Category Archives: events

ASCAP’s “On The Come Up” Showcase Debuts in New York on August 22

 

ASCAP "On The Come Up" event at SOB's in NYC.

ASCAP “On The Come Up” event at SOB’s in NYC.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) brings its digital series, “On The Come Up, to stages for the first time in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, showcasing a lineup of up-and-coming artists.  The first round of “On The Come Up Showcase Series” occurs August 22 in New York City:

CITY:                                        LOCATION:                                          DATE: 

NEW YORK                             SOUNDS OF BRAZIL (SOB’S)             AUGUST 22ND

ARTIST LINEUP

Solo Woods – @IAmSoloWoods
Topaz Jones – @TopazJones
Abir – @XOAbir
Gilles – @SuperGilles
Maya Milan – @MayaMilanMusic
Allan Kingdom – @AllanKngdm

“On The Come Up” is a successful web-based series chronicling ASCAP’s rising urban songwriters and producers. The series has typically featured ASCAP members who are experiencing their first taste of chart success. Over the past few years, “On the Come Up” has identified the industry’s next chart-topping leaders including Miguel, DeJ Loaf, Fetty Wap, Tasha Cobbs, Mike Will, Eric Bellinger and Jonathan McReynolds.

Now, the digital series comes to life as the “On The Come Up Showcase Series,” featuring exclusive, intimate performances with artists tapped to break next. The showcase also inspires ASCAP members to remember success is only one song away.

All shows are free to the public and admittance is on a first come, first serve basis, with limited space available.

For additional information about the “On The Come Up Showcase Series,” go to http://www.ascap.com/. 

 

ASCAP “ON THE COME UP” NYC SHOWCASE ARTIST BIOS

ABIR

Originally hailing from Fez, Morocco, 22-year-old singer/songwriter ABIR’s love for music came when her parents decided to move the family to Virginia, and has stayed apart of her through her latest move to NYC. With a sound as worldly whimsical as her culture and upbringing, ABIR’s focus is to put an effortlessly honest stamp on her music.

After riding the “Wave” on her debut release earlier this year alongside VA-cohort Masego, ABIR returned to the scene with “Girls,” which is an anthem for all the young boys and girls making shit happen! You may recognize ABIR’s unique, sultry, yet powerful vocals from collaborations with Fabolous and !llmind, or even caught her sharing the stage with The Dream, Elle Varner, Dawn, and many others.

 ALLAN KINGDOM

At only 22-years-old, with three viral mixtapes and a feature on one of the biggest tracks of 2015 – Kanye West’s ‘All Day’ – Allan Kingdom is ready to take on the world. The Canadian born, Minnesota based rapper, producer and member of Thestand4rd Crew put out his first EP ‘Talk to Strangers’ in 2013 on SoundCloud and from there his music did the talking with tracks like ‘Wavey’ feat Spooky Black, ‘Evergreens’ and ‘Keep It Easy’ proving online smashes. Kingdom released ‘Future Memoirs’ in 2014 and with over two million streams, the mixtape planted him firmly on the radar of tastemakers and hip-hop fans across the globe, being voted Minnesota’s “Best Hip Hop Artist of 2014” and Complex’s “Top 25 Rappers to Watch.”

Catching the eye of no other than Kanye West, the world renowned mogul chose Kingdom to feature on his smash ‘All Day’ with Allan also joining him for the infamous BRITs performance in 2015. Currently on a US tour, Kingdom dropped his first LP ‘Northern Lights’ just a couple months ago and featuring the likes of Chronixx, D.R.A.M., Jared Evan, Swizzymack, Rex Kudo and Ryan Olson, Kingdom has had early support from Pitchfork, Fader, Pigeons and Planes, Complex.

