Tag: music

The Space Program Hip-Hop Collective Inspires ‘Fortitude, Resilience and Innovation’

The Space Program, a hip-hop collective of more than two dozen Black, collegiate artists and entrepreneurs from across Oklahoma, recently released the album “Curriculum of the Mind,” which was celebrated April 25 with a showcase at ACM@UCO Performance Lab.

Christopher G. Acoff, aka Original Flow poses with his hands folded across his chest in this black-and-white portrait

Christopher G. Acoff, aka Original Flow

Among others, the TSP collective features UCO-tied alumni and students, including audio engineer Myles Adams; Christopher G. Acoff, aka Original Flow, who earned a Music Business degree at ACM@UCO; ACM Contemporary Music Production graduate James Curd, aka Deezy; and UCO student Makeen Khalifa, aka Makeen.

Portions of TSP’s debut video for the album’s title track were recorded on the UCO campus in Edmond.

“The true essence of this dissertation album was the ability to see the progression of students, particularly ACM students (e.g. artists, poets, rappers, producers, audio engineers, etc.), come together and masterfully create something that will forever be timeless, both in the hip-hop and educational communities,” said TSP’s CEO, DJ and producer Dr. View, aka Stevie Johnson, who is also the former Assistant Director of Diversity Retention in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Stevie Johnson, aka DJ and producer Dr. View, stands with his headphones pulled above his ears as he looks at the camera in this color portrait.

Stevie Johnson, aka DJ and producer Dr. View

He also recently received his Ph.D in Higher Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

“Many studies do not allow students to authentically express themselves in ways that speak to their epistemological and ontological perspectives. The fortitude, resilience and innovation of these students developed a new avenue of hip-hop scholarship that academia not only has to respect, but that will be used as a blueprint for educators for years to come,” Johnson said.

“In short, these students is helping the world recognize that hip-hop and education can and will work together for the betterment of creating social change,” he added.

Hip-Hop and Spoken-Word Collective The Space Program Sets April 25 Showcase at ACM@UCO Performance Lab

The Space Program celebrates its first showcase Thursday, April 25 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City. Doors open at 7 p.m. and showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Admission is only $5 at the door! Learn more at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

Text flyer promoting the April 25 showcase with address, logo, date, location and time. Mostly white type over a black background.Come out and support the collective as they put on not just a dope show, but a dope experience. Merch also will be available.

Formed in 2017, The Space Program (TSP) is a Black collegian hip-hop collective from higher education institutions across the state of Oklahoma. It creatively disrupts anti-Black, anti-Semitic, imperialist, white, patriarchal institutions that oppress Black people, through the creation and production of a hip-hop album, Curriculum of the Mind.

The name stems from the track “Space Program” by A Tribe Called Quest, which makes the argument that “There ain’t a space program for ni**as.”

The Space Program Collective sonically, empirically and ingeniously provides a new “Space Program” for hip-hop scholarship and praxis, both in the academy and the community at large. The Collective additionally provides for a community of Black males that currently attend, have graduated, or stopped out at historically white colleges within the past 10 years, who also identify as artists, rappers, musicians, producers, poets, activists, b-boys, disc jockeys (DJ’s), audio engineers, historians, entrepreneurs, graffiti artists, graphic and web designers, campus leaders, scholars, photographers, videographers and/or hip-hop collegians.

New generations call for new voices, and new areas of inquiry, and this is your notice that class is in session. For Dr. View and the Space Program Collective, it always has been.

Contributors

• Stevie Johnson, DJ and producer
• LaVelle Compton, artist
• Original Flow, artist
• Thomas Who, artist
• Deezy, artist
• Worm, artist
• Jacobi Ryan, artist
• Willie G, artist
• Beety, artist
• think.progress, poet
• Mac Woods, poet
• Day’Quann, poet

Hosted by Jim Conway! Let’s go! #TSP

RSVP Now for Free, Public Masterclasses with Parker Millsap, The Tallest Man on Earth

April 27: The Tallest Man on Earth

Swedish folk singer and songwriter Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, performs a sold-out concert 7 p.m. April 27 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City.

BEFORE HIS CONCERT, the public is welcome to attend a free masterclass and discussion with Matsson, hosted by ACM@UCO Executive Director Scott Booker, 4-5 p.m. April 27 at the Performance Lab. No ticket required for the masterclass. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Learn more and RSVP at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

Singer-songwriter and R&B/Americana musician Parker Millsap poses in this close-cropped portrait.

Singer-songwriter and R&B/Americana musician Parker Millsap.

