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Ensemble Mik Nawooj + Camille Mai
Led by composer/pianist JooWan Kim, Ensemble Mik Nawooj is a dynamic 10-piece hip-hop orchestra complete with reeds, strings, funky drums and MCs/lyricists Do D.A.T. and Sandman. The Bay Area ensemble has gained national attention with a heady synthesis of hip-hop and European classical compositional techniques (ESPN commissioned the group to reimagine “California Soul” for the 2016 NFL Super Bowl programming). The resulting music, designed for both dance floors and concert halls, has been “dropping jaws left and right with its mix of seemingly un-mixable genres,” writes the digital magazine OZY.
Camille Mai’s eccentric jazz flows from many sources. Feverish samba grooves give way to a languid hip hop swing or a coy bossa nova, while thick piano chords and addictive melodies charm both body and soul. Marrying influences from Elis Regina to Debussy or J Dilla, Camille’s original songs are as finely arranged as they are emotionally wild, exploring extremes of love, dread, and beauty. She is backed by some of the Bay Area’s most exciting musicians: Schuyler Karr (upright bass), Daniel Riera (flute and EWI), and Darian Gray (drums).