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BWLI Students and Committee

Montreal's Nomadic Massive Joins DSA Kickoff and the 'Lift Ev'ry Voice' Festival with Dance Party on Main Street

06/13/2013

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - DownStreet Art kicks off its sixth season on Thursday, June 20, at 6 p.m. with a performance by hip-hop group Nomadic Massive, in conjunction with the Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival as the City shuts down vehicular traffic on Main Street for the dance party celebration.

"It's great to once again for DownStreet Art be such an integral part of the Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival, this year hosting the Lift Ev'ry Voice Stage," said Jonathan Secor, director of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center.

"For the last Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival we had the Legacy Gallery featuring the art work of DJ Spooky and Carrie Mae Weems, and presented DJ Spooky for a midnight concert during the Solid Sound Festival. This year we get things warmed up for Solid Sound with great dance, the prophetic words of Frederick Douglas and the beats of one of the bet global hip-hop groups out there," Secor said.

Messengers of universal understanding and social injustice, the nine members of Nomadic Massive, of Montreal, Canada, established themselves as a group of premiere performers and skilled musicians in a genre that has evolved from its early days of two turntables and a microphone, Secor said. These musical nomads represent an open-minded hip-hop, which finds its inspiration in the traditions of the past; combining live instrumentation, samples, and an intelligent poetry of vocal styles that leaves no one indifferent.

The multilingual, multicultural group reflects Canada's cultural diversity. They have become synonymous with energetic live shows, and have shared the stage with such notable acts as Wyclef Jean and K'naan.

The group also left its mark internationally; initiating socio-cultural exchanges with like-minded artists from Sao Paolo, Brazil (2008) and in Havana, Cuba (2004, 2006). In both countries, these initiatives involved educational and musical workshops, concerts and studio collaborations.

From these enriching exchanges, the grassroots "Get Down" mixtape series came to life; showcasing the collaborations as well as solo contributions from Brazilian and Cuban artists. Functioning somewhat as ambassadors, Nomadic continues to redefine what hip-hop can achieve on a global level.

According to MTV, "Nomadic Massive takes multiculturalism to the next level...to create truly global hip-hop." The Montreal Gazettes says that Nomadic Massive is hip-hop at its finest - "a giddy, funky, pass-the-mic throw down, with smiles all around."

The world music dance party will be preceded by a community read of Frederick Douglas' powerful Fourth of July Address, also as part of the Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival, a county-wide celebration of African-American culture and history. Kicking off that night is the Berkshires newest break dance crew, entirely made up of MCLA Alumni, the DisFUNK Crew.

For more information on all of the happenings taking place on June 20 as part of the DownStreet Art kickoff go to www.downstreetart.org or  call 413-664-8718.