GILLES

From his tailored denim all the way down to the carefully curated accessories, it is apparent that everything about him is deliberate. Proving through his eloquence and charm that he is both a scholar and a gentleman, Gilles aims to be, above all, an inspiration. He weaves his Caribbean-American, ATL upbringing, extended tours of the halls of higher education, and affinity for tall women and thrift stores all atop a passion for lyricism and word play. You see, what makes his story so interesting is precisely the fact that, like so many of us, he is not just one thing. He is the sensitive stoic. He is the womanizer looking for love. He is the dreamer who “stays woke.” The music is merely an audio collection of those life-experiences perfectly places in rhythm over an 808-laden landscape.

SOLO WOODS  

Creating tomorrow’s music that addresses your mind and salutes your soul, Solo Woods draws on a deep sense of honesty and self-discovery to captivate his audience. Fresh off of a Summer 2016 tour where he played to sold-out audiences across the U.S. while supporting Leon Bridges, Solo Woods captured both dedicated fans and drew a new loyal following through his stripped down set featuring well-renowned and multi-percussionist/drummer, Themba Mkhatshwa. The two musicians fuse together their craft effortlessly producing a truly uplifting experience.

Currently based in Brooklyn, Solo Woods was born in Chicago, and infuses into his music the soul and grit inherent in the city, along with the spirit of the music that he found and nurtured while growing up there. Along with this influence, Solo has been more recently impacted by artists such as Jeff Buckley, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Tame Impala, and D’Angelo, to name a few. The seemingly innocent quality of the music is often confronted by Solo’s perspective as a young man asking the greater audience questions and offering them the opportunity to join him on his course. Solo is steadily crafting more releases to follow that are sure to cross musical boundaries and envelop listeners on his hypnotic path.

 MAYA MILAN

Singer and songwriter, Maya Milan, plans to take the industry by storm with her music by recapturing and reviving the authentic R&B sound. Maya Milan was born Maya Russell on September 10, 1993 in Boston, Massachusetts, however puts on for the DMV after relocating to Maryland at a very young age. Maya began singing at age three, but was recognized for her talent, when she performed Alicia Key’s “If I Ain’t Got You” at her 4th grade talent show.

Maya Milan has a unique, but relatable “homegirl” charm about her, which is evident in her music. Self- described as the Urban “Girl Next Door”, representing the underdogs, Maya’s music genuinely and soulfully chronicles life from a twenty-two year old woman’s perspective. Her music offers timeless nostalgic appeal with a fresh approach. Maya’s 2014 “So Wassup”, followed by her brand new “Another One”, from her upcoming EP entitled “11:11” highlight her smooth yet, dynamic, signature sound.

Maya has performed for several large crowds, and has opened for several notable artists such as K.Michelle, Rick Ross, Fabolous, and J.Cole, to name a few. She has had the pleasure of recording with Mali Music, and even got to sing live for Timbaland. Maya has also had the opportunity to attend a master songwriters session with James Fauntleroy. Maya Milan is a fresh and eager artist ready to redefine R&B. She has accomplished much as an independent artist, and looks forward to continuing her grind as she solidifies her place in the music industry.

TOPAZ JONES

At 23 years of age, Topaz Jones has established himself as a distinctive leader among up-and-coming performers. Jones has received praise for his “charismatic storytelling” (XXL Magazine), “pure lyricism” (Okayplayer), and “skill for melodic hooks that can push rappers above the internet scrapheap” (Pigeons and Planes).

Throughout his two years touring, Topaz created his funk and hip-hop inspired follow-up, ARCADE. Leading up to the album release, Topaz dropped “Powerball” — an homage to funk’s forefathers, channeling Maurice White’s elastic vocals and evoking the psychedelic theatrics of George Clinton and P-Funk. “Powerball” succeeds Topaz’s summer smash, “Tropicana,” also praised by Pitchfork and Pigeons & Planes for its “irrepressible hook,” “West Coast G-funk… Stankonia swagger, and a lot of lyrical agility.” His third single,”Motion Sickness” was premiered by Billboard and produced by Episode and Thelonious Martin.

