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CHOCOLATE GENIUS

Mark Anthony Thompson, vocals, piano, guitar / Seb Martel, guitar, machine / Cyril Atef, drums

Marc Anthony Thomson, aka Chocolate Genius, changed his name at the turning of the 21st century when his art became as diverse as the pluralists USA of today and tomorrow. He plays Blues, of course, but also Folk, Rock, electro, Soul… All of it performed in a ballad, intimate mood. When he was younger, Chocolate Genius was a fan of Sam Cooke, or Al Green before he became Bruce Springsteen’s side guitarist. Compared to Terence Trent Darby in his early stages, the Californian musician is indeed a “song writer” solicitous over delivering a poetry for today. The ideal start for an evening devoted to popular Afro-American music.

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MARTHA HIGH & THE ROYAL ITALIAN FAMILY

Martha High, vocals / Luca Sapio, orchestra conducting, vocals / Emiliano Pari, organ, piano / Larry Guaraldi, guitars / Matteo Pezzolet, bass / Claudio Giusti, tenor saxophone, flute / Daniele Manciocchi, baryton / Antonio Padovano, trumpet / Frances Ascione, vocals / Matteo Bultrini, drums

Martha High, a recent discovery? Certainly not! We all know this soprano voice who left a mark on modern Soul music after a training in her Baptist community’s Gospel choirs. For thirty-five years, she followed the Godfather of Funk, James Brown (incidentally but not uselessly fulfilling the function of personal hairdresser, hence, confidant of the Master). Close to Mr. Dynamite and the JBs during Martin Luther King’s murder or the historic fight between Mohamed Ali and George Foreman, Martha High was there during all great moments of this incredible musical adventure. And it’s been fifteen years since she dares to appear under her own name, and let her radiant, moving Soul voice fly by. Until she became our Godmother of Funk.

"Singing This Song"_SINGING FOR THE GOOD TIMES (Blindfaithrecords)
 

JAMES "BLOOD" ULMER

"Memphis Blood Blues Band feat. Vernon Reid"

James "Blood" Ulmer, guitar, vocals / Vernon Reid, guitar / Charles Burnham, violin / Leon Gruenbaum, keybords / David Barnes, harmonica / Mark Peterson, bass / Aubrey Dayle, drums

Since the early 2000s, and thanks to the key help of Vernon Reid, Living Colour’s guitarist, who acts as producer, spiritual son and kindred spirit, "Blood" dedicates himself to the defense and illustration of the music he’s always held close to his heart like a mojo. For "Captain Black" holds the key to make, to elaborate, the essence of Blues. His biting, blazing guitar, twitch after twitch, loosens all history tongues. And his severe decoction that remembers blues itself stands at the crossroads, plays a magnificently sinful music combined with Gospel, Boogie-Woogie, Rock… and so called avant-garde Jazz that “Blood”, historic promulgator of the inflammatory “free funk”, both rooted and uprooted, largely helped disseminate. No limit, everything complementary: life force music.

"Survivors of the Hurricane"_IN THE CITY (Hyena)