project) honoring Philadelphian Marian Anderson and the contribution of Blacks in classical music

Yolanda Ward – Back In The Day ($1,000)
Physical art (painting, drawing, sculpture) honoring Philly Soul (In A Time When Music Filled Your Every Moment)

Black Music City
Yolanda Ward

Kyra Williams – SIMBY Presents: The Voices of Sisterly Affection ($2,000)
Digital art (photography, videography, illustration) honoring the lasting contributions that Black women from Philly have made in music, from Billie Holiday to Tierra Whack

The only thing more interesting and exciting than seeing this list of grantees is imagining what all of this will look and sound like when they’re completed and released.

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