May 1: Parker Millsap

Oklahoma singer-songwriter Parker Millsap has quickly made a name for himself with his captivating live performances, soulful sound and character-driven songwriting. He performs a sold-out concert 7 p.m. May 1 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City.

BEFORE HIS CONCERT, the public is welcome to a free masterclass and discussion with Millsap, hosted by ACM@UCO Executive Director Scott Booker, 2-3 p.m. May 1 at ACM@UCO’s main campus at 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. (Songwriting Room, first floor), in Oklahoma City.

No ticket is required for the masterclass. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Learn more at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

The events are part of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s continuing Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works initiative.

A Shout-Out to Grammy-Winning Engineer/Mixer Craig Alvin and His Work on Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Golden Hour’

Congratulations to Craig Alvin for his Grammy-winning assistance on 2019 Album of the Year winner Kacey Musgraves‘ release “Golden Hour”!

Musgraves shares the honor with producers Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian; engineers/mixers Craig Alvin and Shawn Everett. Songwriters sharing the award were Fitchuk, Musgraves and Tashian, while Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone were mastering engineers.

COOL SIDE NOTE: Craig Alvin, who moved from Oklahoma to Nashville, Tennessee, to work with musicians, also mixed Oklahoma rock act colourmusic‘s first two albums: “F, Monday, Orange, February, Venus, Lunatic, 1 or 13” and “My ____ is pink.” He’s credited as assistant engineer on the band’s 2014 release “May You Marry Rich.”

Colourmusic members Nicholas Ley and Ryan Hendrix are both full-time faculty at ACM@UCO.

Alvin is on the far left in this Grammy night acceptance video with Musgraves:

See the full list of 61st annual Grammy Awards winners at grammy.com.

ACM@UCO Presents Literati Variety Show in February, Featuring Local Musicians, Writers, Poets

In a multi-act event promoting storytelling and its various forms, the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) presents Literati Variety Show, 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City. Admission is free.

Charles Martin, founder and creative director of Literati Press Comics & Novels, based in Oklahoma City, calls Literati Variety Show a “five-act variety talk program.”

“This is a celebration of storytelling as entertainment as well as a force to give meaning to life,” Martin said. “We are uniting artists from all mediums — music, poetry, comedy, anyone with a good story and the wherewithal to tell it well.”

The Feb. 9 event is presented by ACM@UCO as part of its Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

Martin hosts the show, where he’ll introduce a music and literary pairing by hip-hop act Original Flow and The Fervent Route; a conversation with George Lang, editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Gazette; Heath Huffman, Public Access comedian of note; authors Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall with a performance reading of “The Most Wonderful Wonder”; and Molly O’Connor, founder of OKC StorySlam.

The show is co-organized by longtime local artist, Oklahoma City Arts Commissioner and Istvan Art owner and manager Stephen Kovash. Speaking recently to Oklahoma Gazette, Kovash said one of his goals with this show is to establish a new artistic family in the metro.

“Things are starting to coalesce in terms of Oklahoma writers,” he told the Gazette. “And so I think what Charles is doing here is perfect timing. … There’s hunger for ideas, and there’s pent-up demand, but there’s also a supply that’s pent-up. So maybe if we can get those people together, it’s going to explode.”

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works initiative.

About the Performers

Molly O’Connor:
O’Connor is an Oklahoma City-based multi-disciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her creative and artistic practices include visual art, creative writing, original solo performance work and storytelling. In 2005, O’Connor founded OKC StorySlam, a monthly, competitive open-mic storytelling event influenced by “The Moth Radio Hour” and podcast.

Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall:
Holly Samson Hall and Jeremy Hall write and perform dark folk music as Welcome Little Stranger. Creators of “The Most Wonderful Wonder” podcast, the Halls explore tragedy, folklore and strange, true tales from the back pages of American history.

Heath Huffman:
Huffman is a stand-up comic born and raised in Oklahoma City. He tells jokes that highlight the absurdity of working out, the quirkiness of his religious upbringing and the peculiar world of cheap Italian food. He also hosts two podcasts — Christian music review show “The Praisedown” with Heath and Alex, and comic book narration show “Paneled,” both of which some people (not him) think are very good.

George Lang:
Lang is a journalist who has worked for Oklahoma Gazette multiple times since 1994. He returned as its editor-in-chief in 2017. In the interim, he also wrote for The Oklahoman. While there, he became its assistant entertainment editor, interviewing about 95 percent of film industry’s A-listers and hosting an award-winning video series about local musicians, “Static.” He hosts “Spy 101” radio show 8 p.m. Saturdays on The Spy (KOSU) and he teaches at ACM@UCO.