He’s been getting a lot of love so far from the likes of Apple Music Beats 1 host Ebro (Discovered on Apple Music Feature), BBC Radio’s DJ Semtex, Spotify (“Tropicana” debuted at #4 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50), and Pitchfork Best New Track for “Powerball.”

His critically acclaimed debut The Honeymoon Suite, featured appearances from producer friend Thelonious Martin and a verse from Odd Futures’ Hodgy Beats. The buzz from the project landed Topaz on stage with many of hip hop and R&B’s most exciting names including Travis Scott, Jerimih, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean and Future. His follow-up album ARCADE is due later this year.

This looks to be such a great show with great talent we will be talking about very soon.

 

 

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“Queen Sugar” Cocktail Reception at Essence Fest

QueenSugar

Photo used with permission from OWN:The Oprah Winfrey Network

On Saturday, July 2, 2016, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network continued its “Queen SugarEssence Festival takeover with a Q&A on the festival mainstage — moderated by Essence entertainment director Cori Murray — featuring the cast and show creator Ava DuVernay; an inspiring keynote speech by “Queen Sugar” executive producer Oprah Winfrey; and a culminating cocktail reception at Legacy Kitchen, where over 200 industry insiders and tv personalities celebrated the new series.

 “Queen Sugar” cast members Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, Omar Dorsey, Tina Lifford, Dondre Whitfield, Nicholas Ashe and Bianca Lawson graced the red carpet at the reception, followed by DuVernay, Gayle King and Ms. Winfrey herself. Additional attendees included: Lynn Whitfield (“Greenleaf”), Tina Knowles Lawson, Richard Lawson, “The Real” hosts Adrienne Bailon, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai; singer Lalah Hathaway; “Love Thy Neighbor” cast Patrice Lovely and Darmirra Brunson; “Survivor’s Remorse” cast Tichina Arnold, Jessie T. Usher,  Erica Ash and Allen Maldonado; “POWER” cast Lela Loren and Joseph Sikora; “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker; broadcast journalist/producer Soledad O’Brien, Bozoma Saint John (Head of Global Consumer Marketing, Apple Music & iTunes); Mona Scott-Young (Monami Entertainment); Stevie J (“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”); “Married to Medicine” cast Dr. Heavenly, Mariah Huq and Lisa Nicole Cloud; Gocha Hawkins (“LA Hair”), Tameka Foster, American Idol’s La’Porsha Renae and so many more.

Queen Sugar” will debut as a two-night event on Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7 at 10PM ET/PT on OWN. The series will regularly air Wednesday nights at 10PM ET/PT for the remainder of its 13-episode first season.

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Amber Riley Performs at the Pre-BET Experience Event on June 22, 2016

8b009bc0cfbda83128bf7a0e3ac4bfceOn Wednesday, June 22, 2016, B.O.E & Samurai presented “The MAJOR. Effect.” For the event, they presented singer Amber Riley and Grammy Award nominated mega-producer Harmony Samuel’s new artist MAJOR., as they performed exclusively at Hotel Café located at 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

 Amber Riley as fans know, has appeared in shows such as Glee. She is also known for winning season 17 of Dancing with the Stars. MAJOR is the fresh new face and voice of soul-pop music, but he’s no stranger to the music industry having written for Ariana Grande, Nathan Sykes and EPIC Records’ “Think Like A Man Too” original motion picture soundtrack. Currently, MAJOR’s debut single “Why I Love You” is currently trending at #34 on the Urban AC Chart. There is a meaning behind his birth name MAJOR. (spelled with all caps and a period at the end) but even more purpose behind his music. The multi-faceted singer delivers a soulful-pop sound to the new age; while giving a mix between Bruno Mars meets John Legend with a hint of Maxwell on steroids. MAJOR.’s distinct voice and cool presence gives birth to a sexy aura that he exudes from the inside out.

