Hip hop, as an art form, is not this writer’s expertise. As such, I can’t comment on how Ensemble Mik Nawooj contributes to the genre’s progress. But I do know that hybrid sounds – combining multiple genres and atypical instrumental arrangements – are the future of music in general. Ensemble Mik Nawooj achieves this hybrid sound in spades, and their end of the month show in Sausalito is worth every second of the commute.
EMN combines jazz, rock, hip hop, and classical music. Their unparalleled live show pairs two emcees with an opera singer, a small orchestra (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, bass, piano), live drums and more – 10 performers in all. Not least among these is composer, pianist, and band leader Kim JooWan. (Pro tip: read his name backwards.) The Sacramento Bee says EMN “prove (that) hip hop is a complex art form” and I couldn’t say it better.
Check out “California Sun,” commissioned by the NFL for the 2016 Super Bowl, and you’ll hear the symphonic fullness, and the almost narrative quality of the music, which they recreate live with incredible energy.
They play Harmonia in Sausalito on February 27th. Harmonia is the name of the membership-driven social club in what used to be The Record Plant – famed studio where Fleetwood Mac recorded Dreams, Prince recorded his first record For You at 19 years old, Stevie Wonder did some of the tracking for Songs In the Key of Life, and the list goes on and on. This ups the ante on the experience for sure. Tickets are here.
Press photo by Pat Mazzera
Written by Annie Bacon / @anniebacon