Original Flow and The Fervent Route:
Oklahoma City-based music act Original Flow & The Fervent Route mixes high-octane lyrical content with live instrumentation and old-school hip-hop delivery. It also includes ACM@UCO alumni.

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Find more info about Metro Music Series events at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

For more information about ACM@UCO, visit acm.uco.edu.

NewsOK: Late musician’s friends honor Connor Hicks with ‘Legacy’ album

Oklahoma artists recently paid tribute to Connor Hicks, a local musician who died Dec. 18, 2017 in a car crash. Late last month, his friends — led by singer-songwriter and guitarist Jacob Mann — and family released “Legacy.”

The album includes previously unrecorded songs by Hicks, who had studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

In addition to his solo work, Hicks had performed with numerous Oklahoma-based acts, including Matt Stansberry, Shane Henry, Chase Kerby and Mallory Eagle.

The Oklahoman published a Dec. 28 feature about the album:

Hearing the completed album was a little overwhelming, said Hicks’ father, Ronnie Hicks.

“… It was probably the thing in my life that gave me the most joy, was seeing him perform and helping him share it,” he said. “So, it was important to me for as many people to have the opportunity to hear it as possible.”

Journalist Brandy McDonnell wrote of the 2017 wreck:

Connor Hicks, 20, and Jeremy Wallace, 42, died at the scene of an early morning crash Dec. 18, 2017, four miles south of Bowlegs on U.S. 377. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s report, which described foggy conditions, concluded the accident took place shortly after midnight, when Hicks’ vehicle, traveling southbound, crossed left of center and hit Wallace’s vehicle head-on.

Both drivers were Ada-based musicians and members of the Chickasaw Nation.

McDonnell added:

As Hicks’ family has been working with the UCO Foundation to establish a scholarship in his honor, Mann worked with about 20 engineers, producers and musicians to create the “Legacy” album.

“After the wreck, I got with all of our engineers and guys that he had recorded demos with,” Mann said. “His laptop was actually in the car with him, so that was kind of an ordeal getting the files off of that. … Once we were able to get those together, we were able to find six songs that we felt really excited about.”

Stream the album on Spotify:

Photos: JD McPherson Masterclass with Scott Booker

 

Longtime Oklahoma musician JD McPherson hosted a masterclass Oct. 26, 2018, to a capacity audience at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The third-annual Music Networking and Mentoring Event was made possible by a partnership with The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Metro Music Series and the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Check out upcoming ACM@UCO Metro Music Series shows at acm-uco.eventbrite.com!

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

For more information about the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, visit acm.uco.edu.

Spotlight: ACM Student Caleb Starr’s Promo Video, Music

Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) student Caleb Starr, a contemporary music performance major, recently created this promo video as a class project. We wanted to share it!

It also features his music as solo artist Leotie, which he recently performed live in front of a sold-out crowd at Mac DeMarco’s Nov. 14 concert at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Bricktown.

Iconic American musician ‘Little Steven’ Van Zandt joins ACM@UCO executive director Scott Booker for Nov. 26 masterclass in OKC

Ahead of his Nov. 26 concert in Oklahoma City, longtime musician, actor and actor Steven Van Zandt joins Scott Booker, executive director of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) for a Q&A-style interview and masterclass. The event is 2 p.m. Nov. 26 in ACM@UCO’s Songwriting Room (first floor), 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. in Bricktown.

The event is part of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s (ACM@UCO) continuing Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

Steven Van Zandt plays guitar and sings during a concert

Steven Van Zandt / Photo courtesy Big Hassle Media

During the masterclass, Van Zandt will discuss his history past and current projects. ACM@UCO CEO and Executive Director Scott Booker will lead the discussion, which is free and open to the public.

Van Zandt’s accomplishments are many. He is a musician, performer, songwriter, arranger, music producer, music supervisor, TV producer, actor, director, Broadway producer, TV and film composer, live event producer, international DJ, activist, historian, teacher and member of the New Jersey and Rock and Roll halls of fame. He is also recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost authorities on both contemporary and traditional rock ’n’ roll.

“I’m thrilled that Steven Van Zandt is joining ACM@UCO for this masterclass,” said ACM@UCO CEO and Executive Director Scott Booker. “His career spans decades, generations and even mediums — recording, touring, acting, filmmaking, philanthropy and activism. He also embodies our school’s mission to educate and encourage entrepreneurial vitality throughout the music business.