This event is held just before the ground breaking BET Experience in LA. To listen to music by MAJOR, specifically, “Keep On” & “Why I Love You”, visit his page on Sound Cloud. For information on Amber, follow her on social media, via Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram.
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Amateur Night at Apollo: Nothin’ But Soul with special guest star Deborah Cox

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Singer Deborah Cox sings during Amateur Night at the Apollo.

On Wednesday, June 15th, in celebration of Black Music Month, the world famous Apollo Theater presented an especially “soulful” edition of its signature show with Amateur Night: Nothin’ But Soul. During this themed Amateur Night contestants payed homage to Soul and R&B legends who have graced the Apollo stage by giving performances that are based on the root of soul music. As a treat, GRAMMY-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Deborah Cox performed during this soulful night for the fans.

Deborah Cox is an award-winning singer/songwriter, Broadway star and philanthropist best known for her 1998 breakout smash hit “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” which set a record as the longest-running No. 1 R&B single in the United States, reigning the charts for 14 consecutive weeks. Deborah continued as a fixture on the top of the charts, with six Billboard Top 20 R&B singles in addition to an impressive 12 Billboard #1 U.S. Dance hits. Since then, the Grammy-nominated Canadian superstar has been pushing past boundaries, from her versatility as a vocalist to her activism work supporting charities for women in need and LGBTQ rights to starring in Broadway musicals Aida and Jekyll & Hyde. Her repertoire expands with her latest roles as two of her childhood heroes: the legendary Josephine Baker in the riveting Broadway-bound production Josephine and the Rachel Marron role in the upcoming live theatrical adaptation of The Bodyguard.

“Every year, during Black Music Month, we celebrate Amateur Night’s musical roots with our contestants all performing classic soul and R&B songs as a way of rekindling and preserving the rich musical history of soul music and its pioneers. We’re talking classics like James Brown, Chaka Khan, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and more,” said Amateur Night producer Marion J. Caffey. “And we are excited to welcome our special guest artist, Deborah Cox back to the Apollo stage. She’s a multi-talented artist and an incredible performer. It’s sure to be a soulful night!”
Comedian Capone hosts Amateur Night at the Apollo.

Comedian Capone hosts Amateur Night at the Apollo.

Since its inception in 1934, Amateur Night has been one of New York City’s most popular live entertainment experiences, launching the careers of thousands of performers and attracting audiences from all over the world. The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience where up-and-coming talent feels the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, and where audience response can help make or break a career.

The show was hosted by comedian Capone. In addition, Amateur Night also featured staples like CP Lacey in the role of the “Executioner” (the character who sweeps “booed” contestants off the stage), Joe Gray the “Set It Off Man,” and the Apollo’s Amateur Night house band led by music director, Michael Mitchell.

While Amateur Night draws a large crowd each week, there are some night the Apollo grants guests an extra special night which is really mostly what the world famous Apollo Theater has always been know to do.

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The 2016 Spring Gala at The Apollo Theater

On Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7pm, The Apollo Theater held it’s annual Spring Gala. This year, the gala featured a star-studded line up for its 11th Annual Spring Gala—its biggest fundraising event of the year. The concert portion of the evening featured performances by legendary R&B group, The O’Jays, and rising star Leon Bridges and Andra Day and was hosted by LL COOL J.

8dba700a2f48429504d4daaf5ab302f2The Apollo Theater is a launching pad for up-and-coming artists through programs like Amateur Night, Apollo Music Café, and the new Apollo Comedy Club and, at this year’s Spring Gala; we’re excited not only to showcase the legends that have paved the way, but to also give a platform to the voices and talent of today. In addition to artistic programming and initiatives, our annual Spring Gala helps to support our educational programs that help nurture the creative spirit of music and culture in Harlem and across the world,” stated Jonelle Procope, president & CEO of The Apollo Theater.

Each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo also recognizes a corporation for its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. This year’s recipient of the Corporate Award is Viacom. Philippe Dauman, executive chairman, president and CEO of Viacom, will accept on behalf of the organization. The Award portion of the evening will be hosted by Jonelle Procope with the Corporate Award being presented by Charles Phillips.

