With this being the first ever live performance of SHAOLIN JAZZ I don’t think things could’ve worked out any better. Good weather, a legendary venue (Blues Alley), a very respectable turnout for both shows, amazing music from 2-Tone with Sound of the City, and our guest performers. And I must add, doing a live show was NEVER in our plan.
Overall, SHAOLIN JAZZ, including the development of this particular extension, has been very organic – from the start with us having no real plan, to releasing a series of creative projects which we felt just made sense, on into this latest foray.
Originally, SHAOLIN JAZZ L!VE was simply going to be a two song single featuring live versions of some of the tracks from the album and during its production 2-Tone and Biscuit Bynum (one of the co-founders of Sound of the City – the band that performed the live tracks, of which 2-Tone is also a member) discussed the potential of doing a live show, as the tracks came out solid and Biscuit had a strong relationship with Blues Alley, an esteemed jazz venue in Washington, DC. After a few months of emails, impromptu meetings, and phone calls Blues Alley hit us with a date making this our 1st ever live performance at one of the nation’s most legendary jazz spots.
SHAOLIN JAZZ L!VE (a live music release and live show):
- Download two of the SHAOLIN JAZZ L!VE tracks by clicking here.
- Live show: live performances of tracks from the SHAOLIN JAZZ album, Monday June 25th, at Blues Alley (1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW – in the alley), 8pm and 10pm shows. Buy tickets here.
Hope you download the project and can make it to the show.
Check out another set of shots from our lectures and travels to and from them. For more pics click Read the rest of this entry
DJ 2-Tone Jones and I are proud to announce the latest musical installment of our SHAOLIN JAZZ project entitled The Gil Scott Suite, which is our tribute to the late Gil Scott Heron. This capsule project, which is a three track EP, also features album cover art designed by Shamona Stokes, the winner of the SHAOLIN JAZZ – Album Cover Design Contest.
As with our first release, I’m going to keep this short, but the story behind this one is that I’m a big Gil Scott fan (since my teens) and I normally don’t “feel” anything when most artists, celebs, pass but when Gil Scott passed I definitely “felt” a since of loss (perhaps it was the hours listening to his work, that D.C. energy from his music, being cool with his son (actually didn’t know Gil Scott was his Father until years later), or seeing one his last shows in D.C. at Blues Alley) and I spoke to 2-Tone a day later about the idea of doing a SHAOLIN JAZZ – Gil Scott inspired track, and he was down.
What was originally supposed to be one track turned into three songs, as 2-Tone again caught that creative vibe, and so it was only right to also give the music a visual identity, so we reached out to Shamona to see if she’d be interested in creating a cover for the EP, which she straight-finessed…and, project complete.
After receiving a great deal of positive feedback from the SHAOLIN JAZZ – Album Cover Design Contest, which included a variety of requests for SHAOLIN JAZZ related product based on those graphics, DJ 2-Tone Jones and I decided to release a series of T-shirts, via the Red Bubble platform. The graphics chosen are comprised of the top six designs (including the winner) that we considered to be the front-runners in the competition.
Click here to see/order the full range of tees and click the links below to check out a mock-up of the design as a graphic tee, a link to its Red Bubble page, and an interview we conducted on the designer: Shamona Stokes, Vassilina Pljonkina, Jean Mosambi, Chris L, Terrence Knoles, Matthew Stuckey.
*To purchase the T-shirts click here.
Who or what got you interested in design?
As an illustration major at Pratt, I didn’t have a real interest in graphic design or making art on the computer. I was more drawn to working with my hands: drawing, painting, and collage. But after graduation, I took a few design classes and developed a real love of typography. After paying my dues and a lot of late nights, I landed a great job as an art director at a small design studio where I had the creative freedom to learn as much as possible. Click here to order Shamona’s SHAOLIN JAZZ graphic tee. To read more click>>> Read the rest of this entry
DJ 2-Tone Jones and I would like to congratulate Shamona Stokes – the winner of The SHAOLIN JAZZ – Album Cover Design Contest. We’d also like to thank all of the many designers for participating whose strong works made this decision a two day deliberation for 2-Tone and myself. Let me emphasize – selecting ONE winner was crazy tough.
I’m sure some will, after seeing the other entries, question our decision and that’s cool especially after seeing those designers who also submitted a front and back cover. However, the rules called for album covers and not a front and back – with the album cover front being what we based our judgement on. Don’t get it twisted though, we really appreciate everyone’s efforts including the designers that went the extra mile and submitted two entries.
That said, and without getting into a list of details, we felt that Shamona’s album cover covered all of our criteria to a “T.” To see more of Shamona’s work click here and if you’re interested in contacting her directly: email@example.com.
Shouts again to the designers who participated, VANS OTW and Staple Design for providing product and promo support, and the fans that have continued to support SHAOLIN JAZZ. We’ve got some very cool creative extensions coming.
To see the full range of entries click here (in no particular order): Read the rest of this entry