THE OLD CHURCH HAS A LONG HISTORY OF BEING SAVED BY THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE IT. TOC’S BETTER TOGETHER IS A VIRTUAL BENEFIT SERIES launched in response to the pandemic’s impact on our collective livelihood.
Date: Thursday, 8.27.20 @ 7pm
Free to Watch, Donations Welcome. Proceeds raised benefit the artists.
Episode 5: Masters of Ceremony
LAST OF A DYING BREED
In 2018, Mic Crenshaw and Micah Fletcher founded Portland Hip Hop duo Last Of A Dying Breed. Crenshaw was voted Portland’s Best Hip Hop Artist by Willamette Week in 2016 and has traveled extensively in Africa, Cuba and Germany as a member of the African HipHop Caravan. Fletcher also known as Kool Chief Rocker or Rocker for short is a nationally recognized poet and spoken word artist who took first place in Portland Oregon’s city wide youth poetry competition called Verselandia in 2013.
Crenshaw’s organization Education Without Borders (EWOB) helps education, music and art initiatives in Portland and their work in Africa, as well as serving as an umbrella for the Portland Books For Prisoners Chapter.
Micah Fletcher achieved global recognition for his role in surviving a deadly attack and hate crime on Portland public transit in 2017 when he came to the defense of two women of color by a white man, which resulted in the stabbing deaths of Ricky Best, 53, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23 in the incident. Micah was stabbed in the neck but survived.
In the wake of the attacks and in the struggle to process the trauma, Micah turned to his skills as a gifted poet and emcee and began to aggressively create the work that is the foundation of his lyrical contribution to Last of a Dying Breed (LOAD B).
Songwriter, music producer, and actor Amenta Abioto is on the cutting edge of all that is performances musical, theatrical, and literary. Her music is boldly mystical and soul-fired, and her raw invoke elements of both theatrical surprise and magic through ancient African diasporic sounds and stories. Weaved into syncopated rhythms and dichotomies of comedic proportions, she brings to the music scene funky academia while skipping vocally from soul shaking gospel to smooth jazz and then onto hip hop rhythms wrapped in West African beats.
C3 THE GURU
Portland, Oregon native C3 the Guru is a trailblazing revolutionary from the historically disenfranchised Portland Hip-Hop scene. The influences of this sound ring throughout his music with inspirations felt from so many great artists including Tupac’s tough love, the psychedelic intricacies of Pink Floyd, battle cries reminiscent of Damian Marley and a free flowing groove from Afro Cuban All Stars.
Episode 4: Anthems
Electrifying vocalist Saeeda Wright will elevate your mind and raise your spirits. Saeeda has performed with Prince, Prince’s New Power Generation, Liv Warfield, Lalah Hathaway, Mother’s Favorite Child and many more. She is well respected for her solo performances with Oregon Symphony and is a fixture at the Blues Festival.
Treneti is a vocalist, bassist, songwriter and producer and so much more. Her artistry always keeps the evolutionary journey of human consciousness at the center of her creations. Treneti’s journey has felt nothing but divinely orchestrated and the miracles continue to flow, opening the doors to allow this music to touch more and more hearts each day.
When Portland natives Antoine Stoudamire and Claire Elizabeth Grace started to collaborate they became “Wonder Twins” — as in “Wonder Twin powers, activate,” borrowing the characters and their relationship from an old cartoon. While both have thriving solo careers, together they make-up the group MadgesdiqCEG. The magic between them is instantly undeniable, the beauty of which is still unfolding. Their brand new singles “Be Still” and “#Champion,” produced by local producer Gulls, are right on track for the times.
Growing up in the shadows of Chicago, Kingsely was raised to the rhythms of house music. She is able to weave between genres and capture the true emotion behind her words with her unique vocal performance. Kinglsey sings about life, love and her personal journey with an unforgettable voice that will warm you up and melt you down.
The Lyric Project is an “anthology love letter to music” and Season 2 is a mini-binge session of short films. Hailing from Baton Rouge, Portland filmmaker Ezekiel Brown is known by his company’s moniker The Chocolate Giant, a reference to Spike Lee’s ‘le géant du chocolat’ from Miracle at St. Anna. In Season 2, How To Say Goodbye, Brown investigates the neuroscience aspect of how we process music and lyrics, asking how music can transport us through our memories, and how outside of a melody, we might not immediately recognize lyrics from a popular tune. FREE TO WATCH. DONATIONS WELCOME. PROCEEDS GO TO EZEKIEL BROWN. STREAMING FRIDAY JUNE 26TH AT 7PM.
As seen on Sesame Street, NBC’s UniversalKids, and live at TOC, Mario the Maker Magician goes VIRTUAL on Friday May 29 @ 4pm for the Better Together online performance series! This virtual experience brings you never-before-released live performance footage from Mario’s last TOC show along with fun new just-for-online segments! It’s all-ages magic through the lens of the Maker Movement, with handmade robots, punk rock slapstick, and more. FREE TO WATCH. DONATIONS WELCOME.
Earnest songwriting, dedication to craft, and genuine care for the music is at the forefront of what Never Come Down does. “We never tell each other what to play; as a group we can feel it when the music is right.” It’s that feeling that Never Come Down creates that has captivated audiences from the onset and is now drawing national attention.
Watch Never Come Down at TOC Streaming LIVE on APRIL 17.
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