Mr. Dauman said, “It is a great honor to accept the corporate award for community leadership from an institution as legendary as the Apollo Theater. Our organizations share a deep commitment to advancing creative voices in American culture and honoring African-American artists, and Viacom applauds their outstanding work.”

Apollo Theater CEO Jonelle Procope and Entertainment exec Richard Parsons.

Apollo Theater CEO Jonelle Procope and Entertainment exec Richard Parsons.

The Theater also announced that it will induct the one and only Prince into its Walk of Fame in honor of his incomparable contributions to music over the course of 40 years.

Prince joins previous Apollo Walk of Fame inductees—all legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo, including: Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard and Ella Fitzgerald. Inductees are honored with a plaque on the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.

Procope states, “The Apollo family was of course, devastated to hear about the loss of Prince. He is, hands down, one of the greatest artists of all time – an absolute genius – and his relationship with the Apollo dates back to 1993. Over the years, we’ve been honored to host him, whether for a seminal New York performance or as a guest in our audience, so we are beyond thrilled to kick off this year’s Spring Gala by inducting him into the Apollo Walk of Fame.”

The Apollo Spring Gala began with a special ceremony to induct legendary recording artist Prince into the Apollo Walk of Fame which was held that afternoon, and continued with red carpet arrivals followed by an award ceremony and a concert with Musical Director Ray Chew (Dancing with the Stars) at the helm. The evening also included special tributes to the trailblazing artists that have been lost in 2016. The night culminated with a much buzzed about after party held in a stylish tent created by celebrity event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck. This year’s after party featured a special Let’s Go Crazy Dance Tribute with DJ D-Nice spinning a dedicated set to the sounds of Prince’s diverse and extensive catalogue.

The 2016 Spring Gala event was a massive success with each year being as great as the next. For more information on the Apollo Theater, visit their website. You can also keep up with events via social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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BCBGMaxAzria and Magnum Belgian Unveils Chocolate Wrap

WrapFor all of the people who enjoy luxurious items, there is great news for fashionistas and chocolatelovers. Two iconic brands have come together to create something so awesome for women all over the world. BCBGMAXAZRIA and MAGNUM Belgian Chocolate Wrap have created a fashion wrap infused with the irresistible aroma of Belgian Chocolate, that will be available nationwide from July 23-26 as a gift with purchase of $300+ of full price items in select BCBGMAXAZRIA stores and online exclusively at bcbg.com (while supplies last). And with July being National Ice Cream Month this is a fun added hook for all to create interest in the item.

This very unique and custom made fashion accessory was unveiled by BCBGMAXAZRIA and MAGNUM Ice Cream at an exclusive presentation on April 28, 2015 at the BCBGMAXAZRIA Flagship store in New York City. As a result, women across the US will be able to enjoy the one-­‐of-­‐a-­‐kind Belgian Chocolate Wrap available as a limited edition ‘gift with purchase’ in select BCBGMAXAZRIA stores nationwide this summer. This is definite treat for fashion lovers.

In addition, chocolate lovers can also experience the #MAGNUM effect by enjoying America’s favorite MAGNUM variety which include the following: the MAGNUM Double Caramel Ice Cream bar and new MAGNUM Double Peanut Butter, made with Belgian Chocolate, rich peanut butte ice cream, and peanut butter sauce. This is truly fashion mixed with chocolate and is a win for both brands.

For more information on other flavors, go to magnumicecreamus.com. And be sure to share with friends, family and other chocolate and fashion fans.

The Comeback Kings Viewing Party on July 17, 2015

EdLoverThere is nothing like a rebirth, or a re-emergence in life. Whether it is a career or some other type of business there is always a good time for someone or something to be reinvented. This is what has been happening with some of the most popular legends on hip hop. You can call it a Comeback, but the Comeback Kings are showing they have so much more to offer. On, Friday, July 15, 2015 the music and hip hop audience go a taste of the second installment of The Comeback Kings with their viewing party.

