In our third edition of WHAT’S GOOD(?) we highlight Dan Wilkins: jazz artist, accomplished saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator. His influences range from Dexter Gordon to Pujyashri Deepakbhai Desai. Profile by Griffin Woodard.
If you were to see the titles Transfigured, Ebb and Flow, Of Distant Lands, Unraveled, and Soar, you might think you were about to read the treatises of a world explorer, Buddhist monk, or mystic poet. Although he may have certain qualities from each, Lehigh Valley, PA native Dan Wilkins is first and foremost a jazz artist; an accomplished saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator. His influences range from Dexter Gordon to Pujyashri Deepakbhai Desai, for example. Wilkins’ sound is like a breath of fresh, cold air which carries the distant majesty of ancient, candle-lit castles; his melodies speak like noble tales of warriors and pilgrims, ever on a journey.
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Meet Gabriel “Asheru” Benn, M.Ed. one of the panelists on our discussion this Sunday. Asheru is a veteran Hip Hop artist, educator, and youth activist. He is widely known for performing the opening theme for the popular TV series, The Boondocks, and other musical contributions to the show, for which he received the prestigious Peabody Award – becoming the first hip hop artist to receive the prestigious award. Alongside his career as a Hip Hop artist, Asheru has served as a teacher/administrator in DC Schools for over 15 years, and is well known for his pioneering and innovative efforts to forward the Hip Hop Education movement, namely through his organizations, Guerilla Arts Ink, and the Hip Hop Educational Literacy Program (H.E.L.P.). To learn more about Asheru click here and here.