Marc Bamuthi Joseph


of Michigan and has taught at Arizona State University and other institutions. His multifaceted music is characterised by violin playing full of electronic, urban and African-American influences. The range of artists with whom he has worked is equally wide, including Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones and Lady Gaga, and many renowned institutions and orchestras. He has composed commissioned works for the American Composers Orchestra (Harlem Essay for Orchestra, 2000), the Boston Pops Orchestra (Woodbox Violin Concerto), Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR (We March!: Concerto for Guitar and String Orchestra)) and Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2017 his chamber opera We Shall Not Be Moved (with a libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and directed by Bill T. Jones) was hailed by The New York Times as ‘the best classical performance of 2017’. This work was also one of the highlights of the Dutch National Opera’s 2018 Opera Forward Festival. In March 2019 The Just and the Blind had its premiere in Carnegie Hall, another collaboration with Marc Bamuthi Joseph. A few months later the two also created Cipher, a kind of mini-opera based on conversations with incarcerated youth, for the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale. DBR is also busy off the concert and opera stages. He was nominated for an Emmy award for his compositions for American sports network ESPN, has been a keynote speaker at conferences on technology and has created large-scale, site-specific musical events for public spaces. Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a spoken word artist and a writer of librettos and plays. In his poetic works, he explores social issues and cultural identity, and in doing so he maintains an unshakeable faith in empathy as a community’s most important element. He was a TED Global Fellow in 2017 and one of the first artists to be supported by the new Guggenheim Social Practice initiative. His awards include the prestigious United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship. His full-length production red, black & GREEN: a blues from 2011 was nominated for a Bessie Award in 2013. He toured with his work peh-LO-tah, in which football (aka soccer) is the focus, to great acclaim throughout North America, including a performance at the 2017 Next Wave Festival. He also wrote the libretto to Home in 7 for the Atlanta Ballet and worked with composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and director/choreographer Bill T. Jones on We Shall Not Be Moved (2017). This collaborative relationship with Roumain continues in The Just and The Blind. He is currently working on In His Name, inspired by the way in which the religious community in Charleston coped with the bloody attack in 2015. Bamuthi is the programme director of the non-profit organisation Youth Speaks and co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day-long festivals that revitalise neglected cityn parks. His essays have been published by Harvard Education Press. He is currently the vice president and artistic director for social impact with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Drew Dollaz is a pioneer of flexing, a form of street dance originating in Brooklyn, also known as ‘bone breaking’, in which limbs move rhythmically in all directions. Dollaz mixes flexing with other dance forms such as ballet, creating an a new artistic movement genre. His performance in Madonna’s MDNA World Tour in 2012 introduced flexing to a larger and world-wide audience. He has drawn over a million YouTube views with his New York collective Next Level Squad, and he has performed on television shows such as America’s Got Talent. Besides Madonna, Dollaz has worked with a variety of other artists such as Rihanna and Skrillex, and for major brands such as Red Bull, Sony, Aloft Hotels and Billboard. Dollaz has been touring through the United States with The Just and The Blind, which he choreographed, since its premiere in 2019. To supplement this live production, three short films were made to draw more attention to the subject of the performance. One of these films, About Face, featuring a brilliant performance by Dollaz, won the Best Short Dance Film award at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival in 2019. Last year, Dollaz gave an enthusiastic audience of over 70,000 at the Sziget Festival in Budapest a foretaste of his latest work, which will premiere in 2020, a piece about bullying called #IMPERFECT (a play on ‘I'm perfect’ and ‘imperfect’). In everything he does, Dollaz is focused on arts education and helping young people find their strength. He supports and guides young dancers and gives masterclasses all over the world. Shishani means ‘crown’ in Oshiwambo, one of Namibia's native languages. Singer-songwriter Shishani’s roots are Namibian and Belgian in origin, but she grew up mainly in the Netherlands. In her work she bring these worlds together. Her unique vocal style has been influenced by Afro-American and African music traditions. Her music is comforting and has a thread of strong social consciousness running through it. She is founder of Miss Catharsis (2019), an all-female group voicing stories by women of colour. And she is co-founder of Namibian Tales (2015) an acoustic quartet delving into the musical heritage of Namibia. Shishani has performed internationally at Glastonbury Festival (UK), Afrika Festival Wurzburg (Germany), Amsterdam Roots Festival, Lake of Stars (Malawi) and various countries including France, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland, Greece, Italy, India, Morocco, Moldova, Latvia, South Korea, China, Jordan, Kenya, South Africa, and her home countries, Netherlands, Belgium and Namibia.