The Comeback Kings is 30 Minute “Scripted” Reality TVComedy Series and they are launching all new shows weekly for their audience. The viewing party was held in
midtown New York city at SUITE 36 located 16 West 36th Street.

There was press and other industry VIPs in attendance along with the chance for audience members to meet and great the cast. The current cast includes: Ed Lover, Anthony “Treach” Criss, Dupre “Doitall” Kelly, Mr. Cheeks, Black Rob, Jermaine Hopkins, “Talent” Harris, June Balloon, Super Producer Jameio & Nashawn Kearse.

The cast who attended the viewing party were: Ed Lover, Dupre “Doitall” Kelly, Mr. Cheeks, Black Rob, and Nashawn Kearse. The audience, their guests and press were the first to see the first episode of the new season, followed by an after party. For more information on the show and cast bios, visit their website at: http://www.comebackkings.co/aboutus.html

VIPs Celebrate Sports History at Original Tee Golf Classic on July 19, 2015

OrginalTeeThe hot weather in New York and New Jersey did not stop the execution of a great celebration. Yesterday, the Original Tee Golf Classic held its 16th tournament at Wild Turkey Golf Club in Hamburg, N.J. Over 250 VIPs from various industries participated in the all-day event which honored golf legend Lee Elder for breaking the color barrier at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, GA forty years ago.

Attendees included supermodel Beverly Johnson, radio/tv host Roland Martin, Wendell Haskins (founder, Original Tee Golf Classic), Iain Page (FOX29 Philadelphia anchor), Keith Clinkscales (CEO, REVOLT), Len Burnett (Publisher, UPTOWN), Sharon Harris (Microsoft), golf phenoms Amari “Tigress” Avery and Alona Avery, entertainment attorney Matt Middleton, Jeff Sanchez (NBA Senior Manager, Event Activation), designer Tony Shellman, Derrin Woodhouse (Samsung), Michael Davis (Philadelphia Eagles), Shante Bacon (founder, 135th Street Agency), Dres from Black Sheep, advertising exec Malcolm Gillian, Byron Kirkland (manager of Machine Gun Kelly), Kevin Peck (manager of Dru Hill), Lenny Singletary (BNY Mellon), Kainon Jasper (Bridge Intelligence Group), Latoya Finney (Asst. VP at Barclays Capital), Frank Fraley (Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce), Michael Vann (former owner of The Shark Bar) and Jim Kelly III.

Guests enjoyed on-site haircuts by Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop from Harlem; an all-day open bar courtesy of Zacapa Rum and Ciroc; a silent auction of sports memorabilia; and clinics hosted by PGA professionals who introduced 25 novice attendees to the game of golf. Golf coach Buddy Cooper led the Nine-Hole Youth Competition along with several PGA professionals including NFPGA Section Member Anthony G. Stepney (UMES DiversitiTee Golf & ProjectNext Tee), New Jersey Section Members Jim Famula (Raritan Golf Center), Bill Nightingale (Life Member) and Hal Myers (Life Member).

Later that evening at the Awards Dinner hosted by Iain Page, Beverly Johnson – last year’s True Original honoree – presented Elder with this year’s True Original Award. Tournament winners included golfers Henry Lopez and Greg Lewis for the adult competition, and Khalid Page, Diana McCready and Alona Avery for the youth competition. For more information on the Original Tee Golf Classic, visit www.originaltee.com. You can also keep in touch with other events on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

Photos: Stephen Knight

The 2015 American Black Film Festival Round Up and Awards Ceremony

ABFFSunday, June 14, 2015 was the final day of the American Black Film Festival with included the Awards and a closing night reception. The overall event this year ran from June 11th to the 14th and was hosted at the New York Hilton located on 6th Avenue between 53rd and 54th. The list included a wide array of fun filled and educational events. There were film and TV panels, film screenings, one on one talks with celebrities and parties. Also, there were opportunities to do quite a bit of networking.