“I expect this to be an extremely informative and entertaining masterclass,” Booker continued. “If I had it my way, we’d convince him to stay and he’d be here every day.”

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band album "Born in the U.S.A."

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band album “Born in the U.S.A.”

After helping create the “Jersey Shore” sound with the band Asbury Jukes, he became a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band (and co-produced seminal Springsteen/E Street Band albums “The River” and “Born in the U.S.A.”). He has gone on to become a successful solo artist in his own right, recording and performing solo with his band Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul.

Last year, Van Zandt released “Soulfire,” his first new album in more than 15 years — returning to his rhythm and blues roots. Rolling Stone magazine named the project one of its “Best Albums of 2017.” In April, he released a three-disc CD box set, “Soulfire Live!,” with a 7-inch vinyl box set and two-disc Blu-Ray to be released this fall.

Additionally, his songs have been performed by artists such as Jackson Browne, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Cliff, Damian Marley, Margo Price, Gary U.S. Bonds, Darlene Love, Nancy Sinatra, Brian Setzer and Black Uhuru, among others.

A longtime activist, Van Zandt has twice been honored by the United Nations for his political activism, including the “Sun City” project and film, and his involvement in “International Peace Day” along with Peter Gabriel. He also established the Solidarity Foundation to promote the sovereignty of indigenous peoples and to foster economic development in harmony with the earth.

Steven Van Zandt sits for a publicity photo in front of a set of lockers, wearing his trademark black bandanna, sitting with his arms crossed

Steven Van Zandt / Photo courtesy Heidi Gutman

Many also recognize him from his seven-season co-starring role on the “Sopranos,” as well as his work starring in, cowriting, executive producing and supervising the music for “Lilyhammer,” the first original programming to stream on Netflix.

In 2001, he launched “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” his internationally syndicated radio show, often called the most successful syndicated rock music radio show in the past 40 years. He also created and produces the first two channels of original content on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the Underground Garage (Channel 21) and Outlaw Country (Channel 60).

Little Steven and the Disciples of Tour are back on the road this fall with their Soulfire Teacher Solidarity Tour. The landmark live tour benefits The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation’s TeachRock program and has reached the incredible goal of registering over 10,000 teachers (and counting) to use the TeachRock music history curriculum. Founded by Van Zandt, the foundation creates education materials using the history of popular music to create engaging, multicultural lesson plans for history, social studies, language arts, music and science classrooms, all of which are available to educators at no cost.

He joins the ACM@UCO masterclass before his scheduled 8 p.m. Nov. 26 concert at Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City. Learn more about tickets and that show at towertheatreokc.com.

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Check in with ACM@UCO at facebook.com/acm.uco and acm-uco.eventbrite.com as we announce additional Metro Music Series shows, events and surprises through the year.

For more information about ACM@UCO, visit acm.uco.edu.

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Stay tuned to the Performance Lab at facebook.com/acmucoperformancelab and ACM@UCO @acmuco for updates and announcements about even more concerts and events!

High Noon Showcases

ACM@UCO Songwriting Room, 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. (first floor), in Bricktown. All shows begin at 12:15 p.m. Public welcome. Free admission.

• Nov. 19: Sam Weber

ACM@UCO Performance Lab concerts

329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Bricktown. Doors open 7 p.m. unless noted. Public welcome. Tickets at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

• Nov. 14: Mac DeMarco (solo), with Leotie
• Nov. 18: Current Joys, with Love Seats and The Lunar Laugh (acoustic)
• Nov. 30: Colourmusic album release show, with Applied Music Program and Net
• Dec. 3-4: ACM@UCO Alive! student performance showcase
• Dec. 7: Combsy and Henna Roso (Horton Music Showcase)
• March 3, 2019: Noname, with Original Flow and The Fervent Route
• April 27, 2019: An evening with The Tallest Man on Earth (solo)

Masterclasses, clinics and listening sessions

ACM@UCO, 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. (first floor), in Bricktown. Public welcome unless otherwise noted. Free admission.

• Nov. 18: Current Joys Q&A clinic (open to ACM students)
• Nov. 26: 2 p.m.: Masterclass Q&A between Steven Van Zandt and ACM@UCO Executive Director Scott Booker
• Nov. 28: 2 p.m.: Listening session with ACM@UCO faculty Tyler Garcia (Third Eye Blind, “Third Eye Blind”)
• Dec. 3: 2 p.m.: Listening session with ACM@UCO staff Jennifer Chancellor (DJ BC: “The Beastles: Ill Submarine”)