The American Black Film Festival also known as ABFF is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators merit the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. This year marked the 19th annual event and the Festival attracts a core audience of artists, entertainment executives and upscale film devotees from around the world, and is the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts.

This year, some of the celebrities invited to be a part of the festival were: Ambassador Taraji P. Henson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Larry Wilmore, Jenifer Lewis. Also in attendance was Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Dondre Whitfield, Garcelle Beauvais, Essence Atkins, Malinda Williams, Terri J. Vaughn, Chris Spencer, Godfrey.

The ABFF supports artists in unprecedented ways, and has fostered a tremendous amount of goodwill in the Hollywood community. Extremely newsworthy, the ABFFgenerates more than a billion media impressions each year and has been featured in mainstream, as well as African American, entertainment and trade media outlets including The 37 New York Times, People Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and AOL Huffington Post to name a few. Top-­-tier corporations engage in partnerships with the ABFF to promote their brands, services and multicultural initiatives to the Festival’s highly desirable audience.

Director Rick Famuyiwa’s “DOPE” to Host NY Premiere at The 19th ABFF

Jeff&TarajiThursday, June 11, 2015 is officially the kickoff for the always exciting American Black Film Festivaland to get things started as usual is the premiere film. This year, film director Rick Famuyiwa’s critically acclaimed film, Dope, sponsored by the Motion Picture

Dope is one of the most buzzed and talked about film releases of the 2015 summer season. ABFF CEO and Founder Jeff Friday says, “Dope couldn’t be a more fitting film to open the festival. Rick Famuyiwa has taken a classic genre and told a unique story within it, combining all the elements that make a great film-­‐-­‐outstanding writing, directing, cast and music. Our audience will truly enjoy the journey,” The mission of the ABFF is to promote quality Black films to a wide range of audiences, and to encourage investment and artistic collaboration. “We are excited to continue enhancing our ongoing partnership with the American Black Film Festival by sponsoring this year’s Opening Night Film. I would like to give a big thank-­‐you to our good friends at Open Road Films for collaborating with us to bring their fantastic film, Dope, to the festival audience. Having a film of this caliber, as well as exclusive previews from the MPAA’s member studios’ upcoming slate of films, will ensure a wonderful experience for all those in attendance,” says MPAA CEO and Chairman Senator Chris Dodd. Dope is a coming-­‐of-­‐age comedy/drama for the post hip-­‐hop generation; its main characters are obsessed with ‘90s hip-­‐ hop. Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is warily surviving life in “The Bottoms” in Los Angeles, while juggling college applications, academic interviews and SATs. His dream is to attend Harvard. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into a gritty adventure filled with offbeat characters and bad choices that could allow him to go from being a geek to being dope to ultimately being himself. Open Road Films will release the film nationwide on June 19, 2015.

The film Dope stars Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky, Chanel Iman and Quincy Brown and is produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station). Pharrell Williams, Michael Y. Chow (Fruitvale Station), Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar) and David Lonner are executive producers. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is co-­‐executive producer, and Mimi Valdes and Caron Veazy are co-­‐producers.

Following the screening, the ABFF will host an old-­‐school hip-­‐hop after-­‐party to celebrate Dope at Stage 48, 605 West 48th Street, NYC. The evening will be hosted by the legendary Doug E. Fresh and perfectly mixed sounds provided by former Boogie Down Productions member DJ D-­‐Nice. There will be special performances by iconic hip-­‐ hop artists throughout the party. Dope will also have an encore screening during the festival on Sunday, June 14, at the AMC Empire 25 Theatre on 42 nd Street in New York City.

For festival passes, tickets and additional information, visit: www.ABFF.com. Definitely take a moment to follow ABFF on our social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram,

Dope can be followed on the Official Film Site: http://YouAreDope.com and on Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram as well.